A local legend, Sam Buck II (locally known as Sam Buck, Sr.) was born on San Juan Island in 1927 and spent most of his life here. His parents, Sam and Faye Buck, arrived in the islands from Nebraska in 1918. He is the oldest San Juan Islander who was born here. Buck served in the Navy during WWII. He and his wife Barbara have four children, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
In 1960 Sam and Barbara opened San Juan Properties Real Estate Company, now known as Coldwell Banker San Juan Islands, Inc. No one has provided more property for home construction and has been involved in more real estate transactions in the San Juan Islands than Sam Buck. His efforts have transformed what the county once considered worthless land into valuable properties contributing substantially to the local tax base.
Buck has been involved in environmental preservation efforts in the islands, the first person to incorporate self-imposed environmental restrictions with the development of Brown Island. He was instrumental in the creation of the golf course and the original development of Roche Harbor as well as its eventual transfer to the new owners. He arranged for the University of Washington to buy False Bay, preventing dredging it for a marina. Buck bought Goose Island and then sold it to the Nature Conservancy to prevent construction of a proposed bridge connecting the south end of San Juan Island to Lopez Island.
Buck participates in many local organizations. He was the charter President of the Lions Club, where he is a Melvin Jones Fellow. He belongs to the American Legion and is a past Master of the San Juan Islands Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters. He is a charter member of the San Juan Island Yacht Club.
Buck is a supporter of the arts. He has loved music and singing since childhood, when he sang at so many weddings and funerals that he was known as “Marry ‘em and Bury ‘em Sam.”
After supporting construction of the San Juan Community Theatre, he played Daddy Warbucks in the opening production of Annie. He also established the Kinderfund to bring music instruction to K-6 grade children.
Buck and his wife Barbara continue to support their extended community — Friday Harbor, San Juan Island and the San Juan Islands, the place he has loved most throughout his life. He has written three books [The Buck Stopped Here, A Letter to the People of Our Amazing and Wonderful San Juan Islands and Every Day Is an Adventure (Growing up on San Juan Island)] that are available at Griffin Bay Bookstore.