February 7, 1932 - November 26, 2019
Dr. John L. Buchanan was born in Wray, Colorado, to Lawrence and Carolyn Buchanan, the first of three boys. After graduating from Wray High School as valedictorian, he left for Dartmouth to pursue a degree in Russian Studies where he again excelled, receiving his B.A. and graduating summa cum laude in 1953. One degree wasn’t enough for Jack, so he tried his hand at another B.A. and M.A. at Oxford, again in Russian Studies.
Jack’s time at Oxford was joyous and productive. He was a member of the Thames Rowing Club and The Leander Club — the latter being “the greatest rowing club in England.”
After Oxford, Jack then found his way to Harvard, where he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine.
In 1958, while studying at Harvard, Jack met his first wife, Carolyn White. Jack and Caroline settled in New York City and then in New Jersey with their three children: William (1961), Catherine (1963), and James (1966).
Jack’s final stint of school was completed at Columbia, the third and last Ivy League he would attend, earning a postgraduate degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. From there, he worked as an Assistant Professor, was a fellow of the National Institute of Health, and remained a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine while working in a private practice in New Jersey from 1972-1976.
Jack and his family moved to Corvallis in 1976 to practice endocrinology at the Corvallis Clinic. In 1982, he met his beloved second wife Sheri Kier and became paterfamilias to her four sons: Michael, Kevin, Brian, and Greg. Jack and Sheri were known for their hospitality and warmth, creating a home filled with lively tradition and humor. Together they hosted too many parties and holiday dinners to count. Their bond was apparent in their banter and was reflected in the care they gave each other.
Jack retired from the Corvallis Clinic in 2005 after 55 years of service to others.
The sum of Jack’s life can be seen in the branching trees of friends and family he left in the wake of his walk through time. A loyal friend and brother, a generous husband, a kind father and loving grandfather, Jack lived a life of deliberate action. He fished with the same method and thought he put into any problem that needed solving. He tended his tomatoes with the same care and devotion he showed his family and others; and he lent an ear to his patients with the same warm and widespread compassion that he showed to those he loved.
Jack liked his jazz music loud, and later in his life, his vocal exercises even louder. Above all, those who knew and loved Jack will feel his presence in the tones of his treasured music, in a good glass of wine, a game of cribbage, the casting of a fishing line, and the sharing of a good, deep laugh. His humor is a mainstay in our memories, as our laughter constantly filled the air around him. In this respect, he said it best, he “made life a thing of joy.”
As an ode to his life lived, Jack passed on peacefully amongst his family and friends. He is fondly remembered by his wife Sheri; his brothers Bob and Bill; his seven children, their spouses and his numerous grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at Northwest Hills Community Church on January 15, 2020, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Jack’s name to Corvallis Clinic, Lumina Hospice, John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, and Northwest Hills Community Church.
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