James Kay "Buck" Buckles
March 27, 1942 - February 04, 2017

James Kay Buckles, 74, passed away unexpectedly on February 4, 2017.

Jim was born in Des Moines, Iowa.  He graduated from Clairemont High School in 1960.  He went on to study music at San Diego State University.  He then fell in love with airplanes.

In the late 60’s, “Buck”, as he was affectionately known, began his career as an air traffic controller with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Palmdale, CA.  This was the beginning of a 38 year career in which he would forge lifelong friendships.  In 1977, the family moved to Oklahoma City, OK where Jim began training new air traffic controllers.   In 1981, a move back west took Jim and his family to Pleasanton, CA, where Jim became a supervisor at Oakland Center.   In 1984, Jim transferred to FAA headquarters in Washington, DC as an Air Traffic Specialist.  After his children graduated from high school, Jim and his wife, Trudy, moved to Long Island where he served as Manager of the New York Air Traffic Control Center.  Looking forward to retirement, Jim moved back to San Diego in 2001 and worked at Lindbergh Field as the Air Traffic Manager for 6 additional years before retiring in 2007. 

In retirement, Jim spent countless hours volunteering with the Spreckels Organ Society.  His profound love of organ music brought him great joy.  He spent many Sunday afternoons in Balboa Park greeting patrons who would come to enjoy the free weekly concerts.  Another hobby of his was movies.  His favorite “Movie Nights” were spent with a very special group of friends and they will miss him terribly (along with his popcorn popping skills).  This generous, joyous, quirky husband, father and friend will be missed by all.

Jim is survived by his wife of 48 years Trudy; his daughter Lynn and her husband Tim and their 3 daughters, Jim's beloved grandchildren, Lindsay Kay, Sydney, and Katie; his sister Ginny; his best friend of over 61 years Father Jim Poulsen; a niece, cousins and his precious dogs Penny B. and Sweetie, along with many dear friends.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents Dana and Betty Buckles, as well as his daughter, Marci Renee.

Memorial donations may be made, in honor of Jim, to the Spreckels Organ Society, 1549 El Prado Suite 10, San Diego CA 92101.  A memorial service will be held on the East Coast at a later date.

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