Malcolm Vail Buchanan

December 21, 1922
- February 07, 2005

BROWNVILLE JCT. AND CHARLESTON - Malcolm "Mac" Vail Buchanan, 82, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend went to be with the Lord on Monday, Feb. 7, 2005, at a Bangor hospital. He was born Dec. 21, 1922, in Old Town, the son of William and Jennie Pearl (Spinney) Buchanan. Mac attended schools in Old Town and Millinocket.

During his youth he was a proud member of Troop 58, Katahdin Council, Boy Scouts of America, of Millinocket. He had been a junior counselor at Camp Roosevelt in Holden. He was a graduate of Stearns High School, Class of 1941, where he was a star football and basketball player. He was known to his classmates as "Red" because of his dark red hair. Mac worked in the South Portland Shipyard until he was drafted into the U.S.

Army Air Force during 1942, completing his basic training at Miami Beach, Fla. He completed radio school at Scott Field Air Force Base and was assigned to the 405th Fighter Bomber Group and he 510th Fighter Bomber Squadron with the rank of staff sergeant. Mac landed at Omaha Beach, France on June 13, 1944. He was stationed throughout Europe. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 4, 1945. Once returning home, Mac worked for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad as a brakeman and at Elias's Meat Market while pursuing his dream of becoming an educator.

He was graduated from the University of Maine in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. He remained in the Air National Guard Reserves for 10 years, and was called to active duty again during the Korean Conflict, from 1951-1952 as a staff sergeant. Mac later obtained his Master of Science in Education from the University of Maine during 1961. He began his successful teaching career at Brownville Junction High School during 1949, where he taught science, chemistry, American history, and algebra. He coached baseball and basketball. Mac became a "teaching principal" at BJHS during 1957 and remained in that position until the school closed in 1968. Mac's wisdom, gentle spirit, and his love for students ensured the success of the consolidation of schools into MSAD No. 41 at Penquis Valley High School, where he was the first principal, retiring during 1984. He was affectionately called "Mac the Motivator" by one student. Students were to be cherished, and disciplined with love. Mac had a deep love for all of his students, took a personal interest in their lives and futures, and was a mentor to all who needed him. To Mac, education was a privilege, not a job. He was respected by students and teachers alike, and developed a reputation of being one of the best principals in the state of Maine. He was a lifelong scholar and demonstrated leadership in every aspect of his life. He earned the admiration and fondness of everyone with whom he worked, loved, and mentored.

During his career as an educator, Mac was a member of the Maine Secondary School Principal's Association, having served as president from 1977-1978, and was chair of the Interscholastic Committee, the Basketball Committee, and the first Classification Committee that initially established the guidelines that are still used today. He loved basketball, and as chair of the basketball committee for a number of years he proudly "worked" the Eastern Maine basketball tournaments at the Bangor Auditorium each year. He served on several of the Education Commissioner's special committees, and was instrumental in pioneering the first Basic Competency Diploma program in the state of Maine at PVHS during the 1970s. He attended several national conventions, enjoying the camaraderie of his colleagues.

Mac loved the out-of-doors. He made countless annual trips up Mount Katahdin as a Boy Scout, and throughout his lifetime with family and friends. He was the seasonal caretaker for a private estate in the Katahdin Iron Works area for the past 42 years. His love for the Smiths, their extended family and B Pond cannot be measured or described. He enjoyed many wonderful hours at his camp that he built at Ebeemee Lake with his wife, family, and friends.

Mac worked as a court mediator for the Maine State Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Service for 16 years. His ability to understand human behavior; provide comfort, support, and direction; and implement conflict resolution earned him the deep respect of lawyers, judges, and families in this professional role. He was involved in a number of Republican committee activities over the years, and enjoyed his reputation of being "to the right". Mac was an active member of the Pleasant River Lodge, having been Master in 1962, and recently received his 50-year pin. He served as secretary for the lodge for a number of years, and resigned from this position last fall due to ill health. Mac was a member of the Brownville Junction Methodist Church for more than 40 years. He was recently to become a member of Bradford Baptist Church.

Mac married his high school sweetheart, Lucille Esther Barker during 1941, and she predeceased him during 1985. They had two children, Dianne Vayle Buchanan, and Timothy Kevin Buchanan. He married the second love of his life, Lisa Beth Cyr during 1990. Mac is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Lisa; daughter, Dianne of St. George; devoted and loving son, Timothy and his wife, Brenda (Larson), of Arkport, N.Y.; special granddaughters, Erin Christine Buchanan of Rochester, N.Y., and Megan Vail Buchanan of Albany, N.Y.; brother, William and his wife, Mildred; sister, Ruth LeGassey; brother, Carl and his wife, Sonya Buchanan; in-laws, Eddie and Eleanor Cyr; sister-in-laws, Thelma Malone, Margaret Gallant, Cynthia Cyr, and Amber Murphy; brothers-in-law, Henry Barker and Joel Cyr; many nieces, nephews, and special ones who touched his life; and cousins. He was also predeceased by his parents, brothers, Harold and Frank; his sister, Donna, and a special brother-in-law, Eugene LeGassey.

This obituary cannot capture the Mac that we all knew and loved. He was a true gentleman. He had a heart overflowing with love for everyone, especially his family. He was intelligent, sweet, gentle, humble, kind, honest, and wise. He was known for his quick wit and being a tease. Mac was a born storyteller, and took great delight in people believing him when he was actually "pulling your leg". He will be fondly remembered for his "Mac-isms" and his "thumb trick". He was a loving and stable force in the lives of his family members and all who knew him. His very presence in a room gave one a sense of love. We will miss how he so readily demonstrated his love through his hugs and kisses. Mac has touched the lives and earned the respect of countless friends, students, teachers, colleagues. His love, involvement and interest in our lives will be sorely missed. His spirit and influence in our lives will live on forever. At Mac's request, there will be no visiting hours. There was a memorial service and a celebration of Mac's life on Feb. 11, 2005, at the Bradford Baptist Church, Bradford, with the Rev. Donald Booker officiating. . Interment will be in the spring. If you would like to remember Mac in a special way, contributions may be made to the Malcolm V. Buchanan Scholarship Fund, United Kingfield Bank, Milo, Maine 04463; or the Brownville Junction High School Alumni Fund, P.O. Box 151, Brownville Jct., ME 04415.


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