Obituary - Jack Buchanan

Jack Buchanan

Valley resident John Santos Buchanan died suddenly Dec. 4 of cardiac arrest at the age of 51. His family provided the following.

Jack had lived in Jackson Hole since moving there with some college friends not long after they graduated from Stanford University in 1991.

Over the many years he lived in Jackson he held various jobs, ranging from a night auditor at a bank to an instructor for NOLS, but he found most rewarding his time spent working as a youth counselor at Van Vleck House and Red Top Meadows. He also volunteered as a youth mentor during his early years in Jackson.

Jack was born on March 9, 1969, in Baltimore, where he was the youngest child in a close-knit family. His parents, Charles M. Buchanan and Julia W. Buchanan, predeceased him. He is survived by his sister Julie and her family, who live in Baltimore, and his brother Bill and his family, who live outside Washington, D.C.

As a child, Jack loved camping and the outdoors, and he was drawn to mountains from an early age. He resolved to make Jackson Hole his home when he was a teenager standing atop Grand Teton during a summer wilderness trip.

Jack was much loved by his family and the close friends whose lives he touched. He will be remembered fondly — as a happy child with a sunny disposition, as a kindhearted youth who excelled in the classroom and on the field, as an adventurous young adult eager to chart his own course in Wyoming, and as a persevering man who faced his daunting health challenges with patience and resolve, never self-pity.

He was known for his quick wit, self-deprecating humor, and apt one-liners. His laid-back nature belied a deep intellect and a philosopher’s sensibility. He connected with the outdoors on both a spiritual and physical level, expressed through his poetry and his love of skiing, hiking, and backpacking. He was a generous friend who will be missed greatly.

A private service will be held this month in Baltimore. Plans for a future memorial event in Jackson will be determined.

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