Memorial service for chemical engineering student David Buck set Aug. 21
David F. Buck


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4:21 p.m., Aug. 12, 2010----A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 21, for David Frederick Buck, 21, a University of Delaware chemical engineering student who died July 30 after battling rhabdomyosarcoma for more than two years.

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The service will be held at 3 p.m., Aug. 21, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 2589 Chain Bridge Rd., in Vienna, Va.

A chemical engineering major, Mr. Buck also minored in chemistry, physics and mathematics. Despite ongoing cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he completed three semesters at UD and was named to the Dean's List each time.

In May 2009, the college honored him with the Donald R. McCoy Award for academic excellence in the face of challenging life circumstances.

In January of this year, Mr. Buck was employed at UD's Institute of Energy Conversion, where he worked with solar cells.

He was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society and the UD Student Television Network. His interests included music, photography, nuclear energy, space elevators and motorcycles.

“It is with great sadness that we learn of David Buck passing away,” Norman Wagner, chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering, said. “David left a strong, positive impression on many of the faculty and his fellow students here in chemical engineering. He had a great talent for learning and a positive and constructive attitude that remains an inspiration to his extended family of fellow students, faculty and staff here in Colburn Laboratory.”

Theresa M. Kalesse, student support associate in the College of Engineering, called Mr. Buck “a remarkable young man” and said he was “hands down the ideal recipient of the Donald R. McCoy Award.”

“The semester David returned to school after a very long bout of chemo treatment, he stopped by the Dean's Office one day to say 'hi.' We chatted for a while, as he brought me up to speed on where he was, physically, and how thrilled he was to be back to school,” Kalesse said. “Before he left the office, I gave him a College of Engineering hoodie/sweatshirt.... I'll never forget his broad smile -- from ear to ear -- donning that hoodie and giving me a thumbs-up as he left our office. He was such a sweet, gentle young man with a passion for life and a zest for learning. I am very blessed to have known him during his short time on this Earth.”

Born in 1988 in Arlington, Va., Mr. Buck graduated from Herndon High School in 2007. He played bass drum in the Pride of Herndon marching band and percussion in the wind ensemble. He also sang baritone with the vocal jazz ensemble and performed in the school's 2004 production of Les Miserables. As a student at Forest Edge Elementary and Langston Hughes Middle schools, he competed on several Odyssey of the Mind teams and co-anchored the schools' TV morning news shows.

During the summers, he swam with the Autumnwood Piranhas of the Reston Swim Team Association, and in the summer of 2007, he interned at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock (Md.) Division.

He is survived by his parents, Gene and Lori Buck of Reston, Va.; two older brothers, Nate Buck of Washington, D.C., and Andrew Buck of Fairfax, Va.; his grandparents, George Buck of Ionia, Mich., and Bob and Nancy Decker of Endwell, N.Y.; his half-sisters, Lys Buck of Brown Deer, Wisc., and Lene Kiester of Chapel Hill, N.C.; his aunts and uncles, Jan and Den Arnold of Ionia, Kaye Buck of McHenry, Ill., Shari and Brad Peck of Canandaigua, N.Y., and Carol Robbins of Dallas, Pa.; and many cousins, including Betsy and Frank Schindler of Baltimore. His grandmother, Claire Buck, died in 2001.

A scholarship in Mr. Buck's name has been established at the University to recognize excellence and intellectual curiosity in chemical engineering. Checks -- made payable to the University of Delaware -- may be sent to the David Buck Memorial Fund, Development Office, Hullihen Hall 011, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at [].