Dr. Marjean Buckner - February 20, 2019
Marjean McLaughlin Buckner passed on from this physical world on February 20, 2019 in Miami, Florida following complications from a lifelong cardiac condition. She was surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on October 19, 1941 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Charles McLaughlin, Jr. and Emma Marguerite Rubush McLaughlin. The oldest daughter in a family of 6 (later 10) children, she was raised by strict parents on a working family farm in nearby Marysville, Ohio. From an early age, she learned the value of responsibility and hard work, and it was here that she also began her lifelong love of animals. She attended Magnetic Springs High School where she was a drum majorette and graduated as salutatorian. She began her college education at Ohio State University and completed it at Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio in 1963.
In 1964 she moved to Los Angeles and began working at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, where she opened the first pediatric cardiology ICU in the country-- an accomplishment she considered the highlight of her nursing career. It was there that she met Dr. Donald Buckner, whom she would marry in 1967 in Columbus, Ohio, during which time they both worked at Columbus Children’s Hospital. Prior to her marriage, Marjean converted to Judaism and would remain an active member of her synagogue, Beth David Congregation in Miami, FL, for the remainder of her life. The family then moved to Louisville, Kentucky where she would give birth to 2 sons. In 1973 they moved to Miami, Florida where Don began teaching at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and it was here that, in 1975, they adopted their daughter. In the years that followed, she pursued and completed her Masters and Doctorate in Health Education at Florida State University. Her ensuing career in health education included positions at the University of Miami and as a consultant to the federal government.
Following heart surgery in 1991, she launched her next career in adult education with a focus on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in the Dade County Public School System. She would go on to lead several of the most prominent national adult education associations, including the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) and the Coalition of Lifelong Learning Organizations (COLLO). In 1996 she suffered a stroke which affected her language abilities. However, using her trademark grit and determination, she worked hard to recover and returned to teaching within a year. Her lifelong commitment to education and her significant contributions to the field of adult education were recognized by her induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Iasi, Romania in April 2014.
After retiring from teaching in 2015, she dedicated time to her family, fulfilled her passion for helping animals and cultivated her yard and gardens, which became a Certified Wildlife Habitat. She is survived by her husband Donald, her children David, Michael and Leigh, her granddaughters Julia, Mackenzie and Catherine, her sisters Ila, Mary, Carolyn, Patricia, Eilean and Kay, her brother Jerry, daughter-in-law, Melissa, as well as her 5 beloved cats.
Funeral services will be held on February 22, 2019 at 12 pm at Beth David Congregation with graveside service to follow at Mount Nebo Cemetery (Kendall) at 5900 S.W. 77th Avenue, Miami, FL 33143. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the American Heart Association and Operation PAW in Miami, FL.