Ralph E. Buckley
April 23, 1915 ~ July 17, 2010
Ralph E. Buckley
Northern Virginia Educator
Ralph E. Buckley, 95, a teacher, high school principal and administrator for nearly 40 years in the Northern Virginia area, passed away on Saturday, July 17 after a one-month stay in Inova Fairfax Hospital. He died peacefully, with his family at his bedside.
Mr. Buckley was a resident of Annandale, Virginia since 1954. He was born in White Post, Virginia and raised on a farm, the son of Arthur Columbus Buckley and Sarah Elizabeth Shiley. He graduated from Boyce High School in Clark County in 1933, received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1938 from Virginia Tech, and earned a master’s degree in education from George Washington University in 1949 with additional graduate study at the University of Virginia.
“Buck,” as he was known to his friends, commenced his Northern Virginia teaching career in 1938 at Fairfax High school. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941 and graduated from Officer’s Candidate School, reaching the rank of Captain. He served as an instructor during World War II, both in the U.S. and in the Philippines.
Following his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1946, he returned to Northern Virginia as assistant principal at Mount Vernon High School. In 1954 he was appointed first principal of Annandale High School, which he built from the ground upa�”he conferred with architects, stocked the Library, hired the faculty, and played a significant role in developing the curriculum. Recently, he wrote that his twelve years at Annandale High School were “precious a�” the real capstone of my career.”
In 1966 Buck was promoted to Assistant Superintendent in Fairfax County, and retired from the school system in 1976 as an Area Administrator. He occasionally commented that he did not realize the real rewards of working with students until he left Annandale High.
Following his retirement, Buck worked in the real estate field and as weekend administrator at Northern Virginia Community College. Again, he most enjoyed his interaction with the students.
Mr. Buckley remained active in the Annandale Lions Club and NVADACA, an organization which awards annual scholarships to graduating seniors in Northern Virginia high schools; the Ralph E. Buckley scholarship was endowed in his name. He was active in his church, Little River United Church of Christ, and a frequent volunteer in community activities.
Survivors include Buck’s wife of 68 years, Edith, and his son, Scott.
Little River United Church of Christ
8410 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003-3798
August 10, 2010