Leonardo E. Buck, 98: Legendary golfer gave of himself to sport, community

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BATH — Leonardo E. (“Buckie”) Buck, 98, of Bath, died Jan. 26 at Mid Coast Hospital after a period of declining health.

He was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, on March 1, 1916, the son of William E. Buck and Carrie C. Buck. After graduating from Morse High School in 1933, he attended Kents Hill School and continued on to Bowdoin College with the class of 1938. He then earned a doctorate in dental medicine from Harvard Dental School.

On July 18, 1942, Buck married Letitia E. Lee, of Springfield, Vermont. Soon afterward, he accepted a commission as a lieutenant junior-grade in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife spent four years stationed in Newport, Rhode Island; Williamsburg, Virginia; and on the Pacific island of Tinian, with the 9th Naval Construction Battalion and the 19th Naval Base Hospital.

Buck was an accomplished golfer and rules official. He won many awards and championships at the Bath Golf Course and at other courses throughout the state and in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

He also was a member of the Maine State Golf Association, and served as its president from 1951-1952 and as secretary/treasurer from 1953-1957. He also served as president of the New England Golf Association from 1969-1970. In addition, he was a United States Golf Association committee member, chairman of the board of the Bath Golf Course for three terms, a member of the board of directors of the New England Senior Golf Association, a charter member of the board of directors of the Maine State Golf Association’s Golf Scholarship Fund and a member of the Bath Golf Course since its inception in 1932.

Buck was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 for his contributions to golf, and in 1996 he was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame. In 2010, he was inducted into the Maine State Baseball Hall of Fame. He also received the Ike Grainger Centennial Award for 44 years of service on the USGA Public Links and Senior Championship Committee as a rules official.

Besides his love of golf, Buck enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating on the Kennebec River. He and his family spent many happy days on their beloved island in the Kennebec, and he enjoyed the companionship of many friends, young and old.

During the fall, Buck could often be found at the Bath Farmers Market, selling Japanese lanterns he had produced in his garden. He donated the proceeds to the Bath Area Family YMCA, for which he held many fond memories.

Buck was predeceased by his wife, Letitia Buck, and his son, Bruce Buck.

Survivors include two sons, Christopher C. Buck and wife, Gail, of Bath, and Robert L. Buck and wife, Jean, of Woolwich; a grandson, Jonathan Buck and wife, Jessica, of Hampden; granddaughter Jennifer Bunge and husband, David, of Cohasset, Massachusetts; granddaughter Leslie McKenney and husband, Eric, of Phippsburg; granddaughter Kathryn Temple, of Brunswick; granddaughter Sara Matthews and husband, Dennis, of Lisbon; seven great-grandsons; and five great-granddaughters.

At Buck’s request, services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Bath Area Family YMCA, 303 Centre St., Bath, ME 04530.

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