Irvin W. “Bucky” Weaver


Irvin W. Weaver, known to almost everyone as Bucky, succumbed to lung cancer on December 6, 2020, after a brief stay at Parlin Hospice in Wayland, MA. He died just days before his 70th birthday.

Born in New Haven, CT, to Irvin Woodward and Harriet P. Weaver, Bucky spent most of his childhood in Mississippi and Alabama, where his father was a professor of philosophy and religion. He graduated from Indian Springs School (Indian Springs, AL) in 1968 and from Williams College (Williamstown, MA) in 1972. In 1981 he earned a BFA from Mass College of Art and Design.

He is survived by his sister, Sarah Weaver, of Haverhill, MA, and numerous cousins.

Bucky worked as a conservator for more than 30 years at the New England Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA, where he helped preserve paper-based collections that included everything from historical documents and maps to photographs, money, and even wallpaper.

In retirement, Bucky was able to devote more time to his garden and to artistic pursuits. A resident of MA, since 1997, Bucky was a familiar sight in his yard, where he spent countless hours plotting, tending, and harvesting blue-ribbon vegetables. He was a passionate and generous gardener, often bringing pounds of produce to the food pantry and to neighbors. His talents were surpassed only by his modesty: few friends knew he was a lifelong painter and an accomplished potter. He studied for many years with Iris Minc of Purple Sage Pottery.

Bucky was also a voracious reader, especially of literature and history. One classmate recalls he always marveled at, and was inspired by, the breadth of Bucky’s intellectual curiosity. Family, friends, and neighbors will miss his quiet, gentle spirit. He leaves behind many broken hearts.

Due to the pandemic, no public visiting hours are planned. Instead, please share your favorite memories of Bucky in the Condolences section below. Donations may be made in his memory to Boxborough Conservation Trust, The Trustees of Reservations, or Acton Nursing Services (actonnursingservice.com).

 

For Legacy.com: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?n=irvin-weaver-bucky&pid=197246247&fhid=41739

 

For Lasting Memories and Gallery: https://www.lastingmemories.com/memorial/irvin-bucky-weaver

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33 Condolences

  1. Sarah Weaver on December 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    As the last one standing from the immediate Weaver family, I’m devastated by the sudden loss of my brother. The past few months spent helping Bucky deal with numerous health issues have been wrenching, the hardest of my life. For weeks it felt like two steps forward, three steps back. Life has never felt more cruel, more unfair, more surreal.

    Though I am a firm believer in practicing gratitude, that mindset has been hard to maintain recently. However, I recognize that helping and caring for my brother over the last few months brought us closer, and highlighted several wonderful qualities I never fully appreciated, as we were opposites in many ways.

    As Bucky and I navigated countless unfamiliar and often unpleasant settings, I was impressed by his extreme politeness—something I had not been in a position to witness before. He always very deliberately said thank you to his many caregivers and tried to remember their names. His gentlemanly manners are rare these days.

    Second, Bucky honed his intelligence through extensive reading, keeping notes of his thoughts and questions as he went. This is how he built a solid foundation of knowledge that he expanded throughout life. I’ve often lamented that my brain functions more like a sieve, so perhaps I should take up some of those habits.

    I have long been a beneficiary of Bucky’s gardening prowess, so I knew he had the family green thumb. But as I tried to maintain his garden in the most minimal way mid-drought, I appreciated the depth of his gardening knowledge and his expertise in execution. He planned and tended his garden with patience, persistence, and precision.

    I always assumed Bucky and I would be carving Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas beasts well into our dotage. It was simply not to be. I am honored to have been able to dote on my brother for even a short time and show him that I loved him.



  2. Charlie Cameron on December 8, 2020 at 1:41 am

    I lost a childhood friend .I surely miss my friend give me a call .



  3. Charlie Cameron on December 8, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Charlie Cameron 678 422 8774



  4. Lawrence Quan on December 8, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Fond memories of a gentle soul.



  5. Thomas (Tim) Knight on December 8, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Bucky and I were at Indian Springs as teenagers in high school. A great guy, always fun to talk to. A bright and compassionate person. Sorry to hear of his passing.



  6. Jane Benson on December 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Bucky, my cousin who was born 12 hours before me, was the brother that I never had.
    We spent idyllic summers at our grandmother’s home playing with Sarah and Charlie. We dug holes to China many times, swept the front yard clean, fished, and ate popsicles. We were showered with unconditional love. Bucky always shared new
    comic books, and later pottery, paintings and his special bread. Before we both left for college we had a deep conversation about how important our family had been in our lives. Neither of us ever forgot, and Bucky’s demeanor demonstrated the best part of that life. I feel like part of me is missing.



