hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

News

August 8, 2013

'Happy birthday, babe'

Widow dedicates bench to late husband, former deputy chief

Angela Buckley left it in the hands of the mayor’s office to select a park bench as a memorial to her husband, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Buckley Jr.

She arranged to dedicate the bench on his birthday, July 29, but had not seen the bench she paid for and which city workers had cemented in place at Bradford Common, where she and her husband often went for walks together.

Buckley arrived early, before the mayor, and when she finally saw the bench her eyes teared. For a short time it was just her, the bench and the love she felt for the man she lost to cancer three years ago.

“Happy birthday, babe,” she said to her husband.

It was her gift to the city as well, and one she hopes the public will enjoy using.

Buckley said she wanted to have an intimate dedication ceremony attended just by her and the mayor, who brought a woman from his office to take a picture.

“He would have wanted it to be simple,” Buckley said about her husband. “It was my birthday gift to my husband and I miss him terribly.”

Robert Buckley Jr. died of cancer Aug. 30, 2010, at his home, surrounded by his family. He rose through the ranks after being appointed to the Fire Department in September 1985. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1989, captain in 1993 and deputy chief in 2002. In May 2010, he retired from the department.

Angela Buckley said she was thinking of creating some sort of lasting tribute to her husband last year when she heard about the city’s memorial bench program. She said she contacted the mayor’s chief of staff, David Van Dam, who outlined the program and told her he’d take care of the details.

“David asked where I might like a bench and I told him the little common, which my husband loved and where we went on walks together,” she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • 140808_HG_HAND_CUTTING

    Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marjorie Goudreault walkway are, from left, Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; John Dimitry, former NECC president, and his wife, Audrey; Steven Buturlia of Pelham; Kelsy Buturlia of Pelham; Barbara Goudreault of Haverhill; Christopher Goudreault of Haverhill; Mary Goudreault of Tewksbury; Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, chair of NECC's Board of Trustees; Julie Reynolds of Middleton, N.H.; Patrick Goudreault of Haverhill; Matthew Goudreault of Haverhill; Lynn Morton of Tucson, AZ; Ann Corey of Atkinson; and NECC President Lane Glenn.

    'She was passionate about what she believed' Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • The city wants you Posted 6 days ago
  • 140811_HG_CRU_HOSPITALS

    Joseph Roach is the new CEO and President for Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He is standing in front of the hospital located in Haverhill. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    No, you're not in Methuen Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • The Lamp Post Posted 6 days ago
  • 140725_HG_ASW_BEST MANICURE 2

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photoRoyal Nails and Spa offers the best manicure, according to a vote by readers of the Gazette.

    More than just a mani-pedi Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140717_HG_MSC_BURGER_3

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo The Lasting Room burger with hand-cut fries is a favorite of customers.

    Lasting Room burgers make for lasting impressions Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES3 [Duplicate]

    AP Photo/Yoobi Yoobi Pretzel Erasers make going back to school fun.

    Sharpening up for class Posted 6 days ago 8 Photos
  • FILE_HAVBEST_4

    Staff file photo Buffalo boneless ribeye steak is offered at Haverhill Beef Company on Merrimack Street. Here, owner Peter Carbone holds a tray of freshly cut pieces.

    Get far more than beef at Haverhill Beef Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos
  • HAVBEST_PBI_HEAVNLY

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Elaine Saragas serves coffee at Heav'nly Donuts.

    Best coffee brewing at Heav'nly Donuts Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • HAVBEST_PBI_PENTUCKET

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Pentucket Bank President Scott Cote, left, and financial adviser Kevin McKinnon talk in the main lobby of the bank's Merrimack Street branch.

    Pentucket Bank is tops Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

Photos of the Week
Stocks