Cartwright Funeral Homes


BUCKLEY, William T., a pillar of education in the Town of Holbrook for five decades, died on Sunday morning at the age of 96.

Mr. Buckley was born on January 24, 1923, the son of Timothy and Mary (Murphy) Buckley. Raised in North Abington, he graduated from Abington High School in 1940 as a four-sport student-athlete. He first attended Bridgewater State College where he met the love of his life Claire Lonergan of Brockton. He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943 and was stationed in Italy during World War II. He returned to graduate from the College of the Holy Cross and married Claire, both in 1947. The couple were married for 63 years until her death 2010.

Mr. Buckley's career in education began in Putnam, Connecticut. He returned to Massachusetts to accept a teaching position at Quincy’s Central Junior High where he served from 1954-59. In 1959, he was named Assistant Principal at Holbrook High and became Principal of Holbrook High School in 1961. He served with distinction and dedication for 22 years until his retirement in 1983. However, he continued his vocation of helping young people succeed by accepting an appointment as Assistant Director of Admissions at his alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross, where he served until 1993. He subsequently proctored at Harvard Law School from 1993-1998.

For over 30 years, Mr. Buckley served as the Holbrook representative on the Blue Hills School Committee. In November, 2007 Blue Hills dedicated The William T. Buckley District School Committee Board Room in his honor. Among his many achievements in education was the prestigious lifetime membership award with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. He was also an active member and officer of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), President of the South Shore League, caddie master at Thorny Lea, a Holbrook Town Meeting member, coach of Holbrook Little League as well as serving in many capacities at St. Joseph's Church. One of his proudest accomplishments was being a member of the Order of the Purple Knights at the College of the Holy Cross.

Mr. Buckley is survived by five children Jane. A. Buckley of Duxbury, Susan Nagle and her husband Ron of Abington, Mary Claire Buckley of Portland, Oregon, Paul G. Buckley and his wife Mary Beth of Wakefield and Robert F. Buckley and his wife Jennifer of East Bridgewater. He is also survived by six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents and his wife, Mr. Buckley was predeceased in death by his son William M. Buckley, his sister Margaret "Peggy" Simmons and his great grandchild Angel Rose Baldner
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a wake for Mr. Buckley Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Cartwright Funeral Home, 69 South Franklin Street, Holbrook, MA 02343, as well as his Funeral Mass Friday at 11:00 A.M in St. Joseph’s Church, Holbrook, MA 02343. Burial will take place at St. James Cemetery in Whitman. In lieu of flowers those wishing may make a contribution to the William M. Buckley Memorial Scholarship c/o Abington Bank 95 North Franklin Street, Holbrook. To leave a sympathy message visit

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