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Obituary - Walter S. Buckoski

Walter S. Buckoski

Date of Passing: February 20th, 2009

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In lieu of flowers, please consider St. Joseph’s Church, Main St., Oriskany Falls, NY 13425, or a scholarship fund to be established in his memory at the Waterville Central School c/o the Brothertown Scholarship Fund, PO Box 454, Waterville, NY 13480.

Walter S. Buckoski, 88, of Oriskany Falls, died on Friday, February 20, 2009 at the Harding Nursing Home in Waterville, with his family by his side. Born on May 17, 1920 in Middleville, Walter was the son of George and Mary Kowalski Buckoski. Educated at Middleville High School, he graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1942. After graduation, he worked for Alcoa Corporation in Massena until entering the Army in 1944. Upon completion of basic training, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. and attended The Infantry School at Ft. Benning, GA. Walter married Virginia Peters of Canton in 1945 and then served in the European Theater as a fiscal officer in the Bremen Enclave of Military Government in Germany. After his discharge, Walter earned his Masters degree in Education from St. Lawrence and began his teaching career as a math and science teacher at Oriskany Falls in 1948. He then taught two years at Waterville Central School and, in 1951, was appointed Supervising Principal at Oriskany Falls Union Free School. Walter served over 30 years in that capacity, while also teaching a chemistry or physics class each year and serving as junior high basketball coach in the early years. While a teacher and superintendent, Walter continued to serve his country in the Army Reserves. He joined the fledgling 414th Civil Affairs Company in 1949 and was with the unit when it was called to active duty in October 1961 during the Cuban missile crisis. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1965 as Commanding Officer of the 414th. Walter was a member of the Kelley-Phillips American Legion Post #569, the Reserve Officers' Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and was a communicant of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Oriskany Falls. Immensely proud of his Polish heritage, Walter befriended two Polish couples while serving in the military government in Germany after WW II. With Walter's help, the couples emigrated to the United States and watching the two hard-working immigrant families become successful Americans was one of the great joys of his life. Walter also closely followed the lives of his students at OFUFS and delighted in their many accomplishments and successes. As a principal, Walter was one of a kind. Six-feet-five inches tall and an advocate of firm discipline, his trademark "jingling" keys alerted students of "Mr. B's" approach and students squared their shoulders in anticipation of his arrival. During Semongca League basketball games in the tiny Oriskany Falls High School gym, the keys rattled louder as the game got closer, especially during the years his sons were playing. He personalized graduation ceremonies for decades by speaking about each graduate in the class. In retirement he and Ginny enjoyed winters in Dunedin, FL and travels abroad. Walter took three trips to Europe and especially enjoyed the audience he had with Pope John Paul II. A gifted and prolific writer, Walter left hundreds of handwritten pages of his thoughts and experiences – some poignant, some insightful, and some uproariously funny. He taught by example how to be a good son, husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend. Besides his parents and his wife Ginny (2001), Walter was predeceased by his brother Steve, a sister Sophie Van Valkenburg, a nephew, Leon Buckoski, his step father, Martin Adamczyk and a step sister, Victoria Miller. He is survived by a daughter and her husband, Judy and Charles Engle of Oriskany Falls; and two sons and a daughter-in-law, Martin Buckoski of Ashland, MA, and Peter and Mary Buckoski of East Springfield, PA. He also leaves eight grandchildren, Christopher (Michele) Engle of Clinton, Susan (Tim) Jones of Waterville, Sarah Engle of Oriskany Falls, Kelly (Joe) Stroh of Millis, MA, Dana Buckoski (fiancee Kent Ryan) of Yarmouth, ME, Taylor Buckoski of Ashland, MA, Nicole Buckoski of Spokane, WA, and Peter Buckoski, Jr. of East Springfield, PA. He also leaves five great-grandsons, Cale, Cam and Caden Engle, Sam Jones and Tage Stroh; three nephews and a niece. The family is grateful to the staff of Harding Nursing Home for the compassionate care given to Walter during his stay there, and to his physician, Dr. David Petrie, one of Walter's OFUFS "boys". A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 AM at St. Joseph's Church, Oriskany Fall. Spring interment will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Calling hours are Monday from 4-8 PM at the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home, 210 E. Main St., Waterville.

