Thomas “Tom” Addison Buckner III

Thomas “Tom” Addison Buckner III

A memorial service for Thomas “Tom” Addison Buckner III, age 86, died April 9, 2021, will be held Saturday, May 1, 2021, 2:45 pm family/friends reception, 4:00 pm service,

5:00 pm fellowship at Canyon Creek Baptist Church, 4306 S 31st St, Temple, Texas.

Tom was born May 15, 1934, in San Marcos, Texas. He is survived by his daughter Bonnie Bumpus and husband Dave of Belton, son William “Bill” Buckner and wife Cindy of Temple. Grandchildren include Jamie Snyder and husband Scott, Addison, Victoria, and Virginia Buckner. Great-grandchildren are Aubrey and Holden Thomas.

He is preceded in death by his wife Helen Jones Buckner whom he married September 8, 1956, parents Thomas Addison Buckner Jr. and Virginia Anderson Buckner, a sister Suzanne and brother Kay.

Buckner graduated from San Marcos High. He attended college, earning a B.A. in English from Southwest Texas State University before entering the Air Force in 1956.

In the USAF, he received his wings as a single-engine jet pilot and served as radar intercept controller in Alaska during his active duty.

Following the Air Force, Buckner returned to San Marcos where he headed the news department and helped manage the family newspaper The San Marcos Record. He eventually became part-owner and editor.

While with the Record Buckner was elected president of the South Texas Press Association and was active in the Texas Press Association as treasurer and member of the Board. He was on a committee of the TPA that wrote the proposed legislation that became the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Buckner became active in the Texas Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve and retired from military service as a lieutenant colonel in 1984. He was named the Reserve’s Outstanding Public Affairs Officer (worldwide) in 1975 and received the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.

Buckner was active in Boy Scouts. He served seven years as scoutmaster, a pack leader, an assistant Explorer advisor and as district chairman. He received scouting’s Silver Beaver Award.

Tom was ordained a deacon in the First Baptist Church of San Marcos.

After 54 years in business the family sold the Record in the early 70s. Tom obtained a position at Southwestern University in Georgetown. He served as public relations director and taught a course in reporting. While there he worked on advanced degrees in mass communication at UT Austin and received a Master of Arts degree in 1981 and a Ph.D. in 1988.

In Georgetown Buckner was elected a director of Georgetown’s Chamber of Commerce, served as chairman of the deacons in the First Baptist Church, and as president of the Rotary Club.

Tom fulfilled his goal of teaching journalism at the collegiate level when he became head of the journalism department at McLennan Community College in Waco in 1984.

While at MCC he was chosen by the school’s faculty as a candidate for the Piper Award, received a Teaching Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, was named the Outstanding Journalism Adviser by the National College Media Advisers Association, received the Edith Fox King Award for outstanding support of the (UIL) journalism program, served as president of the Community College Journalism Association, and named to their Hall of Honor in 2001. He also was elected president of the Texas Community College Journalism Association and was active on the board of the Texas Intercollegiate. He retired at the age of 65 after 15 years at MCC.

Buckner and his wife moved to Temple where he served twice as deacon chairman at Canyon Creek Baptist Church, taught Sunday school, and served twice as president of the local Gideons.

In lieu of flowers, the Buckner family humbly request that memorial gifts be made in dad’s memory to:

The Gideons through its GideonCards or by sending donations to The Gideons International, P. O. Box 1023, Belton TX 76513.

Canyon Creek Baptist Church designated for the library or building program.

The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS)

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