Memorial Tributes for Anne Buckingham
August 30, 2015
Compiled by Susy Robison
Dee Stein: Anne was a committed member of the Casserole Brigade. She always had a meal prepared to be delivered to anyone with an illness or just home from the hospital with a new baby or recovering from surgery, or the bereaved, and, when I say a meal, I mean salad, entrée, often salmon, and a tasty dessert. Anne always said that “presentation is important." Her care packages were displayed beautifully. Her food was always "high class and very yummy.”
In addition to occasionally delivering a meal herself, she’d also leave a casserole in the fridge at the church for another member of the team to deliver in an emergency.
Dee is also grateful for the interest and took in her daughter, Emily and her rowing.
On a personal note, on more than one occasion, Anne dropped off a meal at the Rectory when I was ill . . . .
During the 20 years Anne taught at the Shadyside Presbyterian Church Nursery School, she had a number of students who also went to Calvary with her. I understand that even during a Baptism it was not uncommon for one of children to burst out in happy surprise, "Hey, Mrs. Buckingham!"
With her husband Bev and later on her own, Anne traveled all over the world. She was particularly fond of her sister-in-law, Blanche, and enjoyed travelling with her.
I believe one of their last adventures was to Egypt and Israel. (The shawl I'm wearing now was a gift she brought from that trip.) She loved sharing stories and pictures with friends.
When Anne was struggling though her last illness, her friends, Joanne Luchsinger and Julie, took her on one of the Pittsburgh house tours. While she was struggling in and out of the various houses still challenged with the vertigo that troubled her, she told them about the best barbeque in Pittsburgh and convinced them to drive to Homewood and pick some up. Then, they brought it back to her house where they enjoyed it with the corn bread she had made using Blanche’s Old Southern recipe.
I had known about Anne’s deep fondness for her cat, Sunny, and was finally introduced to this large, orange beauty one day when I stopped by. The cat was just recovering from an emergency surgery. The vet had removed a mass from her stomach that turned out to be a lot of string secured somehow by a rubber band. Anne found this particular challenge to be extremely funny. As I was preparing to leave she asked me to look at the sculptures in the garden and we stood and talked about them. I have since learned that her daughter, Anne, first told her parents about the sculptor and Anne and Bev went off to purchase them.
When I spoke to Jinny Fiske our “Hospitality Queen” and with her successor Emma Mosely the leader of our Shelter Meal team, , she told me about the many times Anne used to come to the church kitchen to help. Anne would assist with the preparations for church receptions00and with the meals the team would deliver to the men in the homeless shelter in East Liberty.
Jinny said that Anne was committed to showing up for the shelter meal and loved to make the salad. She’d take over a corner of the kitchen and always preferred to do the washing and chopping by herself. Then, if she was needed, she’d go with the team to deliver and serve the meal to the men.
I think all of us in the St Andrew’s Sunday morning Bible Study would agree that Anne brought a well-travelled and well-read quiet elegance to our group. Shortly after she settled into services here, Anne joined us most Sunday mornings in the Parlor of the old rectory as we explored the New Testament together.
Her illustrations and questions arose from both our study and from hers, and her passion for learning took her to do research on the internet and to Osher classes at the university. Then, she’d bring us handouts on points of doctrine, faith, and Christian experience to spice up our studies.
Because of the construction project last year here in the church, the Children's Nursery moved into the Parlor and the Bible Study moved upstairs and Anne would continue to come with Joanne until it was too difficult to maneuver the stairs.
We miss her wry sense of humor and no nonsense talk and called her on the speaker phone from our meeting after one of her hospital visits..
When Joanne drove to Somerset to pick up her adorable, mini-dachshunds, Anne rode along. She read from the book she had given to Joanne for Christmas, Father Thomas Keating’s book, “Open Mind, Open Heart” about Centering Prayer. Although Anne got to the point where it was hard for her to go out, she continued to meet with Joanne at the Biddles café. They would sit outside on the deck with the little dogs and talk about the books they were both reading while they sipped tea.