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John Buck '59 September 13, 2021 10:27 AM updated: October 14, 2021 11:08 AM

John William Buck
MARCH 21, 1932 – AUGUST 31, 2021

John (Hansi) William Buck passed away peacefully at his home in Arlington, Texas, on August 31, 2021, at the age of 89. Born March 21, 1932, in Waco, Texas to the late Karl August Buck and Mary Minnie Rueter Buck, John’s childhood was spent on the family dairy farm. After graduating Waco High School, John proudly served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Gilbert Islands during the Korean War, where he was first introduced to aircraft. Completing military service, he attended Arlington State College and graduated from Texas A&M University Class of 1959, with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

Turning his love of aircraft and missiles into his life work, John moved to San Diego, California joining General Dynamics/Convair following graduation, where he met his wife, Theresa (also from Texas), on a blind date. After starting their own family, they returned to Texas in 1966 to be closer to both of their families, where John began his 26-year tenure with Lockheed-Martin (formerly LTV | Chance Vought) before retiring in 1992.

John and Theresa were happily married for 59+ years and he enjoyed being involved in his children’s activities. Coaching softball, baseball and basketball teams, assisting with his sons’ FFA projects, building Pinewood Derby cars, and Boy Scout camping and canoe trips. He enjoyed fishing with his sons and opening day dove season shoots with his sons and coworkers.

John enjoyed riding motorcycles in his youth, a passion that continued long into his later years and included group excursions to Alaska, Mexico, traveling the Continental Divide, and other adventures with his cousin, Melton. John loved performance cars, competed in road rallies, and drove many different models of Alfa Romeo sports cars, which also required working on them. John was a skilled mechanic, able to fix anything. His three children became trained shop light holders and tool getters, while learning about auto mechanics.

John played and coached senior softball and volleyball and traveled to many places including Germany to visit his ancestors and the homeplace farm. A skilled competitor and teacher, John is most remembered for his avid play of 42 (dominoes), bridge, and horseshoes, and never turned down homemade chocolate-chip cookies-or any desserts! He loved Texas A&M and enjoyed watching Aggie sporting events and became a big fan of UT Arlington’s Track & Field teams, often volunteering for local track meets. He loved the outdoors and visiting with the students, but mostly enjoyed spending time with his family, lifelong friends, and neighbors. John was a very private and seemingly soft-spoken person - yet he had a way of coming out with very profound words, spoken with such strong resolution, their mark would not only register with your thoughts, but come to mind time and time again, long after he spoke the words.

An active member of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church since the late 1960s, John also participated in various social clubs including S.M.G. Leisure Club, Alfa Romeo Owners Club, Vought Retiree Club, Vought Heritage Foundation, and B.P.O.E. (Elk’s Club) of Arlington.

John was preceded in death by his parents Karl and Mary, brother Karl, sister Barbara, and wife Theresa.

He is survived by children, Lisa '84 (John), Lee (Lynn) and grandson, Charlie, and Ron (Bob); his sister Wanda, brother Herbert/Butch (Ann) and families, as well as in-laws including John '60 and their spouses, nieces including Pamela '91, nephews, including Brian '97 and Mike '92, and their children. The family extends its sincere gratitude and appreciation for the years of service from devoted and loving caregivers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s name to Cal Farley’s Boy’s Ranch ( or Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School, 1200 South Davis Drive, Arlington, Texas 76013 (817) 275-5081 (

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