John Joseph Buckley, age 83, passed away at his home in Wilmington, Delaware on February 27, 2022. John was born and raised in Chester, Pennsylvania to Francis and Marie Buckley with his brother Francis (deceased) (Mickey, deceased) and his sister Ann Carney (Jack deceased). While attending his final year at St. James High School, John set the school’s long jump record in 1956, a record that remained unbroken until St James closed in 1991. John went on to Villanova University to run track winning the IC4A outdoor title as a long-jumper in 1958 (where he set a Villanova record of 25’ 6 ½”) and again in 1959 and was the indoor long-jump champion in 1960. He was inducted into the St. James Wall of Honor, the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame, The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (Delco Chapter) and the Villanova Hall of Fame. After graduating from Villanova with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, he served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1962, achieving the rank of Sergeant. John loved the Jersey shore where he met Sheila (nee Brooks) in Avalon, whom he married in the same town in 1969, a marriage that lasted 51 years creating a wonderful family consisting of Sean (Erin), Terence, and Peter (Jenna). He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Ella, Amelia, Dutch, Van, Mack, Shea, Redd, Reese and Chase. Simply mentioning John’s 32- year commitment to Alcoholics Anonymous underserves the positive impact he had on so many lives. Whether it was volunteering, driving people to meetings, rehabs or detox centers or by always answering the phone (nicknamed the “hotline”) when people needed it the most; John sponsored many people, opening his home up to many passers-through, assisting the homeless and dedicated his life to helping others achieve and maintain sobriety. John will be missed by not only his immediate family, but also his many friends and his large and expansive extended family of nephews and nieces, and grand nephews and nieces. Depending on who you are and when you knew him, he was affectionately and unofficially known as “Buck” most of his life, “Pop(s)” to his sons, “Pop-pop” to his grandkids, and to close family he was called any of the following: “JJ”, “Johnny”, “Uncle Buck” or even “UJ” (Uncle John). All of us who knew him know that he never passed judgment on any of us that crossed his path and served our community with tireless dedication. We are all blessed and fortunate to have known John Buckley and share this life with him. His selfless gestures and influence will carry on with us for years to come. A Viewing will be held Saturday, March 5, 2022 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 3200 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE 19703 from 12:30pm until 2:00pm, where a Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 2:00pm. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Alcoholics Anonymous at www.contributions.aa.org To offer condolences, please visit: Gebhartfuneralhomes.com 302.798.7726
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