GLOUCESTER - Frederick William Buck II passed away at home on February 12, 2018 at the age of 69, surrounded by his family.
He was born on October 29, 1948 in Ypsilanti, MI, the eldest child of David Buck and Helene (Helmers) Buck. As a child he traveled and lived in the Western states with his mother, siblings, and stepfather, Edward Dorn, including a year spent at Black Mountain College, NC. When he was a teenager he and his family moved to England where he attended Jesus College, Cambridge, obtaining an MA in English Literature.
He married Stephanie Chick on July 11, 1970, and they moved from England to Gloucester that August, where he obtained a 'temporary' job in the local Post Office. He faithfully delivered the mail in his neighborhood in snow, sleet, rain, heat and the gloom of night, for more than 30 years, retiring in 2003.
In his youth he was a classical guitarist and was awarded a scholarship to the Montana State University music camp in Missoula, where he studied the cello. When in 9th grade he was the only member of the Snake River Valley Orchestra under the age of 21 and held the position of First Chair cello. He later took up the acoustic bass, even jamming a few times with Charles Mingus. As an adult he continued to play the 'stand up' bass in local bands, most notably Old Cold Tater, playing bluegrass, and later the electric bass in the blues band the Megawatt Blues Crushers.
Fred was also a poet, co-editing and publishing several small poetry and literary magazines with friends, including "Bezoar" which was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. He was an amateur photographer, developing his black and white images in his own basement darkroom. This evolved into a love of historic photographs and led to him spending the last 12 years of his life working as the Photo Archivist at the Cape Ann Museum.
He was the family historian and an invaluable resource for authors of several recent books about his step-father, the poet Edward Dorn, and his artist mother Helene Dorn.
He is survived by his wife, Stephanie; his daughters, Kettie MacLean and her husband, Stan, Sunniva Buck and her fiance, Adam Costello, Yma Buck and her partner, Kevin Connearney; his grandchildren, Elaina, Keyra and Alexis MacLean, David Frazier, Savanna, Troy and Seth Balestraci and his great-grandson, Bryson Curtis; also by his sister, Chansonette Buck (and former husband, Gus Wedemeyer), his brother Paul Buck (and wife, Sasha), his brother-in-law, Stephen Abendstern-Chick (and wife Michele); also by nephews and nieces, Sara Wedemeyer (and her daughter, Stella), Ben and Andrew Buck (and Andrew's wife, Kaitlyn), Lily and Dylan Abendstern-Chick, his former son-in-law, Shawn Balestraci and half-sister, Pamela Buck.
Fred was known, respected and admired by many, and will be terribly missed by his family and friends.
A celebration of Fred's life will be held on Sunday, February 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Cape Ann Museum to support the Photographic Archive. For online condolences and register book please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
The Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published on February 14, 2018