  7. Shonnie Wright on December 9, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    Bucky always seemed very serious to me, but the last time I saw Bucky, I saw him smile and it was beautiful. I had made a german chocolate cake and I caught him eyeballing the cake several times before he finally asked “Does that cake have nuts in it?”. I answered that it only had pecans to which he seemed very delighted and then confessed he was allergic to some nuts but pecans were fine, and then gave me a smile that lit up the room, then proceeded to eat a large slice with much satisfaction. I’m happy to have that simple memory with his beautiful smile.



  8. David Joyall on December 11, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Bucky and I were coworkers together at the Conservation Center. His artistic talents and patience served him well for many of the unique projects he worked on. I loved his dry sense of humor and all of his long time coworkers will miss him.



  9. Monique Fischer on December 11, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I worked with Bucky at the Conservation Center for 20 years. I admired his artistic skills and wealth of knowledge about paper conservation. His skills as a gardener were extraordinary! Even after retiring from the Conservation Center, he would stop by for a visit and share the bounty from his garden. He will be missed.



  10. Steve Dalton on December 11, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Bucky’s passing. We were co-workers for many years at the Conservation Center, where his kind heart and gentle spirit were in evidence every single day.

    Sarah, I am very sorry for your loss. Bucky was a genuinely good man, and I am grateful for the privilege of knowing him. May he rest in peace, and may his memory be eternal.



  11. Julie Martin on December 11, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Bucky was a true gentle spirit and I worked with him for many years at the Conservation Center. I have 2 pieces of his beautiful pottery, which I will always treasure. His work as a very talented conservator was legendary. And yes, I remember the vegetable deliveries, even after he retired. He will be missed!



  12. Bill Veillette, Executive Director, NEDCC on December 11, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    When we learned of Bucky’s passing here at NEDCC, everyone who had the pleasure of working with him was totally shocked. A common refrain among the staff about Bucky was how he never seemed to age over the 33 years he worked here. Everyone enjoyed Bucky’s company–everyone. He was the most kind, gentle, and thoughtful person I’ve ever known. We will miss him.



  13. Kiyoshi on December 11, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Bucky, I had a crazy harvest of parsnips this fall. They were a lot, big and sweet. I even have plenty left in the garden for the spring harvest. I could never grow them any larger than a pencil size in the past. I thought of you when I was picking them. You gave me you parsnips in the spring in the past and they were my favorite. Now I figured out those parsnips in my garden were the gift from you. Thank you and Rest in Peace.

    Kiyoshi



  14. Kiyoshi and NEDCC buddies on December 11, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Bucky,

    When is your birthday, anyway?



  15. Ellen Marlatt on December 11, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I remember Bucky so fondly, having worked together at NEDCC in the late 80s and 19990s. He taught me a great deal in his gentle and patient way, especially when handing over the mantle as operator of the leaf casting machine, a beast that required no small measure of art and intuition. In passing the baton, we came up with a “secret” greeting – a slight bow as we each mimicked opening the lever that allowed the water to flow through the paper fibers, thus producing the cast paper. I had hoped to help celebrate his retirement, and am sorry I never got to do that. He was a rare and special breed of man, and it was an honor to have known him.



  16. Walter Newman on December 11, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Sarah, I was shocked and saddened to hear about Bucky. He and I started out as working conservators and at NEDCC at roughly the same time, and I was fortunate to have him as a collaborator, an adviser, and when needed a comic relief for most of my adult working life. Despite his unassuming nature, he was one of the smartest, most talented, and funniest people I have known, and he was universally liked and respected. I am so glad that you were there to help him though his illness. You have been a wonderful sister to him, and you must be very proud of him.

    I’ve made a donation to the Boxborough Conservation Trust in Bucky’s honor.



  17. Mary Wootton on December 12, 2020 at 3:05 am

    Hearing of Bucky’s passing is a terrible shock and I am terribly sad. As has been mentioned, he always was extremely youthful and full of projects and energy to work outdoors and in his garden. He was a quiet person, but was tremendously observant and thoughtful. He was also a great storyteller. He had lots of humorous stories to tell about growing up in Alabama and Mississippi and funny characters that he encountered. His stories were kind, like he was. One of my favorite stories was about how he shot a squirrel with his bb-gun. He felt horrible about killing the squirrel, but his father had him carry the squirrel to the home of a poor man that lived in their community. He gave the squirrel to the man to cook for his dinner. Bucky never shot that gun again, but he felt that, at least, something positive had come out of a bad situation.

