OBITUARY

Dr. James Allan Buckingham

May 10, 1949August 24, 2020

Dr. James Allan Buckingham of Nacogdoches was born May 10, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan to George Burr Buckingham and Jessie Ann Watson Buckingham. He died on August 24, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He and his wife of nearly 47 years, Judy, were married on August 26, 1973 in Natchez, Mississippi. They had two children, Emily Caroline Buckingham Arnett of Hampsthwaite, North Yorkshire, UK, and Jordan Andrew Buckingham, who preceded his father in death.

Dr. Buckingham had a long and distinguished career as a psychiatrist. He was loved and admired by his patients and highly respected by his colleagues in the medical community. He was affectionately and widely known as Dr. B.

After graduating in 1971 from Albion College, Albion, Michigan, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in 1975. He served a residency in psychiatry at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, including a final year as chief resident. He accepted a position as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Duke in Concord, North Carolina, where he set up his first private practice. Recruited to move to Nacogdoches in 1982, he then served East Texas in his practice of psychiatry for 38 years, before retiring in January 2020.

He was a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was a member and past president of both the Nacogdoches San Augustine Medical Society and the East Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians.

Dr. B served as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 161 at First United Methodist Church for seven years, accompanied his troop to Philmont Scout Ranch twice, and guided many boys through the scouting program to the rank of Eagle Scout.

He was a longtime member of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club and had been honored by them with a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Jim was a man of deep Christian faith, and he lived his life as a humble follower of Jesus. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches, where he and his wife founded the Stephen Ministry program, trained over 50 Stephen Ministers, and together had facilitated a Grief Support Group for the past 10 years. He was a faithful member of the Roundtable Sunday School Class for 38 years and loved taking his turn teaching the class. A highlight of their year was the annual Christmas Charity Auction, when class members loved to see Jim wear the flashing red bowtie he had won years ago in the auction.

He was an avid gardener and loved nothing more than “piddling” in his home flower garden. He was pleased when his garden was selected for the annual Tour of Gardens by the Garden Capital of Texas Committee of Make Nacogdoches Beautiful. He was teaching his granddaughters to love gardens and to love growing flowers and plants. He was a proud member of the Royal Horticultural Society in England.

He was an adventurous traveler. During medical school, he did an internship in the United Kingdom studying the healthcare system there; and that started a lifelong love of travel. He and Judy had traveled to all fifty states and over fifty countries around the world. His last big trip was one he had dreamed of all his life. In May 2019 he led a tour group of 45 friends to Egypt and to the Holy Land.

Jim was a life-long learner. He was an avid reader and loved to learn new things; he was interested in all kinds of subjects--history, cars, soul music. When he was interested in a topic, he worked to learn everything he could about it. He was a coffee connoisseur, and he shared that interest with his son-in-law Ash. In his usual over-the-top manner, he and Ash took a full-length barista course to learn all about coffee and to make all kinds of coffee drinks.

He was well known for his sense of humor. He was terrible at telling jokes, but he always saw the amusing side of life and lightened every moment with a humorous slant on whatever was happening. His humor was often at his own expense and always put those around him at ease. Expressing humor for him was one way of showing love. For years, since she went away to college, he had sent a humorous postcard to his daughter every single Sunday night. Once her postman even admitted to looking forward to them each week.

He was a great friend and maintained many long-time friendships. Because of his caring nature he became real friends with many of his patients, colleagues, and co-workers. He was very close to a group of friends in his Emmaus Reunion group, with whom he met every Wednesday morning.

Dr. Buckingham is survived by his wife Judith Kay Prather Buckingham, daughter Emily Caroline Buckingham Arnett and husband Ash Arnett of Hampsthwaite, North Yorkshire, UK and grandchildren Abigail Faith Arnett, Eleanor Grace Arnett and Andrew James Arnett. He is also survived by sister-in-law Debbie Gee and niece Stephanie Beaver and husband Shannon Beaver and their children of Gulfport, Mississippi, and sister-in-law Lydia Ballentine and husband Ron Ballentine of Richmond, Virginia and niece Susan Ballentine of Seattle, Washington. He is survived by sister-in-law Connie Buckingham of St. James, New York, niece Susan Buckingham Christiansen and husband Edward Christiansen and their children of Holtsville, New York, and nephew Jason Buckingham and wife Chandy Buckingham and their children of Monument, Colorado.

Dr. Buckingham is preceded in death by his parents, his son Jordan Andrew Buckingham, and his brother Ronald George Buckingham.

