Gary F. Buckingham, Sr., 87, of New Bremen, passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 in Syracuse, NY. Born on January 5, 1936, he was the second of three siblings of the late Leroy and Dolores Buckingham and lived his early years with the family at Soft Maple, Kirschnerville, and Croghan. Gary graduated from Father Leo Memorial Catholic School, Croghan, in 1953 and the New York State Ranger School, Wanakena in 1955.
On September 10, 1955, he married Beverly J. Duflo, Lowville, and worked as a Nursery Foremen with NYSDEC until 1960, when he and his family moved to Harrisville where Gary worked as a Forest Ranger until 1965. That same year, he went into self-employment by purchasing the R&S Market, Depot Street, which was renamed the G&B Market, Harrisville IGA, and finally Harrisville Big M throughout 24 years of ownership.
In 1969, Gary was elected as the District 1 representative to the Lewis County Board of Legislators and served until 1989. At differing times throughout his political career, he served as Chairman of various Board committees, including Tax Mapping, Highway, and Solid Waste. He also represented the Board at various intervals on regional or statewide Boards or associations, including Chairman of the Regional Planning Board, Chairman of the Regional Forest Practice Board, and President of the New York State Supervisors and County Legislator's Association.
In 1989, with recycling programs emerging as a priority by the state government, he was appointed as Lewis County's first Solid Waste Coordinator and was responsible for developing the Lewis County Solid Waste and Recycling Program. In 1990 he was appointed as Deputy County Highway Superintendent, then Highway Superintendent/Solid Waste coordinator upon the retirement of Robert Archer. In 1997, Gary retired from county service due to unforeseen medical issues. Throughout his retirement, he and his wife, Beverly, traveled throughout the United States before settling in central Florida on a seasonal basis, while spending summers at their New Bremen home. From 2011 thereafter, the couple resided in New Bremen year-round.
Gary is survived by his wife, Beverly (Duflo), four children, Deb, Gary Jr. (“Goby”), Kelly, and Kevin, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, one son, Marty, who passed away in 2020, and a sister, Patricia. Gary is also survived by his brother, Bernard (“Oogie”), and several extended family relatives.
No calling hours are planned, with a celebration of life service to be held at the family’s convenience. Burial will be held privately by his family.
Arrangements are with the Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service Inc., located at 500 State Street in Carthage, NY 13619.
To leave a message of sympathy for Mr. Buckingham’s family please visit www.lundyfuneralhome.com and sign the tribute wall.
Memorials in Gary's name may be made to Lewis County Search and Rescue or the New Breman Fire Department.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary F. Buckingham, Sr., please visit our floral store.