Cover photo for Donald Buckley's Obituary
Donald Buckley Profile Photo
1945 Donald 2023

Donald Buckley

May 24, 1945 — October 28, 2023

Mt. Juliet

Buckley, Donald William (Keating) Age 78. Born in San Francisco 24 May 1945 to William “Bill” Keating and Helen Cowan; died in Mount Juliet 28 Oct 2023.

Don was nearly two when his brother Richard was born; 6 days later his dad was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Two years
later his mom married a widower, Arthur “Dutch” Buckley, who had two sons, Edward and James. They started their married life with four boys under the age of four and a half. Don, as the oldest of the four, became a big brother and protector of his younger siblings for the rest of his life.

Later, after welcoming brother Michael and sister Joan, the family moved to Redwood City. Don attended San Carlos High School (class of 1963) where he was on the football and wrestling teams. Next came a two-year stint in the US Army, mostly at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon entering the army, his parents realized that they had not taken care of a critical piece of business, namely a legal adoption. Don had to serve in the army under his still legal name— Donald Keating. He and Rich were legally adopted asap.
Upon returning from the army, he landed a job in shipping/ receiving at Raychem in Menlo Park, California. Eventually, he moved
over to Customer Service, then was promoted to an assistant project manager position. In August 1982 he was transferred to Cary, North Carolina as the project manager of a new factory set up in Fuquay-Varina. In addition to his role as project manager, he established a Par Course and set up a running club for employees called the Buck-Aroo
Run For Fun Club, aka the BARFF club, whose slogan was “Start off slow and taper off.” After seven years as the number two man at the factory, he was invited to join the sales team in the Southeast region of Raychem/Tyco. In 1996 he moved to Nashville to continue his work with Tyco. He retired in 2008.

Always a devoted father and involved with his kids; he was the goto-dad who was always ready to drive everyone anywhere upon
request. Later in life, he enjoyed boating with his grandkids and hearing about all of their adventures. He was a dedicated athlete and self-described gym rat. He worked out every day of his life from the age of 16 on. Golf, running, tennis, and competing in triathlons were a passion he shared with many friends over the years. As a lifelong athlete and runner, he helped many friends and family members to stay in shape. He traveled each year back to San Francisco for its annual Bay to Breakers Race, joining his brothers and nephews for the family tradition. He was a great friend to all. His magnetic personality, great sense of humor, and easy laughter drew people to him. He had swagger and the confidence that comes from inner strength plus outer physical
conditioning. Above all else, he was a fighter, a warrior against the many cancers that plagued him over the years. Beginning in 1992 he was diagnosed with non-Hodgekins Lymphoma. He underwent a bone marrow removal, followed by full-body radiation and the restoration of his immune system with reintroduction of his bone marrow. It worked and he had 20+ years of health. Then, in the summer of 2017, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had to undergo a Whipple surgery. Again, he fought back and for the next six years, there was no sign of any pancreatic cancer. In the last year, he developed high grade MDS, a form of leukemia whereby his body could no longer produce white cells, red cells, or plasma. He had fought the good fight.

He first married Gail Baggett in 1969 and had his daughter, Gina Michelle, in 1971; they divorced in 1972. Later, he married Roberta
Raey Christian in 1976. They welcomed their son Daniel Charles in 1977. He is survived by his beautiful wife of 47 years, Roberta. His daughter Gina Buckley Gilliam (Kent) of Apex, North Carolina, son Daniel (Nicole) of Nashville, Tennessee, and brother Edward of San Francisco. He was the beloved “Pops” of Viper (previously known as Ireland), Savannah, Keating, and Eden Buckley. The dear uncle, aka Uncle Gorilla Man, of Alisha Taylor (David) of Commerce City, Colorado; Ashley Leb (Josh) of Panama City Beach, Florida; and Thomas Buckley of Redwood City, California. Predeceased by siblings: Richard and James Buckley, Joan D’Aloisio.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the cancer society of
your choosing.


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