    Bucky has left us with so much beauty. He left us with wonderful paintings and pottery, and with beautiful memories. I will miss visiting him in his lovely home in Boxborough. I am happy for Bucky that he lived, so much, a life of his own choosing. He had a spectacular property that he maintained beautifully. He had time to pursue his many hobbies and interests. I wish he had had more time. There are so many books out there to read. We will miss him terribly.



  18. Marie Culver on December 12, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    I interned at NEDCC in the early 80’s. Bucky was a kind and knowledgeable colleague and understood how to work with Donald, who ran the leaf caster at that time. I used to wear a lot of black, being on a limited budget; one time Bucky remarked that he used to wear black too, but that he had since mellowed.

    A number of years ago I stopped by the Center and was pleased he remembered me. He looked just the same – the cartoon from the Globe does him remarkable justice.

    Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss. The help you gave your brother through that difficult time must have been profoundly appreciated.



  19. Amanda Hegarty on December 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Dear Sarah—I’m so sorry. Bucky was a dear friend and a gentleman to all.



  20. Mary (MP) Bogan on December 12, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Sarah, to you and your extended family, I was fortunate to have worked with Bucky for many years at NEDCC. As so many others have already said, he was an amazingly skillful and talented conservator, as well as a most generous and wonderful colleague. He was kind, patient, and fun to be around. When I asked him for a suggestion on how to do something, he generally offered me options instead of a single answer. While I sometimes wished for a “do it this way” response, I realized that he was helping me more than I could know by reminding me to be nuanced, innovative and creative in my thinking and approach. Everything he did — work, gardening, ceramics, painting, friendship — was done with creativity and kindness. I am grateful to have known him. Please accept my most sincere condolences.



  21. Tory Bunting on December 12, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Dear Sarah, losing your brother must be profoundly difficult to bear. You have written beautifully about his life and your bond with him. I offer my deepest and most sincere compassion for your suffering.
    Bucky was a very kind and special person. He taught me so much about treating documents and maps. He was always willing to lend a hand. I relied on his help and valued his ideas a lot. He never offered unsolicited advice, and always gave more than one solution to a problem when asked. He was a real gentleman and a gentle man. He came across as shy, but he was a good listener and conversationalist.
    I especially treasure my times visiting him after his retirement. He often provided a
    a delicious meal that he served on the beautiful pottery he had made. I enjoyed hearing about the intricacies involved in throwing and glazing. I have a few of his pieces, both given and purchased, that I cherish. He loved to talk about his gardens and would always share his bounty. I have several stands of irises, phlox and daylilies from him that still grow robustly. He would also show me the paintings he had been working on, and talk about the quality of light he was trying to get at. He had so many talents.
    My last visit with him was more than a year ago. We went to the Fruitlands Museum, where I had never been. We had talked about going a few times, so I am glad we finally did that. It was a pleasant late fall day, and we spent a good amount of time there as we toured all of the buildings. As I said goodbye I thought I would see him again in the spring. In honor of our last outing and my profound admiration for Bucky, I have made a memorial gift to the Trustees of Reservations. The next time I go I will place a stone there in remembrance of him. Rest in peace, dear friend.



  22. Deb Wender on December 13, 2020 at 3:40 am

    Dear Sarah, I was surprised and saddened to learn about Bucky. He was a treasured friend and a valued colleague. As everyone who worked with him knows, he was an extremely talented conservator who always provided thoughtful guidance about projects. Bucky was quiet, serious and patient with a great sense of humor to boot. It was a pleasure to work with him.

    I am the lucky owner of one of his paintings, a pot and a gorgeous bowl that he gave me when I retired. He knew it was my potato salad bowl that I always show off when I take it to a pot luck. We were fellow gardeners and shared stories and tips, although his fabulous garden put mine to shame. He won prizes after all! After I retired we shared gardening stories each year and traded ideas for new things to plant. We complained about the critters that attack our gardens too, and in his most recent letter he wrote that the turkeys would peck at his plants and even uncover potatoes when they took dirt baths in the garden. It’s time for me to write my annual letter to Bucky and I am so sad that he is not there to share the year’s experiences.

    Sarah, I am so glad that you could spend so much time with Bucky and help him through the last year. My condolences to you and all of Bucky’s extended family. We have all lost a lovely gentle man to the universe.



  23. Pavlos Kapetanakis on December 13, 2020 at 5:09 am

    I was very sad to hear of Bucky’s passing. I worked with him 15 years ago at NEDCC, where I spent a year as an intern and he supervised me on some of my projects. I admired his deep knowledge and skill but ultimately his kindness and good humour. His skill at retouching was remarkable; he always got it right the first time! I, too, received offerings from his garden; I remember distinctly an enormous amount of fragrant basil, which our colleague, Suzanne, offered to turn into delicious pesto. His memory will live on also in his numerous students from home or overseas, like myself, that he taught and inspired.



