September 10, 1946 – March 20, 2020
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” Phil. 1:3
One year ago, at the age of 73, following an eight month battle with cancer, our dear Wayne passed away, peacefully at home, in the presence of his family. He was much loved and those of us left behind have missed him every day.
Wayne was born in Stonewall M.B. to George and Jean (Cameron) Buck and grew up in Edmonton where he enjoyed a happy childhood, distinguished by, at 12 years of age, saving his best friend Marty from drowning. Marty had fallen through thin ice on the fast moving North Saskatchewan river. Wayne crawled out on the ice and, with another boy holding his ankles, was able to pull Marty from the raging icy water. The boys’ main concern was trying to get dry so that their parents wouldn’t find out that they had been playing by the river. So they lit a fire! Wayne and Marty were friends until the last day of Wayne’s life.
As young boys Wayne and his brother Brian would get up before 5 a.m. to get to the golf course in time to caddy for the first golfers heading out. Golf was a sport Wayne enjoyed his whole life and in retirement, he looked forward to his trips with friends to Circling Raven in the spring, to get some games in before our courses here were open.
Wayne graduated from Strathcona High School in Edmonton in 1964 and when he reached the required age of 19 he realized his life long dream of joining the R.C.M.P. in March of 1966. His troop was one of the last to have caring for and riding horses as part of their training discipline.
They learned the routine of the Musical Ride, performing all the intricate maneuvers at their pass-out ceremony. The horse Wayne usually rode was a beautiful four year old mare named Burmese which, a few years later, in 1969, was given to Queen Elizabeth by the R.C.M.P. She became the Queen’s favourite mount, eventually being retired at Windsor Castle.
Upon leaving training, Wayne was stationed briefly in North Vancouver and then transferred to Squamish where he met his future wife. Priscilla had recently graduated from nursing school and was working at the hospital. The hospital was one of only two places open during the night and it was there that the young Mounties would go for a coffee, chat and perhaps a game of crib.
Having met Priscilla briefly during midnight shift, Wayne was there bright and early the next morning to offer her a lift home. She thought it was just a coincidence. They were married seven months later, May 3, 1969!
Wayne loved his job, always referring to himself as a peace officer, and that is what he was. His inherent desire to always pursue peace and calm, and his sense of fairness and respect for others were evident in the way he approached his work and his life.
His sense of humour was a huge asset! Wayne spent from 1969 to 1978 in Dog Section, stationed in North Vancouver, Winnipeg and Surrey. He loved the experience and his dogs Keno and Quinn who quickly became treasured members of the family.
Upon receiving his first “call out” in rural Manitoba, he was surprised to realize that nothing, not even a gas station was open on a Sunday. Not only was he hoping his gas would hold out, he was thinking it was a long time between coffees!
It was while he was stationed in Manitoba that he had the opportunity of representing Manitoba in the Canadian Police Curling Championships. Wayne had been an enthusiastic and competitive curler since his teens, skipping many teams and winning lots of bonspiels.
When he was asked to play third on a team that was going to try to represent Manitoba, he jumped at the chance. There were a lot of games to play, a great many teams to defeat, but at the end of it all they won the Canadian Championship two years running in the mid seventies. Having been born in Manitoba, this meant a lot to him.
Wayne served for thirty-six years in the R.C.M.P., retiring as a Staff Sgt. here in Nelson in 2002. He went on to work on contract for the R.C.M.P. until 2006.
Throughout his life, Wayne was devoted to his family and was generous with his time and his talents. The gardens he created were beautiful! If advice was sought it was always well thought out, sound, and reflected his own integrity. He was honest and kind.
He loved to hit the road with tent or trailer and the family for adventures in camping; we can remember many a time sitting with friends and relatives sheltering from a downpour with Wayne assuring us that he could see a ray of sun and better weather was on the way! He was a true optimist and always sought to see the bright side. Rain or shine he barbecued outstanding steaks! We miss them but we miss him more.
Wayne is survived by his wife and best friend of 51 years, Priscilla (nee Gregory), sons John and Daniel (Christina) Buck and daughter Catherine (Jimmy) Demers; grandchildren, Henry and Oliver Buck and James, Chloe and Evelyn Demers; sister Gail Auten, brother Brian (Millie) Buck, sister-in-law Lynne (Garry, who passed away April 3, 2020) Gregory, brother-in-law Matthew (Kathie) Gregory as well as many nieces, nephews, great and great, great nieces and nephews. Wayne was predeceased by his parents George and Jean Buck and by his brother-in-law Robert Auten.
We wish to mention here our dear friend Gerry, for all her prayers and her generosity in helping us care for Wayne at home. You just “showed up” Ger and we thank you so much for all the support and love.
We would also like to thank Drs. Kirsten, Sparrow and Malpass for their care, kindness and support and the Palliative Care nurses who so kindly assisted us in caring for Wayne at home. God bless you all!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” 1 Cor.2: 9
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