Barbara Buck 120919

Barbara Buck Contributed photo

WINTHROP — Just 11 days after submitting her resignation from the Winthrop Council “due to serious health issues,” Councilor Barbara Buck died Nov. 30. She was 64. 

“She wanted to be a voice for the little guy (and) try to make a change,” said Buck’s son, Kenneth Buck Jr. of Livermore Falls. “She spoke her mind and stood up for what she thought was right.” 

Buck, “a fighter right down to the end,” was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, according to her friend Linda MacDonald. 

“She was little in stature but big in spirit,” MacDonald said.

“We knew she was ill and she had just resigned, but we had no idea it was going to be this sudden, unfortunately,” Winthrop Council Chairwoman Sarah Fuller said. “We are grateful for her service.”

Buck is the third councilor to die in the last four years. Late in 2015, Buck’s husband, Ken Buck Sr., died, and in early 2017 another councilor, David Bubier, died after a long battle with cancer. 

“It is an odd circumstance and very sad,” Fuller said.

Buck was appointed to the council in 2016 to fill the seat of her late husband, who had died the previous month. MacDonald was a member of the council when Buck’s husband died, and she recommended Buck fill his seat. 

Following that four-month appointment, she was elected to finish the term, and then reelected in November 2016 for the three-year term. 

On Nov. 5, just weeks before her resignation from the council, Buck was elected to serve another three-year term.

“She had a huge heart, (and) liked to donate her time,” he son said.

In her brief letter of resignation, Buck wrote: “I have really enjoyed my time serving the people of Winthrop. Keep those taxes down!” 

“She wanted to try and keep spending to a minimum in the small town of Winthrop,” Kenneth Buck Jr. said. “She spoke her mind and stood up for what she thought was right.”

Buck also served on the finance committee, and she was involved with Keep Winthrop Warm, a community group that provides heating assistance to those in need who do not qualify for assistance. 

“She was the backbone of our program, even when she was sick,” said MacDonald, who volunteered with Buck for Keep Winthrop Warm. 

Buck was a graduate of Winthrop High School and lived in Winthrop for most of her life. She and her husband were married 43 years. They had two children — Kenneth Buck Jr. and Carey Buck — and three grandchildren, according to Buck’s obituary

MacDonald said Buck worshiped her grandchildren and loved her family. 

She also said Buck had overcome a lot, including her husband’s death and “becoming a close friend of Bill W.” seven years ago when she entered recovery. 

“She would have celebrated her eighth year of sobriety date, but was too sick,” he son said. “She took pride in her fellow (Alcoholics Anonymous) members and her Monday night meeting in Winthrop.”

Buck worked for 28 years at the Office of Information Technology at the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, retiring in 2017, according to her family.

“She will be missed,” her son said.

The seat on the council will remain vacant until a special election can be held, according to  Fuller. 

That special election is scheduled for March 3, 2020. 

Nomination papers must be turned in by Jan. 17. On Feb. 3, absentee ballots will be available. 

The Winthrop Council presented Buck’s family with a service award during services last week after councilors were unable to present it to Buck during their Dec. 2 meeting.

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