Condolences:

This is our 50th High School Reunion of the Class of 1959. Walter Buckoski was our Senior advisor then and our chaperone to Washington, D.C. and New York City. When we got there, Mr. and Mrs. Buckoski said we could go where we wanted to and not to get into trouble or else! We had a great time in both cities and didn't get into trouble because we knew we would have to deal with Mr. Buckoski. He certainly made it a fun trip and we will remember him at our 50th this July. Carol Rehm
Carol Rehm

Our deepest sympathy and prayers to the Buckoski family. Who could forget Mr. Buckoski's reign as Principal of Oriskany Falls High Scholol? He was a great disciplinarian, but also had a wonderful sense of humor. He helped our mother, Sadie Rehm, get back into teaching, for which she was always very grateful. God Bless!
Carol and Eileen Rehm

To the family and relatives of Mr. B: He was a great man and I also remember the "keys", the paddle and "that look" when I was in trouble. But through his efforts, I turned out to be a pretty good guy. I offer our deepest sympathy and may the good Lord grant him peace and eternal rest. From Auburn, California
Richard Huntley

I HAVE NOTHING BUT GOOD MEMORIES OF MR.B. HE TAUGHT BIOLOGY AND I BELIEVE CHEMISTRY AND I TOOK BOTH CLASSES FROM HIM. I STILL REMEMBER A LOT OF WHAT HE TAUGHT ME IN THOSE TWO CLASSES. I BELIEVE I WAS A SOPHOMORE WHEN HE STARTED AT OFHS. THOSE WERE THE REAL GOOD DAYS AND I WILL NEVER FORGET ALL THAT HE DID FOR ME AS A STUDENT AND AS A FRIEND. I WILL MISS HIM BUT THE MEMORIES I HAVE OF MY ASSOCIATION WITH HIM WILL LIVE ON FOREVER. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL.
AUBREY ALBERDING, JR

My prayers are with you all. Thanks to Mr. B for the memories of growing up in a great environment.
Joanne (Dolan) Waller

To the Buckoski Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Students have fond memories of Mr.B and time spent at O.F.U.F.S.with him as Principal. On one occassion it was necessary for Mr.B to counsel me for wrong doing.I remember Mr.B allowed us to watch the world series in the Gym on the small T.V.that sat on the stage when we had study hall or homeroom.I sat there watching the game when Mr.B approached me asking if I was suppose to be there.I told him I had 8th. period study hall.However,he knew I was suppose to be making up math homework for Mr.Adams.I was very nervous as to what he would say.He advised me of the need of having 4 years of math to enter college.Firm but fair he was. His last words to me were-"do you get the bit honey ?"as I shamefully returned to study hall.We were all blessed to have known him. Louise Sefcheck Lockwood
Louise Sefcheck Lockwood

On behalf of myself, my brother, Bernie, and sisters Rita, Missy and Renee, I want to send our condolences to the Buckoski Family. Any student who passed through the halls of Oriskany Falls High School, has a story or two about Mr. B...fond memories of a man who could silence a classroom full of students by just walking into the room. The keys, ah, yes, the keys! I remember one day the class was giving a poor substitute teacher the benefit of our spitball prowess, by covering the clock in the classroom with them. All of a sudden Mr. B came into the classroom and stood in the back. Silence in the room....Mr. B glanced at his watch and then at the clock on the wall, covered with spitballs. My memory has blocked out the rest of what transpired after that ;) Our thoughts and prayers are with his family....it was an honor to have known him. Reggie (Kirley)Burke Edinboro, PA
Reggie (Kirley) Burke

Dear family, So sorry about "Mr. B." He was truly "one of a kind," and will be missed. As a student and then teacher of his, I have many fond memories. My prayers and condolences are with you. Sincerely, Carol
Carol Jordan

I remember many things about O"Falls, including the keys, the baby grass, and Honey. Mr. Buckoski let the teachers try new programs and be creative. I will miss him.
Cathy Bennett