Cover photo for Buckley Elton Johnson's Obituary
Buckley

Buckley Elton Johnson

Albuquerque

In Memoriam: Buckley Elton Johnson (12/24/1936 - 1/6/2024)
 
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Buckley Elton Johnson, a remarkable educator and lifelong learner, who departed this world on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
 
Born on Thursday, December 24, 1936, in Middletown, Connecticut, Buck embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led him down unexpected paths. After leaving the New Mexico School of Mines, where he initially contemplated a career in science; he found his true calling guided by the wisdom of his Presbyterian minister.
 
Buck's educational journey took a pivotal turn when he enrolled at Westminster College, making lasting friendships and finding inspiration from dedicated professors. Dr. May Schwender and Dr. Joe Umara, in particular, left an indelible mark on his academic and professional pursuits. Upon graduating, he had a brief venture into graduate studies in Boulder, Colorado, which was followed by a clerical job at the Salt Lake City Police Department. A chance encounter with Westminster's president, Frank Duddy, changed the course of his life when he received a surprise scholarship from the Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship Foundation to pursue seminary studies.
 
Despite initially intending to become a minister, Buck found his passion for teaching during a year off from seminary. His innate joy for imparting knowledge led him to a successful four-decade career in education. Beginning in 1962 at a local elementary school, Buck's impact on countless students was marked by teaching excellence and innovation.
 
His career achievements were numerous, including the prestigious "Teacher of the Year" award in Wethersfield, Connecticut, two state presidential awards for teaching math, and recognition from the Connecticut League of Historical Societies, the Connecticut Council for Social Studies, and the state legislature for his exceptional contributions to history education.
 
Beyond the classroom, Buck was a philanthropist at heart. He generously contributed to various charitable causes, including substantial donations to the Humane Society, reflecting his deep compassion for animals. Additionally, he established and supported numerous college scholarship funds, ensuring that aspiring students could pursue their dreams of higher education just as the opportunity was provided to him.
 
In the last 18 years of his life, Buck shared a home in Albuquerque, NM, with his brother Chris Johnson and his wife Judy Johnson, celebrating many milestones and family celebrations. He was preceded in death by Chris and Judy. He is survived by his sister Mary-Ella Hawes, brother David Johnson, and many nieces and nephews.
 
Buck will be remembered not only for his professional achievements but also for his kindness, wisdom, and the profound impact he made on the lives of those fortunate enough to know him.

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