  24. Amanda Hegarty on December 13, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    There are lots of wonderful memories of Bucky and they are flooding in. One winter there was a big snowstorm at night. After the storm broke we went out for a nighttime cross-country ski in a nearby church cemetery. It was very beautiful with sparkling fresh snow and so quiet. We stuck to the roads and avoided skiing over the buried—nonetheless, we were spied and chastised. We did feel slightly rebellious and agreed firmly that if we ever found ourselves in a church cemetery for the long haul, we would love the idea of people enjoying themselves, skiing over us. I will think of him always, outside in his garden.



  25. Karen Potje on December 14, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    I have very fond memories of Bucky from my internship at NEDCC in the mid 80s. He was quiet and gentle – so quiet that when his quirky sense of humour snuck out at you, it was doubly funny for being so unexpected. And his paintings – just beautiful! I too am shocked and saddened by his passing.



  26. Jackie on December 15, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I came to NEDCC after Bucky retired, but the lore of “Bucky Bowls” and his incredible talent with color matching was spoken of often, and I have fond memories of the few times he came to the office with his beautiful pots and to leave us treats from his garden. I only spoke to him a few times but he always struck me as quietly kind and very generous. I have a couple of small cups he made and cherish them dearly. So so sorry for your loss.



  27. Michael Lee on December 15, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Well Bucky, we’re certainly going to miss you. I’ll miss our chats about the Red Sox season, your ceramics class, and car repairs. Remember how we use to joke about work at Abbot Hall watching Donald sit on the rear portico eating his Cheese Nips or were they Cheez-Its, I don’t remember. I do remember the day Walter heated up your metal work stool with a tacking iron before you came back to sit down. That was something to see. I remember stopping by your place to visit you and Zeno down the street from our house and you helping me regularly change my oil. How long did you keep that Volvo 240 running? I thought the wheels would have to fall off before you decided to get rid of that car. All the gardening you did behind West Parish church and the wild blue berries growing back there. The landscape paintings you did, still lives in the apartment of small toys, and of course vegetables are all very memorable. I still have your painting of onions at home. Thanks! Even though I had to beg you for a painting for over 13 years before you gifted me one. Got your ceramics on display too. They all come with fond memories. Well, my friend, I’ve said enough. You rest well and we’ll meet again to talk about the Red Sox.



  28. Tim Schultz on December 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Bucky and I were good friends for almost 50 years, going back to our days at Williams. We enjoyed good music and good times over the years, going to an occasional concert or art exhibit. Our friendship was grounded on mutual trust, respect, intellectual curiosity and appreciation of the arts and literature.

    These are just a few of my memories of Bucky over the years.

    After Williams, Bucky lived in Harvard Square, then Union Square Somerville, and then moved out into the country to Andover, and later to his house in Boxborough. In the middle period, Bucky had his faithful canine companion, Zeno (son of Ziggy, our friend John Knight’s dog). When Zeno died and friends encouraged Bucky to get a new dog, he just couldn’t do it; Bucky’s kind, gentle feelings couldn’t bear another loss like losing Zeno.

    Bucky was much more in his element as a country boy, where he could nurture his passion for vegetable gardening. In telling others about my good friend, I’d sometimes refer to him as Bucky of Boxborough, Gentleman Farmer. When I’d visit Bucky in season, we’d go out to his garden plots to inspect the fruits of his labor, and he’d snip some of the harvest, insisting I carry some home. Bucky was such a perfectionist, he’d criticize his crop, but he won community prizes again and again and produced incredibly tasty vegetables every year.

    His work at the NE Document Conservation Center seemed to be a good fit for Bucky’s artistic sensibility and attention to detail, and he enjoyed learning his metier and making friends with colleagues there. It was fun visiting Bucky at NEDCC to see some of the projects he was working on. Bucky’s NEDCC work was a good progression for him after he earned his MFA from the Museum School in Boston.

    Bucky was an excellent painter, and it was always interesting to visit and see the latest paintings he’d finished or was working on; they might be landscapes, onions, articles of clothing, small animal figures- studies of things close to hand. However, Bucky was very modest and self-critical- he sometimes wouldn’t want to part with a painting, because it wasn’t quite what he’d hoped to accomplish. I am so appreciative of the several paintings Bucky gave me, that I was able to pry loose over the years! Bucky was equally modest about his pottery making, but turned out beautiful pieces; I have a set of deep blue coffee mugs Bucky gave me, a prize possession I use daily. Bucky had recently renovated a section of his place that has good windows and light, and that was a bright spot for him to ply his trade, especially when he had more time to devote to painting after he’d retired.

