Bobby Joe Buchanan was born to LuJette and Joe Buchanan on Nov. 5, 1944 in the Madison County Hospital. He graduated from Pinetta Jr. High School and Madison High School (MHS). At MHS, he was recognized as an All Big-Bend basketball player by the Tallahassee Democrat. As a student at North Florida Junior College (NFJC), he lettered in basketball and track. He set a school record in pole vaulting. He was also a long-distance runner and high jump competitor.
After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology, Buchanan taught in the Madison County School System. Then, he became the Adult Education Coordinator at NFJC. Later, he assumed the position of Director of Criminal Justice Training. Most of his energy was focused on training correctional officers for all the state prisons being constructed in NFJC's service area. He was a charter member of the Madison County Sheriff's Reserve (MR1) and served until 2003.
For sixteen years, he served in the Florida National Guard and served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was the CEO in the National Guard from Tallahassee Company A, 124th infantry and Company Commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Unit in Madison.
For many years, he was the third baseman for the Madison Merchants Softball Team. When he wasn't playing softball, he was catching fish out of the Withlacoochee River, gardening, or cooking delicious meals for family, friends, and community.
Buchanan and co-worker, Harold Bland, began an annual tradition of feeding all the students and faculty at NFJC a meal of collard greens and venison chili. Also, he always cooked his fabulous recipe of venison chili at the Founders Day event at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church.
He served as chairperson of the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church and on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee of Hickory Grove United Methodist Church.
He will be remembered for his laughter, his warm smile, his tall tales, and his love for boiled peanuts.
Buchanan is survived by his wife, Mary Wells Buchanan; his son, Michael Buchanan, of Pinetta; his brothers: Dr. Gale Buchanan (Carol), of Adel, Ga.; and Dan Buchanan (Paulette), of Pinetta, Fl.; one aunt, Mrs. Elaine Bland (Gene, deceased), of Dowling Park, Fl.; two daughters by friendship: Holly Taylor (Dan), of Macon, Ga.; and Dalton Cox (Ben), of Pinetta, Fl.; many wonderful nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends, and his dog, Samantha.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Joe and LuJette Buchanan: and one brother, Randall Buchanan and his wife, Betty Sue.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, with burial followed at Hickory Grove Cemetery. Visitation was from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Beggs Funeral Home, the Madison Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the North Florida Education Foundation. Beggs Funeral Home of Madison, is in charge of arrangements. You may send your condolences to the family by visiting our website at www.beggsfuneral.com.