Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 16, 2014

Donald F. Buchanan

FIFE LAKE — Donald F. Buchanan, 75, of Fife Lake, died suddenly March 9, 2014, in Marion, Ind., while traveling home from Florida with his wife, Jan. Don was born on June 27, 1938, in Detroit, to George and Leota (Smith) Buchanan.

He graduated from Brighton High School in 1956.

On Jan. 21, 1961, he married Janet L. Ferguson in Ann Arbor.

Don worked for Michigan Bell for 30 years, retiring in 1986. Later he worked for EDS and Clover Communications before he started his own cable design company, Telcom Design, which he ran until he retired in 2002.

Don was a member of the Upper Manistee River Association, National Rifle Association, Trout Unlimited, Michigan Bell Pioneers, plus several other organizations.

He is survived by his wife, Jan, of Fife Lake; daughters, Kelly (Mark) Yanick, of Traverse City, and Jennifer Buchanan Gelb, of Petoskey; grandsons, Leland Yanick, Nolan Yanick and Simon Gelb; and his large extended family, including his “river” family.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Don, or Duke, as he was known by many of his close friends and family, was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and a good friend to many.

He was a man of many talents and interests. He could fix anything and never shied away from a challenging project. In this retirement he became a skilled wood carver and made countless walking sticks and canes for friends and family. He was also an avid fly fisherman and traveled to numerous fly-fishing meccas with his fishing buddies. But there was no other place he loved more than “the River House,” the home he and Jan built in their retirement on the Manistee River.

Years earlier when Kelly and Jennifer were kids, Dad spent countless weekends hauling their horses to horse shows and was oftentimes the familiar voice coming from the announcer’s booth at the Saline Fair Grounds. He was always there for his girls. He loved watching his grandsons become young men and never missed an opportunity to provide encouragement or play the practical joke. Grandpa will always be the ultimate teaser.

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