Charles (Chuck) Fay Buck passed away at home on June 16, 2021 at the age of 93. Chuck was born and raised in California and was a lifelong bachelor. He enjoyed hiking, camping, dog walking, visiting with his many friends, and traveling. As a child he lived near the naval shipyards in San Diego and Alameda, CA where his father was a Commander. In his youth, Chuck was an avid photographer and even had a dark room in his family home. After completing high school, he spent a semester at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Ever the independent individual, Chuck decided to return home by riding his bike over 200 miles North on Highway 1, back to his family home in Alameda CA, camping along the way. After enlisting in the United States Navy, Chuck spent time in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. He returned to California after the war in the early 1950’s and started a career in the banking industry. He also worked in advertising at a newspaper in Nevada City, CA. But, most of his working life was spent traveling around the United States with the National Park Service. He began his career at Death Valley National Park in CA and also lived and worked in various parks in Arizona, Utah, Michigan, and finally Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
In 1985 he retired and moved into the historical Citizens Bank building on Main Avenue which he had inherited from his mother. Unsure if he wanted to live in Aztec, he decided to give it try for a year before making a final decision. That was 36 years ago. After settling in, Chuck became an active member of the Aztec community and participated in many volunteer opportunities including serving as a board member for the Aztec Museum for many years. In 1994, he was elected an “Old Sorehead” for his charitable contributions in fundraising. That same year he played the part of the sheriff who was caught with his pants down during the “Shoot-Out at High Noon” on Pioneer Days. He also came out of retirement to run the recycling center for the City of Aztec for seven years.
Over the years Chuck became somewhat of an Icon around town. Always on the go, with a smile on his face and a good sense of humor. A true animal lover, Chuck adopted three “Purebred Mutts” and a cat named Gus. He was a familiar face walking his first dogs Sam and Mattie, then later his third dog, Lindy. It was part of Chuck’s strict schedule to do a daily two hour walk around the streets of Aztec and the hills beyond. You may have also seen Chuck around town riding on his Manhattan three-wheeler or, pulling his wagon behind him in route to Safeway to do his weekly grocery shopping. And, more recently in his smart car named Zippy. At the end of the day was his scheduled cocktail time, promptly at 5:00 p.m. Cocktail hour at Chuck’s with friends was an event not to be missed.
Chuck put a priority on keeping in touch with old friends, eventually getting a cell phone and IPad to make things easier. However, Chuck liked using the US Postal Service best and was known for including a stamp and sometimes a self-addressed envelope with his letters. Just to make sure you had no excuses not to respond in a timely manner.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, Eleanor Fay (Douglass) Buck and Ernest Fisher Buck. He is survived by his Godson Ray Sibley and family, his dog Lindy, and good friends Laura Ryan and Donna Brown, who were lovingly referred to as his daughters. He has a host of long-time friends both in Aztec and throughout the United States. Chuck touched the hearts of everyone he met and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Chuck will be laid to rest in Nevada City, CA. For those wishing to make a donation in memory of Chuck, two places he regularly supported are: The Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village at www.aztecmuseum.org and The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists at www.mfpausa.com.
A celebration of life will be held at the Aztec Museum, 125 North Main Ave, Aztec, New Mexico 87410 on Saturday, August 14, 2021 from 4:00 - 6:00 PM.