Madeline W. Buck, 81, dies of cancer

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A former longtime Baldwin resident died this month in North Carolina, her son said.

John Buck of Baldwin said his mother, Madeline W. Buck, died of cancer on Aug. 17. She was 81 and moved from Baldwin about 10 years ago.

Buck, who was born and raised in Oceanside, spent her adult life in Baldwin. She worked for many years in the Baldwin school district, first as a lunchroom aide at the junior high, and later as a teachers aide, first at the former Harbor Elementary School, and later at Meadow School, John Buck said.

Working for a school district was something of a family tradition for the former Madeline Fisher, Buck said. Her parents were a husband-and-wife janitorial team for the Oceanside school district.

During her years in Baldwin, she was very active in the community. She and her husband of 60 years, George, were members of the Oceanside Knights of Columbus and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Buck said.

“One of the things she did every year, she would volunteer for eight hours a day to give out red poppies for the VFW, here and in North Carolina,” Buck said. “I remember the poppies, that was a big thing, she was always big with the poppies.”

Her son remembered a selfless woman who would go out of her way to do something for someone no matter how inconvenient it was. That included going out on her own to solicit businesses for donations to the VFW, both locally and in North Carolina.

And the military was important to her, her son said. “My father was a veteran, and all of my uncles, of one war or another, so veterans were a big part of the family,” Buck said.

As newlyweds, the couple moved to Rhode Island, where George Buck was stationed in the Navy. When he got out, they moved to Kings Parkway in Baldwin. In 1961, they settled on Elizabeth Street in Baldwin, where they remained for almost 50 years.

“They loved living in Baldwin,” Buck said. “They used to like to go parades, they liked that everything was close.”

Baldwin, he said, was “one of those places where families went” at the time. “There were good schools and good neighbors.”

He also recalled a woman with a unique sense of humor. “She found the strangest things funny,” Buck said. “Silly things, like if someone dropped something, she’d start laughing, and everyone would say, ‘Why are you laughing?’ and she’d say, ‘Didn’t you see that?’ Then everyone else would be laughing.”

In North Carolina, she was chaplain for the VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Southern Pines, N.C. She was a member of the Ladies Guild at Our Lady of the Americas Catholic Church in Candor, N.C.

George Buck predeceased her, as did a grandson. Three children, George, Carol and Kathy, survive her, in addition to her son John. Other survivors are 11 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. After cremation and a service in North Carolina, she will be buried beside her husband at the Long Island National Cemetery in Pinelawn on Sept. 3 at 10 a.m.