    While Bucky felt he hadn’t always used his time at Williams to best advantage, he loved reading, and he was a curious and prodigious reader (especially in more recent years). One of the things I will miss most at losing Bucky is our literary, history and art conversations. We’d share books, discuss authors and literary styles, periods of history, and artists and art exhibits. Bucky’s range of reading became impressive and inspirational: in the past two or three years he’d read the entire Bible twice, and he was tearing through numerous novels by all those challenging Russian authors. We’d trade recommendations and books we liked.

    Sharing Bucky’s company was always such a pleasure, and we’d have great times whenever John Knight could join us. When you saw Bucky, you had the enjoyment of outstanding conversation, but also the good fortune to be with someone of such decidedly good character. Bucky had the utmost honesty and integrity and commanded everyone’s trust and respect. He had a great sense of humor, often accompanied by his wonderful wry smile. He was always so hospitable and extraordinarily courteous and gentlemanly-plus fun to share a beer with!

    Bucky’s friendship was of the great gifts of my life. I will sorely miss him and hold dear his memory.



  29. Stuart Pearman on December 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Bucky was my lifelong friend. His loss, and his memory, loom large now.

    He was a gentle man and a gentleman, generous of heart, a man of unfailing character and grace, of bright mind and eager intellectual curiosity, of wry humor, and yet, a private man with a strong core and a true strength, one who saw life, and lived it, on his own terms and in his own way.

    He was a patient, skilled and dedicated farmer, a voracious reader of all sorts of great, classic books that he checked out from the library, a seldom (maybe never) satisfied painter, and a happy potter. He spoke often and fondly, of his sister Sarah and of his lifelong, treasured, respected and beloved friend, John Knight.

    I saw him in person a couple of times in recent years. He met me for dinner at Capital Grille in Boston when I was there during a business trip. He said he had not had a drink in five or ten years, but he had one that night, and we talked, old times and new. And Liz and I stopped by his house, one bright sunny afternoon in June in 2017. We had been to the 45th reunion at Williams and were driving from there to Boston to attend an industry conference. I could finally see so much we had talked about over the years: his garden – coming in now, his home of small rooms with their comforts and charms, the light in the studio he had finished out, the shed he had added. We sat on his front porch and talked over books he was reading and ideas he was turning over in his mind, daily life, Williams. He set out his bowls and let us pick. We chose a glazed blue one that we love, in our kitchen, where we also placed an onion painting he sent me years ago – we love that too. He served us key lime pie and iced tea. And then we left for Boston.

    I had always hoped he would come to Chapel Hill for a visit. And wondered if he and we would go to the 50th reunion, or maybe just get together separately for our own reunion, rebels without a cause, to the end.



  30. Christina Bellinger on December 23, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Bucky was a studio friend from Purple Sage Pottery. I admired his work and his dedication. I also enjoyed his wit and sense of humor. We shared a few favorite authors and his insights were always spot on. I will miss his quiet presence, his manners, and his conversation.



  31. Sarah V Weaver on December 29, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Bucky Weaver: a kind, intelligent and steady friend. We shared similar strong interests in clay and gardening. He widened my horizons in art and literature and life in general, sharing many interesting places around the Boston area with me when I was visiting at his home. I treasure my memories of the long walks we took along the hill road where he lived. He will be remembered fondly by me. I miss him.
    from: Becky Bolton on December 25, 2020



  32. John, Bonnie, Simon & Olivia Knight on December 31, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I was fortunate enough to have been able to talk with Bucky almost every day during these last difficult months, and we shared many memories, hopes, fears and even laughter as we spoke. I will always treasure our 52 years of friendship that began at Williams College and continued throughout our lives. As everyone here has noted, Bucky was a true gentleman, the most decent and honorable person I have ever known. He lived a good life on his own terms creating many beautiful things- his paintings, his pottery, his garden and our wonderful memories of him. Dear Bucky- I miss you and will think of you always. Rest in peace.



  33. Terese Julie Brown on August 10, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Dear Sarah, I first met Bucky when we both worked at the Ritz Carlton when I was 20 and he was 24 and then we met again when we both attended Mass. College of Art. He was such a lovely man and I remember his dog as well in those early years. We last wrote to each other in 2018. Such a modest artist, gentle, intelligent, funny and generous person. I am so sorry for your loss. I am very sad to see this news of Bucky.



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