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Rex A. Buker

January 1, 2022

Rex A. BukerRex Albert Buker, 86, from Clayton and formerly San Antonio, FL, passed away at his home in Clayton on January 1, 2022 with his family by his side, along with his wonderful caregivers.

Rex was born in Watertown, NY on May 23, 1935, the son of Melvin A. and Marguerite (Betty) Touron Buker. Rex is survived by his children Michael J. (Patty) of Clayton and Ft. Myers FL, Debbie M., Centennial, CO, and John D. (Pam), Clayton; grandchildren Curtis Buker (Aubrey), Plattsburgh, Laura Cameron (Steve), Centennial CO, Kylie Morgia (Mark), Clayton; Timothy Buker (Victoria), Reno, NV, Jenna VanThof (James), Rochester, NY, Lennon Buker, Clayton, Cara Unruh, Loveland, CO, Ariel Cornaire, Depauville, Aliceson Cornaire, Clayton; great-grandchildren, Winter, Bryanna, Jax, Rocco, Jase, Cameron, Madison, Rex; as well as twin brothers Reginald F. Buker, Clayton and Roger F. Buker, Sylvan Beach, NY.

Rex was predeceased by his wife, Betty Jean, his son Albert M. Buker; his parents and sisters, Lorraine A. Wiswell, Watertown and Vivian M. Sheldon, Elizabethtown, KY, and sister-in-law Mi Cha "Chris" Buker, Clayton.

Rex graduated from Copenhagen High School and later attended Clarkson University. He served in the US Army Reserves, with an Honorable Discharge in April 1961. His early career in the grocery business began with Loblaws, North Syracuse, NY where he met Betty Jean Daily, his future wife of 61 years. Later working as a store manager for Grand Union Supermarkets he was transferred to Alexandria Bay, NY, where the young family fell in love with the 1000 Islands. In 1966 Rex was offered an opportunity to buy a "Big M" supermarket franchise, moved his family to Clayton, and opened the Clayton Big M in 1967. A few years later Rex opened another Big M in Alex Bay, later selling the business to his brother-in-law, John Daily. In 2012 the business was sold and is now known as the Clayton Surefine Supermarket.

Rex was an avid sportsman. He loved spending time at his hunting camp on Cooks Pond in the Adirondacks. He was a long time member of the Cranberry Lake Fish and Game Club. He especially loved deer hunting with his father, brothers, and his sons. Rex enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren sports events, including in this last year watching hockey games through online cameras.

Rex and Betty loved to travel, going to many hockey games while their kids were growing up in the States, Canada, and Europe. They especially loved their trips to Colorado as long as they stayed out of the mountains, and the beaches of Aruba.

Rex cared deeply about community. In Clayton he held many volunteer and elected positions including, two terms on the Clayton Village Board of Trustees, lifetime honorary member of the Clayton Fire Dept., Board of Director of the Thousand Islands Museum, member of the Board of Trustees for the Antique Boat Museum, President and Zone Director of the Clayton Lions Club, President of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Clayton Minor Hockey. He also started a Junior C hockey team for older teens from the Clayton, Alex Bay, and Watertown area, later joining a competitive league in Canada. Rex was one of the founding members of the Clayton Improvement Association (C.I.A.). One of their first projects was to establish the Clayton Medical facility, and recruit two doctors to the area.

In San Antonio, FL, Rex was one of the original participants with a local "golf cart" First Responders group, volunteers that assisted in emergencies before EMTs could arrive. He was active with the San Antonio Methodist Church's men's group, which raised funds for bikes for children, contributed to the local food pantry, and other worthwhile projects in the San Antonio area, joined a group from the Church to build homes in Costa Rica. He was recognized by the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch group as an avid supporter. Rex volunteered several years in Tampa at the Outback Steakhouse Pro Am.

Rex was a former member of the Clayton United Methodist Church in Clayton, and San Antonio United Methodist Church in Florida. In later years, he was a member of the Agape House in Lafargeville, under the ministry of Pastor Don Brient.

A memorial service will be held at a future date to be announced by the family, with burial at the Clayton Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton. Online condolences may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers the family would ask that donations be made to a local charity of your choice, Alzheimer's Association of Central NY, Franklin Square Station, Box 12226, Syracuse, NY 13218, or Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY 13601.


#19 Linda Shaffrey-Slone 2022-02-25 18:02
Mike, Debbie and family,
I just heard and am so sorry about Rex. My condolences to all of you.
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#18 Myrle & Beth Bauer 2022-01-27 20:16
What a legacy!

His fingerprints were all over Clayton. We are honored to be a small part of his journey. He left Clayton a better place.

He is missed, but the name continues......
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#17 Darlene Young 2022-01-14 11:25
We were deeply saddened to hear of Rex's passing. Darcy & I were first introduced to Rex by Darcy's Mom (Lil) & Dad (Bill) when visiting them in Florida at Tampa Bay. Rex became a good friend. Lots of great memories playing cards, dinners and laughs. He was a kind considerate gentleman.
Sincere condolences for your loss.
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#16 Deborah Schafer 2022-01-12 19:46
To all the Buker families, I am so sorry to read of Rex's passing. Thinking of all of you at this difficult time.
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#15 Steven Strouse 2022-01-07 15:03
Mike, Debbie, John and families, your dads passing is a great loss to the Clayton Community your Dad was a Generous Man, hold on to the many memories, Condolences to the family
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#14 neil brownell 2022-01-06 16:12
Yes, Rex was a great guy to be around. He never bragged about his many accomplishments although we all knew he had contributed much to many in all of the communities where he had resided. We were classmates at Copenhagen and made many memories there with all of our classmates. Our condolences go out to all of his family. He will certainly be missed.
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#13 Elinor Simmons 2022-01-06 15:03
I went through Copenhagen Central with Rex and lived 4 doors from him on High Street.
We had a graduating class of 26 so were a close group.
I Last saw Betty and Rex at, maybe, a 20 year reunion. I am not sure of the date but we also went to the Alumni Banquet at the school that same day.
I am glad that I still have contacts with several class mates and I know he will be missed.
Elinor Buchal Simmons
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#12 Peter Goodman 2022-01-06 07:17
A great man who done so much for so many ! Never to be forgotten by all of us.
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#11 Joseph Reff 2022-01-05 01:59
John, Mike, Debbie and family,
My sincerest condolences. I'll always remember Rex's generosity and of course countless hockey trips in the Suburban!
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#10 Leslie Wingerath 2022-01-04 19:31
Offering my deepest condolences to Debbie, John, Mike and families. Debbie, it is wonderful that you spent so much time with him in recent years. Rex was always so generous and hospitable with visitors, offering a cold drink from the fridge when someone came to swim in the pool. Everyone knew that he and Betts were a union; an inseparable twosome. it’s good to know that Rex, Betts and Al are all together now.
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