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Obituary-Gerald Thomas Buckley

obit-buckleyThe youngest of three sons, Gerald Thomas Buckley was born Nov. 23, 1948, in Camp Lejeune, N.C., to Bernice (Barney) and Jack Buckley. Jerry’s early life was spent roaming the various Marine Corps bases across the U.S. with his family. He also spent nearly three years in Morocco where he managed to both harass the locals and make many friends.

Jerry graduated from Carlsbad High School in California where he lettered in track and football in 1968. He then attended Mira Costa College before joining the Army and serving his country from 1969-1971. Jerry served with honors, doing one combat tour in Vietnam.

After leaving the Army, Jerry worked for the City of Oceanside in the Parks and Recreation Department until he met the love of his life, Muriel Harguindeguy, in the summer of ’76. The following Christmas, he brought Muriel to the Rocky Mountains to meet his mother, and stepfather Bill Storm,(who had recently purchased a condo in Pagosa Springs), and proposed marriage on their drive back to California. They were married in San Francisco the following June and moved to Pagosa to build their lives together on July 4, 1977.

Jerry partnered with John Rowell to form Rowell/Buckley Construction, with the duo and their dedicated crew responsible for many custom homes and commercial buildings, including the renowned Keyah Grande west of town. He would eventually form Buckley Construction, and for 30 years built and remodeled homes, ranches, churches, pre-schools, restaurants and more. Jerry’s handiwork is evidenced all over Archuleta County and his legacy of crafting beautiful spaces will live on in the monuments he created, including the home he built and raised his family on Lake Pagosa.

Father to Melissa, born in 1980, and Nicole, born in 1983, Jerry was a doting father — not only to his girls, but to their friends as well. A big kid at heart, he was the first to take his pint-sized posse on critter hunts, trick-or-treating or on fort-building missions. Jerry leaves behind not just two daughters, but an army of their friends who will miss him dearly and forever have fond memories of time spent with Jer.

A voracious reader, proud lawn manicurist and talented craftsman, Jerry complimented said hobbies with trips to Mexico, Belize and beyond with Muriel in retirement.

Jerry is survived by wife, Muriel Buckley, daughters Melissa Buckley (and partner Chris) and Nicole Macomber (and husband Pete), mother and step-father (Bernice and Bill Storm) and his brothers Bob Buckley (and family) and Ron Buckley.

Loved by all, with his sweet smile and joking manner, Jerry has entered the loving house of Our Father where all who enter are comforted, healed and blessed with everlasting peace.

Donations can be made in Jerry’s honor to Sonlight Camp, Box 536, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-0536, or Wounded Warrior Project, Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. A memorial will be held on Sunday, Feb 10, from 1-4 p.m. at Keyah Grande Guest House, formerly The Lodge. Carpool is encouraged. Come join us in sharing stories and celebrating memories.

This story was posted on February 7, 2013.