A family graveside service is planned for Saturday, August 29, 2020 at Sulphur Bluff Cemetery in Sulphur Bluff, Texas. The family is concerned for everyone’s health in the midst of the current viral pandemic. Many of their family and friends are unable to travel just now because of safety restrictions. A memorial service for Dr. Buckingham will be planned for a later time when travel is safe, masks are not required, and hugs are welcome once again.

For those who wish to make a meaningful charitable donation in his memory, the family suggests the East Texas Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, 4908 Hightech Drive, Tyler TX 75703 or Be the Match Foundation for Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplants at www.bethematchfoundation.org.

Arrangements are under the direction of Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, Nacogdoches.

  • FAMILY

  • Dr. Buckingham is survived by his wife Judith Kay Prather Buckingham, daughter Emily Caroline Buckingham Arnett and husband Ash Arnett of Hampsthwaite, North Yorkshire, UK and grandchildren Abigail Faith Arnett, Eleanor Grace Arnett and Andrew James Arnett. He is also survived by sister-in-law Debbie Gee and niece Stephanie Beaver and husband Shannon Beaver and their children of Gulfport, Mississippi, and sister-in-law Lydia Ballentine and husband Ron Ballentine of Richmond, Virginia and niece Susan Ballentine of Seattle, Washington. He is survived by sister-in-law Connie Buckingham of St. James, New York, niece Susan Buckingham Christiansen and husband Edward Christiansen and their children of Holtsville, New York, and nephew Jason Buckingham and wife Chandy Buckingham and their children of Monument, Colorado.


    Dr. Buckingham is preceded in death by his parents, his son Jordan Andrew Buckingham, and his brother Ronald George Buckingham.

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Services

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Memories

Dr. James Allan Buckingham

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Karri Whitaker

August 30, 2020

Dr. B was my doctor for over 20 years. He definitely saved my life. He was an amazing doctor and I am proud to call him my friend. I could always talk to him about anything and know he'd give me an honest answer. He was definitely one of the best people I knew and he was loved and will be truly missed.

Connie Buckingham

August 30, 2020

Ron and I had driven from New York to Michigan and here I was about to meet his family. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I needn’t have feared. His parents were kind and his brother, Jim, then a young teenager, welcomed me wholeheartedly. Over the years Jim became the brother I always wished for. His sense of humor and wit was unique. He always looked at the positive side of things. When I met Judy, I knew Jim had picked his perfect life partner, for they both possessed similar qualities of friendliness and caring. Their life together, while not without sorrow, was a testament to their enduring love.

Rebecca Wells

August 29, 2020

How this precious man has touched so many lives! Without a doubt he saved mine. My heart and prayers go out to the family. I know he is rejoicing with the Angel's, and he has many jewels in his crown. I'm a hugger, and he didn't know what to think the first time I hugged him and told him I loved him when I left his office. From then on it was just normal. He will be missed but always loved.

Julie Smith

August 29, 2020

I was blessed to have met Dr. B years ago when I worked at Pinelands. He was such a professional, so articulate, so intelligent with a keen wit and amazing humor. One of those unique individuals that you always looked forward to seeing and having short visit with. And he truly helped so many people thru his practice. Prayers for his family during this difficult time. This world surely was made a better place by his time here. GOD bless.

GARY & ANN RENARD

August 28, 2020

Jim did a lot of good, for a lot of people, for a very long time. Legacies don’t get much better than that. Jim and Judy were
our worldwide travel buddies and we cherish those memories. Buck was my childhood friend, my college roommate, my best
man and my best friend. I miss him terribly.

Jill Carrington

August 28, 2020

Greetings,

I am grateful for Dr. Buckingham's care of me for three and a half years before his retirement. He had a wonderful manner and was very personable and unassuming. He was an outstanding Christian. I am sorry for you that his retirement was short. Warmly, Jill Carrington

William Royle

August 28, 2020

Judy
Jim will be missed. My prayers are for you to be surrounded with God’s peace. Bill Royle

Betty Montgomery

August 27, 2020

May Dr. B rest in peace.
He was a good man who helped many people in their time of need.

Patricia Wilson

August 27, 2020

Dr.Buckingham was my Dr. for quite a few years. I was helped by him quite a lot. He was also a great man. He will be greatly missed by many.

Debra Owens

August 26, 2020

Jim was one of the nicest, kindest, gentle, genuine souls on this earth. He and Judy were a team . I have such admiration for both.
Jim definitely left this world better than he found it.
Debra Owens

FROM THE FAMILY

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