William Christian Buchanan Jr.
September 13, 1937 – June 11, 2018
WILLIAM CHRISTIAN BUCHANAN JR. 1937 - 2018
William Christian Buchanan Jr. passed away peacefully on June 11, 2018. He was born in York, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1937, the only child of William Christian Buchanan and Edith Irwin Bauzenberger. He was called "Billy” until he was about 10 years old and later went by "Chris”. His earliest recollections are playing in the woods of York and going through the scrap piles at a machine shop. At age six he moved with his parents to Houston. Chris thrived in the outdoors and as a child of adventure he loved to scour his new hometown’s bayous for huge bullfrogs which he would proudly present to his mother to cook up. Born with a natural aptitude for all things mechanical, he also spent many hours building and tinkering with powered model airplanes. Chris attended Sutton Elementary School, Lanier Jr. High and graduated in 1956 from Lamar High School. His interest was not in academics, however, and spent a good deal of his high school days souping up car engines. At one point he was notorious for having one of the fastest cars in Houston, which he wisely kept down the street at a friend’s house so his parents wouldn’t know about it and all his drag racing activities. They were not pleased with this high speed hobby of his.
Chris was attending the University of Houston as a chemistry major when he got an offer from the Air Force to attend the final class of the Cadet School at Harlingen Air Force Base. He graduated from the yearlong program with his commission and his wings in June of 1962, and moved to California where he was selected to start an Advanced Navigator and Bombardier School at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento. Shortly thereafter he moved to Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico to attend B-52 Flight School. Chris flew as navigator in about 22 bombing missions from Guam to South Vietnam, a 13 hour round-trip of about 5,400 miles. After serving his country honorably in the Strategic Air Command, he left the service to join the family business in Houston.
Chris was an avid golfer and tennis player but his true passion was for sailing. He raced his Star boat, the Midnight Rider, every Sunday at the Houston Yacht Club winning many trophies. Family vacations were spent racing in regattas along the Gulf Coast from Florida to south Texas and the annual Governor’s Cup on Lake Travis. Chris also crewed for a Norwegian sailing team in the Olympic trials. In his later years he raced J/24s, Lasers and Sunfish. He truly cherished his time on the water.
Chris loved running in Memorial Park and finished the Houston Marathon, the San Antonio Marathon and the Beach-to-Bay Marathon in Corpus Christi. He was a member of the Road Runners and continued running into his late 70s, consistently placing in the top three of his age group in the Houston Half Marathon.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents Edith and William Buchanan Sr. He is survived by the beautiful mother of his children, Bernice; his daughter Edith Williams and husband Mike, son William Buchanan III and wife Marlis, daughter Deborah Morey and husband Travis; grandchildren Hailey, Shane, Naomi, Lydia and Augustus. He will be missed by friends and family and his new family at Sunrise Community in Katy.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 16 at 3 p.m. at Katy Funeral Home (23350 Kingsland Blvd. Katy, TX 77494). A reception will immediately follow the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions of memory can be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
- Memorial Service Saturday, June 16, 2018
- Catered Reception Saturday, June 16, 2018
William Christian Buchanan Jr.
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June 15, 2018
Met Chris at Stewart’s drive in the late ‘50s we ran on S. Main Alameda Rd. and at the freeway dragstrip little did I know at that time he would marry my cousin Chris had a event full life God bless you
Robert (Bobby) Freedman
June 14, 2018
Chris and I had a wonderful friendship that started in our teenage years when we met and bonded over our love of hotrods. In the early 1960s we both had black 1952 Oldsmobiles with souped up engines. Later he had a very fast 1939 Chevy Coupe with an souped up Oldsmobile engine that was one of the fastest cars in the Houston area. We loved to take this car out on Saturday nights to driveins were hotrodders hung out. Chris and I were both attending the U. of Houston when he decided to join the Air Force and attend officers candidate school becoming a 2nd lieutenant and serving as a navigator on a B52 crew and I later attended his wedding to his lovely wife Bernice. We reconnected in later years and me and my young daughters spent time with his family when his kids were young. Chris loved sailing and racing and I remember the times he and I went sailing on his starclass racing boat. I will always remember his enthusiasm for the things he loved including golf, running, sailing, and racing hot rods. Chris was always a true friend and I will forever miss him.