Walter John Buchanan, known as John, died Jan. 14 at home in Greenport, surrounded by family. He was 87.
Born in Sayo, Ethiopia, in 1931, Mr. Buchanan was the third of four sons of Presbyterian missionaries originally from Illinois.
In 1950, at age 19, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines, fought in the Korean War and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries suffered during the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir.
He subsequently enrolled at the University of Colorado on the GI Bill and moved to northern California upon his graduation in 1956. After earning a master’s in public administration from the University of California, Berkeley, he worked in local government and as a planner at University of California, Santa Cruz before building a long career in commercial real estate brokerage and development in San Jose and Silicon Valley.
An avid sailor, he led his family on blue water cruises to Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean on board the schooner Marie Celine. In 1995, he moved to Aspen, Colo., and worked in residential real estate before retiring to Greenport in 2013.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Katherine Chamberlain; his sons, Robert, of Brooklyn, and Joseph, of McCall, Idaho; his daughter, Cameron, of Fife, Scotland; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for early summer.
This is a paid notice.