Nickerson Funeral Home

87 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA


Joseph P. Buckley

October 12, 1926April 13, 2020

Joseph Patrick Buckley, Jr., 93, of West Chatham passed away peacefully during an afternoon nap on Monday, April 13th at the CareOne nursing home in Newton, Massachusetts, where he had been staying since February. Ten days earlier, he had tested positive for coronavirus, but he had not been exhibiting any symptoms from it. Joe was born October 12, 1926 on Bearse’s Byway in downtown Chatham to Joseph (“Josie”) Patrick Buckley and Adeline (Eldridge). In 1940, when he was 14, his parents moved the family to a new house “out in the country” in West Chatham where they also operated Garden View Cottages for many decades. Also known as “Junior” to his family and “Pic” to childhood friends, he attended public school in Chatham and graduated in the Class of 1944. After turning 18 later that fall, Joe entered the U.S. Army during World War II, and was sent to serve in the Philippines as a radio-operator/rifleman with the 96th Infantry Division until the war’s end. Fortunately, because the war in the Pacific ended so quickly in the summer of 1945, Joe’s military unit did not have to participate in the Allied invasion of northern Japan that had been planned for early 1946. After returning from military service, Joe attended Northeastern University and graduated in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration. Married in 1953, Joe and his wife Lucy (Hopkins) Buckley moved to Connecticut, where he worked at the Second National Bank of New Haven. Returning to Chatham in 1957 with his young family, he took over operation of the family landscaping business following the sudden death of his father. In 1960, he and Lucy purchased several lots on Lime Hill Road, where their new house was built overlooking the Oyster Pond. The couple separated in 1969 and, following divorce, Joe moved back to his childhood home in West Chatham to live with and later care for his elderly mother until her passing in 1993. In addition to working for many private clients, he and his landscaping crews also were responsible, over many years, for maintaining the Union Cemetery and the Seaside Cemetery in Chatham, as well as the Orleans Cemetery in East Orleans. Many young Chathamites got their first “real job” pushing a lawnmower for Joe Buckley, who was often breaking into song or whistling while he worked. More than just a supervisor, Joe was always an active landscaper, climbing ladders to trim tree branches with a chainsaw even well into his 80s. He also served many years, in elective office, as Tree Warden for the Town of Chatham. Joe loved to attend movies, musicals and plays around the Cape with his surviving, longtime companion and co-worker, Jan Wilcox of Orleans, who also accompanied him on regular visits to local eateries like Larry’s PX, the Chatham Bakery, Ron’s Sandwich Shop, and Castaways. Joe is survived by his five children, Stephen Buckley (and wife Beverly) of Chatham, Katherine Waters of South Chatham, Margaret Springer (and husband Jason) of Waltham, Elisabeth Kelly (and husband Chris) of Eastham, and Andrew Buckley of Chatham, as well as his seven grandchildren, Alison Gaughen, Hannah Worthington, Sam Stinson, Hope Stinson, Noah Springer, Jonah Springer, and Sofie Buckley. He is also survived by his sister, Gloria Bodman of Machias, Maine. He was pre-deceased by his brother, Tom Buckley of Chathamport, in 2016. Due to the COVID crisis, the family has postponed the memorial service, including the internment at Union Cemetery, until sometime later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s memory to honor his devotion to trees can be made to the Friends of Trees Chatham at http://www.friendsoftreeschatham.org. Condolences can be shared online at http://www.nickersonfunerals.com.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Joseph P. Buckley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Malaquias

April 15, 2020

So sorry, Stephen and Beverly—and Jan, Katie, Meg, Beth, and Andrew. Joe was a delightful person. So gentle, so grateful. I remember the Thanksgiving I sent him home with leftovers. He appeared at our door with all the containers to return.


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