LAMAR, SC - Capt. John E. Buckingham, USMC Retired, 83, died peacefully Saturday, April 26, 2014 at a local hospital, surrounded by his loving family. Captain Buckingham was born Dec. 3, 1930 in Waterbury CT, the son of the late Hubert A. Buckingham and Ida (Carlson) Buckingham.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, Charles, Stanley, William and Robert, his sisters, Ethel and Anne, and a special sister and brother- in law, William and Louine Cotter.
John Buckingham was raised in Watertown CT, and was a 1949 graduate of Watertown High School. Captain Buckingham served in the United States Marine Corps from November 1949 to June of 1970. He was stationed in Parris Island, Brooklyn NY, Japan during the Korean War (3rd Marine Division FMF ),Camp Lejeune, NC, Millington, TN, Quantico VA, Kansas City MO, and the Navy Annex HQMC (Arlington VA), where he returned to work as a Department of Defense Civilian Employee until his retirement in 1991. He was a regular attendee at St. Matthews Church in Darlington, SC, and attended St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Brewer. He has maintained his membership at Aquia Episcopal Church in Stafford, Va., which he attended from 1960 to 1991. He served on the vestry and was well known for his white elephant sale at the annual church bazaar. He also was a Life Member of the Marine Corps League and a member of American Legion, and VFW.
In 1991, he and the love of his life, his wife, Elizabeth "Betty" Buckingham, left Virginia and moved to Orrington. In Maine he enjoyed hunting bear, moose and coyote with his hunting buddies in the Northern Maine Woods. He and Betty enjoyed the great times with friends and family at their "camp" in Ashland. Even though he was retired from the US Marine Corps, Capt. Buckingham stood firmly by the statement, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." He and Betty were active Troop Greeters at Bangor International Airport. He was always there to shake a hand or lead a group of Marines in the Marine Corps Hymn.
Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth (Spinney) Buckingham of Lamar, his children: Carol (Mike) Ferrer of Manassas VA, Barbara Crawford of Mayetta KS, Janet and Frank Stoda of Lamar, SC, John Buckingham Jr. of Los Angeles, CA, brothers: Donald (Charlotte) Buckingham of Newington CT, Thomas "Dick"(Florence) Buckingham of Watertown CT and his loving sister, Margaret Robinson of Woodbury CT. He was a loving grandfather to David (Kay) Batschelett of St. Louis MO, Jessica Crawford of Guymon OK, Jillian (Joseph) Mandala of Mayetta KS, and Erik Buckingham of Lamar SC. He also leaves ten great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, a special son-in law: Edward Crawford of Peculiar MO, and all his hunting buddies and friends in Ashland Maine.
A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, at St. Matthews Church, 210 S. Main St., Darlington, S.C. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 29th, at Belk Funeral Home, Darlington, S.C., and other times at their home in Lamar, S.C. The graveside service will be held at Aquia Church in Stafford, VA. All services are being directed by Belk Funeral Home of Darlington SC. Memorials can be made to St. Matthews Church, attn. Purple Fish Coffee Company, 210 S. Main St., Darlington SC 29532. A guest book is available online at www.belkfuneralhome.com