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Edwin "Frank" Buck

January 21, 1942 December 13, 2023
Edwin "Frank" Buck
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Obituary for Edwin "Frank" Buck

Edwin Franklin “Frank” Buck, Jr., 81, Gettysburg, PA passed away suddenly on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, at the York Hospital.


He was born January 21, 1942, in East Stroudsburg, PA. Son of the late Edwin Franklin Buck, Sr. and Lilyan Aldred Buck, Frank was a native of Stroudsburg and a graduate of the Stroudsburg High School Class of 1960. He was a Boy Scout who fondly recalled attending the 1957 National Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge.


Frank went on to have a successful career in business, largely due to life lessons and the people he met along the journey. He frequently reminded his own children of his paper route as a kid. Not only did he learn a good work ethic, but it introduced him to a variety of people whom he learned to appreciate in different ways. With his earnings, he purchased his first car, a Ford Model A Coupe, for $15. After high school, Frank worked at several jobs that shaped his life. He pumped gas for $1 an hour at Coles Sunoco where he would be introduced to Corvettes and several life-long friends. Frank was devoted to WWII veterans since he was an apprentice mechanic at Herb Bush’s garage and at Tucker Chevrolet. Many of the other mechanics were veterans, some of whom told stories of the war while others did not say a word. His experience led to a lifetime passion for World War II history. Frank was proud of his time at Tucker Chevrolet in Stroudsburg where he quickly became the expert Chevrolet Corvair technician.


In 1965, he started Frank Buck Motors, opening two new Esso (now Exxon) service stations in the area. After becoming the busiest service stations in the Pocono Mountains, he added 24-hour towing and, with the purchase of a military surplus wrecker, a 1944 REO 10-Ton, he entered the heavy-duty truck recovery business. By 1969, a new garage was built to facilitate truck repair and, shortly thereafter, Frank Buck Motors moved to a larger location along I-80 in Bartonsville, PA, serving as a dealer for Mack Truck Service, White Trucks Service, Holmes Wrecker, and others. In 1977, Frank became a Peterbilt truck dealer and operated Pocono Peterbilt until early 2016. Frank was the 1985 Pennsylvania Truck Dealer of the Year and, in 1988, the Peterbilt Truck Dealer of the Year for all North America.


Besides his involvement in Frank Buck Motors, Frank was part owner of Cays and Buck Contracting, and he created several prominent residential subdivisions in the region. In 1984, Frank, his brother and their CPA, Robert Gordon, restored the 1864 train station in East Stroudsburg, formerly Delaware Lackawanna and


Western (DL&W), and opened it as “The Dansbury Depot”. It would become one of the more popular restaurants in the Poconos.


Frank had a deep passion for 1930’s Packard automobiles, early Corvettes, including Corvette race cars, Model A Fords, Lionel trains, WWII military equipment and vehicles, especially the Jeep, and WWII history. He acquired his first WWII military Jeep in 1963, which started his lifelong interest in military vehicles. In 1994, with a contingent of collectors from the US, he traveled to Normandy, France for the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Some shipped Jeeps and trucks there for the commemoration. Frank shipped an M5A1 Stuart tank, along with a Jeep. Frank also enjoyed participating in Classic Car Caravans and Glidden Tours all over the country. In more recent years, he enjoyed racing his 1957 Corvettes at the Hershey Hillclimb, something he wanted to do since he was young. Through his hobbies and interests, Frank met many wonderful people from around the world. It was something that he would forever cherish.


Though it was never part of his plan, Gettysburg was the perfect place for Frank. Frank and his wife, Loni, searched for a farm not far from the Poconos. In 1998, they found the ideal farm outside of Gettysburg. Though far from their business in the Poconos, it was the perfect place to raise the family in a close community of good friends and rich history. Delivering a large number of WWII tanks and trucks to the farm did not go unnoticed. Over the years, they would host literally thousands of people from many parts of the world, including providing a venue for charitable events, giving tours to school groups, supplying vehicles, period attire, and space for filming movie/documentary footage and enjoying impromptu dinners when people dropped by the farm. Closest to their hearts were the many WWII veterans for whom they hosted reunion dinners and came to know as friends. After selling their business, Frank and Loni would revisit the idea of a WWII museum, Frank's dream for many years. His dream became reality in June of 2022 with the opening of the World War II American Experience. Frank always enjoyed talking with museum visitors, sharing his enthusiasm for the history and values of the 1940’s, running the trains for children at Christmas and, as always, spending time with WWII vets.


Frank was a life-member, Vice-President of National Awards and former board member of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA); founding member and first President of the Pocono Region AACA; member of the Gettysburg Region AACA; founding member of the Pocono Mountain Chapter of the Model A Ford Club; founding member of the Red Ball Military Transport Club; founding member of the Wheels & Tracks MVPA; former board member and Vice-President of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA); former board member of the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA); member of the Train Collectors Association (TCA); member of the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) and Solid Axle Corvette Club; member of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America (VSCCA).


Frank was a Mason, a member of the Good Samaritan Lodge #336 and former member of the Barger Lodge #325. He was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA.


Frank is survived by his wife Loni Zimmerman Buck; a daughter, Wendy Buck of St. Petersburg, FL; two sons, Troy Buck of Gettysburg, PA, Adam Buck of Gettysburg, PA; a step-son, Nils Spurkeland and his wife Katie of Clarks Summit, PA; two step-daughters, Nancy Rixe and her husband Jeff of Wexford, PA, Sonja McDonald and her husband Mike of Jersey City, NJ; three grandchildren, Quinn Hessinger, Miles Hessinger, Eden Hessinger; four step-grandchildren, Harper Rixe, Bailey Rixe, Bode Rixe, Hallie Spurkeland; a sister, Sue Lloyd of Stroudsburg, PA and a brother, David Buck of Sugar Run, PA.


Funeral services will be held Sunday, January 21, 2024, at 1:00 PM at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gettysburg with Rev. Stephen Herr officiating. This will be followed by a procession to Evergreen Cemetery for burial. A celebration of life and receiving of friends will be held at 3:00 PM at the World War II American Experience, 845 Crooked Creek Road, Gettysburg, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the World War II American Experience, PO Box 3062, 845 Crooked Creek Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325, or at www.visitww2.org. Online obituary and condolences available at monahanfuneralhome.com.



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Previous Events

Service

Sunday

21

Jan

1:00 PM 1/21/2024 1:00:00 PM
Christ Lutheran Church

30 Chambersburg Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Christ Lutheran Church
30 Chambersburg Street Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States

Visitation

Sunday

21

Jan

3:00 PM 1/21/2024 3:00:00 PM
World War II American Experience Museum

845 Crooked Creek Road
Gettysburg , PA 17325

World War II American Experience Museum
845 Crooked Creek Road Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place

799 Baltimore St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325

799 Baltimore St. Gettysburg 17325 PA
United States
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