Dana Buckley MacInerney passed away on Saturday, February 20, 2021 in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Saturday was a beautiful dark and clear night with a sky filled with twinkling stars. Light from the half-moon reflected off the blanket of snow that covered the woodland that Buckley loved so much. There was only the sound of silence as if time had stood still for just a moment. Buckley was a physicist and an astronomer. He would have loved that night sky. It was a perfect night for his soul to join the universe.
Buckley was born on April 9, 1944 in McAllen, Texas and lived in McAllen until he was fifteen years old, surrounded by a loving extended family.
At age fifteen his family moved first to Austin for a year and then to Naples, Italy where Buckley
graduated early from Forrest Sherman High School. At age seventeen, he studied for one year at the University of Perugia in Italy and became fluent in Italian. During this time in his life
he visited the church in Assisi where St. Francis of Assisi is interred. St Francis is the patron
Saint of animals and ecology. Buckley had a statue of St Francis of Assisi outside his cabin in the woods and his philosophy of caring for the Earth and all its flora and fauna was formed from his early connection to St. Francis.
At age eighteen, Buckley moved to Texas to go to University. After a year in college, he returned to Italy and during that Summer traveled with his family to their new home in the Philippines. On their way from Italy, they spent time in Greece, Egypt, India and Thailand. Buckley returned to Texas for his sophomore year of college having made a Summer trip around the World. These travels and the people that he met all contributed to his philosophy that we are all connected and need to share and take care of this beautiful Planet and each other.
Buckley became a nuclear physicist and in 1964 at the age of twenty, he spent time working at the Nuclear Effects Laboratory in White Sands, New Mexico. Soon after this Buckley left college and joined the newly formed Peace Corps. He was a member of the very first group of Peace Corps volunteers that was recruited and trained. Buckley was assigned to and lived for two years in Brazil. He learned to speak Portuguese fluently. On his return, he continued his education in Milwaukee, Wisconsin earning a physics degree. He then moved to San Diego California where he lived for many years.
In California, Buckley worked for a time as a physicist with McDonnell Douglas and, also worked at Edwards Air Force Base as a computer expert. During his time, he became more of a free spirit and was involved in the peace movement that started at that time.
In 1976 Buckley's parents bought land in Rusk County near Nacogdoches and he moved from California to East Texas to join them. Buckley embraced and became a part of this community for the rest of his life.
Buckley was a friend to all. He treated everyone equally. His goal was to leave the smallest carbon footprint that he could. He helped wherever he could. Many knew Buckley as the person who was involved in getting the Nacogdoches Farmer's Market up and running. For ten years, he could be found there every Saturday morning and as it grew events were added to include the Spring Fling and the Fall Fling. Buckley would write a folksy newsletter every Wednesday, letting everyone know which vendors would be at the market and what they would be bringing on that day. He did all of this as a volunteer. Buckley's mission was to serve and care for others. Financial compensation was not something he ever sought.
Buckley became fluent in Spanish and made trips to Mexico and Central America. He would sometimes act as a translator at the Food Bank. He was actively involved with the Farmers Market, Sierra Club, Resilient Nacogdoches, Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition, and many other groups over the years and proudly wore the hats of each group to which he belonged. He was also a member of the Green Party and was their candidate in an election. In later years, Buckley was an active member of Austin Heights Baptist Church.
Buckley’s purpose was to care for the planet. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, were words by which he lived. Buckley led by example and looked for the good in everyone. Buckley loved gatherings small and large and when music played, he would dance to the spirit within. Buckley touched countless hearts and minds. He left us too soon and was loved by so many.
Buckley was a mentor, a friend, and a well-read spiritual philosopher. We shall miss his smile, his laugh, and his quiet presence. Brilliant people described him as brilliant. In his quiet way, he effected change to leave this World a better place.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." (The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost)
Buckley was preceded in death by his parents Edith Smith MacInerney and Dana Buckley MacInerney.
Buckley is survived by his partner of 18 years Marilyn Eanes; sister Ellen O’Brien and husband John Young; brother Charles MacInerney and spouse Wilson McVicker; sister Cathy Wilson and husband Craig Wilson; niece Laura Wilson; nephew David Wilson; niece Jessica Wilson and husband Doug Boyer; and by great-nieces Senna and Ella Wilson Boyer.
In lieu of flowers, please take a moment to pay it forward with an act of kindness in Buckley's name.
There will be a memorial service and celebration of Buckley's life later in the year when it is safe for all his many family and friends to gather together to remember him.
The MacInerney family is being served by Laird Funeral Home.
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