Donald Buchanan, 89

COLUMBIA CITY — Donald L. “Buck” Buchanan, 89, of Columbia City, died at 6:10 a.m. Monday, August 8, 2011 at The Hearth at Sycamore Village where he had been a resident since June 2008.He was born May 13, 1922 in Montevideo, Minn. to Leon G. and Alma (Wick) Buchanan.His formative years were spent in Montevideo where he graduated from Montevideo High School.On June 19, 1943 he was united in marriage to Valeria V. Bonk. They made their home in Montevideo before moving to Birmingham, Mich. and later Fort Wayne.In 1963 they moved to Columbia City. Mrs. Buchanan preceded him in death Feb. 14, 2003.As a young man, he was a licensed pilot and flight instructor. He then began his employment with the auto industry, beginning at Packard Motor Car Company, then Chrysler Motors and later Studebaker Motors.In 1963 he established Buchanan Ford in Columbia City until 1980 when he began working for Allen County Motors.In 1987 he joined his son, John, with the operations of Buchanan Automotive until his retirement. He then worked for JLS Sales for a short period of time after his retirement.His memberships included St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church.Surviving relatives include five children, Patricia (John) Woenker of Angola, Richard “Dick” (Jean) Buchanan of Columbia City, Barbara Geiger of Columbia City, John (Bethann) Buchanan of Columbia City and Deb Balyeat of Carmel; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Kyle Balyeat; a son-in-law, Jim Geiger; a brother, Richard Buchanan; and two sisters, Dorothy Johnson and Shirley Goulden.The funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul of the Cross, 315 South Line Street, Columbia City with visitation one hour prior. The burial will be in the Catholic Cemetery. The visitation will also be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City with a prayer service at 8 p.m. Preferred memorials may be made to Heartland Hospice.Condolences may be sent to