James Cornelius Buckley was born to Howard and Rosie Osborn Buckley in the small community of Shady Grove near Arkadelphia on August 30, 1924. Papa Howard and Mama Rosie instilled in their children the value of hard work, family and loyalty.
“Buck” as most knew him grew up to be a handsome young man. He united with the Shady Grove AME Church family and remained a faithful member until its closing. He served faithfully as a trustee, deacon and was the oldest living member.
Having met the woman who would prove to be his life-time bride, Mary Maxine Hunter, they were married in December of 1948. They shared a life together for 65 years until her passing on December 28, 2003. Young Buck was not only changed in status, but he and his young bride moved to Arkadelphia and started their family. He was a family man who loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren deeply. Many times Buck was the chauffer for Maxine and would often visit Mt. Morriah Baptist Church with her on 1st and 3rd Sundays.
Buck worked as a fork lift operator for Anthony Timberlands in Malvern, Arkansas for 30 years. The independent spirit, strong character and iron will of Buck gained him respect among his supervisors and co-workers. He always remembered the values of hard work taught to him by Papa Howard and Mama Rosie; and passed those on to all who crossed his path. He was an original and caring man who was easy to love. Though big in stature, his heart was even bigger. He would give his last to anyone in need. A phone call or stop to say hello, would turn into several moments of laughter and you always felt better after sharing time with him.
On Sunday, June 15, 2014, with his family by his side he passed into the Lord’s embrace. He was preceded in his passing by his parents, his beloved Maxine and one son Sgt. Floyd Denson.
He leaves to cherish his memory: nine children, Thelma J. Webb of Okolona, AR, Mary Buckley of Arkadelphia, Clementine Dyer of Ontario, CA, James M. Buckley of Arkadelphia, Mary K. Hunter of El Centro, CA, Bobby F. Buckley of Gardena, CA, Janie Jones of Arkadelphia, Sylvester “Toni” Buckley of Gardena, CA and Renski Davis-Buckley of Knoxville, TN; twenty-eight, grandchildren and a caravan of great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
He also leaves one brother, Hezy Barton of Okolona, AR; two sisters, Ola Mae Cummings of Malvern, AR and Mae Ella Dyer of Flint, MI; seven sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law and one daughter-in-law. There are numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends that will greatly miss him; including the last lady on the block Mrs. Mae Helen Brooks.
Public visitation will be held on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home with the family hour from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
The home going service will be at 11:00 am Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Rev. Kyle Jones will preach the message. Interment will be in Shady Grove Cemetery.