Obituary for Colette Buck

Colette Marie Buck (nee Leimbach) of Oberlin died suddenly August 14, 2018, in Mercy Regional Health Center-Lorain at the age of 63 after a hard-fought 18-month struggle with stroke and heart disease. Described as a “master teacher” by Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), Colette Buck devoted her life to the emotional well-being and educational growth of children, adolescents, and young adults through the arts, humanities, and faith throughout the span of her 40-year teaching car ...
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Colette Marie Buck (nee Leimbach) of Oberlin died suddenly August 14, 2018, in Mercy Regional Health Center-Lorain at the age of 63 after a hard-fought 18-month struggle with stroke and heart disease. Described as a “master teacher” by Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), Colette Buck devoted her life to the emotional well-being and educational growth of children, adolescents, and young adults through the arts, humanities, and faith throughout the span of her 40-year teaching career. Colette treated her students as if they were her own children, and her active concern for others in need extended from pre-schoolers through Oberlin College undergraduates to adults of all ages, from their 20’s to their 90’s. She loved and cared about people no matter the color of their skin, creed, sexual orientation, or station in life. She was born January 30, 1955, in Amherst, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Kipton. She graduated from Firelands High School in 1973. She sang in the Ohio Youth Choir from 1971 to 1975. During that time, the Choir performed for television’s Phil Donahue Show and guest Maria Von Trapp at the Ohio State Fair, appeared in the Rose Bowl Parade, and toured Europe. Colette graduated from Hiram College in 1977 with the BA in Art Education degree. While at Hiram, she helped create an English cottage garden on campus and studied abroad in Europe. Colette obtained her teaching license in 1977 and began teaching art part-time in the Firelands School District and at FAVA. She taught art full time to mainstreamed students in the Lorain City Schools from 1987 until her retirement from full-time teaching in 2015. Following this, Colette became guardian ad litem for Lorain County Voices for Children and fulfilled her dream of bringing after-school arts programs to Lorain students through FAVA until she suffered a major stroke in March 2017. Colette was a member of the Gamma Sigma Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional international honor society of key women educators. She also was a member of the Ohio Art Education Association throughout her teaching career. While teaching art, Colette interwove other disciplines into her lesson plans, including science, math, poetry, and especially history. She also offered her students art club activities after school, served on both Building and District Leadership Teams, and took her students on several field trips to the Cleveland Museum of Art and Washington, D.C. Colette was an active member of The First Church in Oberlin, serving as a trustee and a member of several committees; and she was a Sunday school teacher until her death. She also served in the Western Reserve Association (WRA) of the United Church of Christ on the Christian Education committee and helped lead youth events. She also served on the Ohio Conference of the UCC Division of Outdoor Ministries and led several camps as both director and counselor. Until her death, Colette served on the regional UCC’s Open and Affirming Prophetic Witness Team, which advocates for the LGBTQ community. Colette shared her Jan. 30 birthday with Franklin D. Roosevelt and loved visiting his home and presidential library in Hyde Park, N.Y., every year for the FDR Reading Festival. Along with her husband of 20 years, Martin L. Buck, she loved to travel to historic places (especially presidential sites and the Washington, D.C., area), the beaches of Presque Isle State Park, Virginia’s Eastern Shore, New England, and Washington Island, Wis. She also loved gardening, reading, silk painting, and collecting - and sharing – children’s books. She is survived by her husband, Martin; brother Michael Leimbach of Elyria; aunt Harriet Braun of Wakeman; goddaughter Rachel Edwards Harvith of Grinnell, Iowa; surrogate granddaughters Marian Thomas and Eliza Jane Thomas of Oberlin; and nieces, nephews, and many cousins. She is also survived by her teaching colleagues and by the many friends who supported her over the years and through her stroke, among them John and Susan Edwards Harvith of Syracuse, N.Y.; Diana Steele and Peter Thomas of Oberlin; Lex Leonard of Sheffield Village, Ohio; Phadrah Khalil and Joseph and Dorothy Luciano of Oberlin; Ann Duchez of Elyria; the members of The First Church in Oberlin, UCC, and its pastor, the Rev. David Hill. Colette was preceded in death by her parents, Harold “Zack” and Caroline M. (Braun) Leimbach; uncles Donald (Harriet) Braun, John (Rose) Leimbach, Lloyd Leimbach, and Harvey Leimbach; aunts Letty (Maurice) Hand, Maxine (Sam) La Crosse, Grace (Frank) Greszler, Olive (Leo) Cibrowski, and Elizabeth Karman. A memorial celebration of Colette Buck’s life will be held at The First Church in Oberlin, UCC, 106 N. Main St., Oberlin on Saturday, September 8th, 10:30 am. Contributions may be made in memory of Colette to The First Church in Oberlin or Voices For Children, Lorain County Justice Center, 225 Court St., 2nd Floor, Elyria, OH 44035. Online condolences may be left at mormanfuneralhome.com.
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Scheduled Services

There are no services scheduled at this time.

Recent Condolence Notes

Thursday, 8/30/2018
I am sorry to hear of Colette’s passing.
We were on the same staff at Lakeview Elementary in Lorain for several years (I taught 3rd grade). Her obituary beautifully described how I remember Colette... a dedicated teacher who had a desire to reach out to help others, as well as a genuine love for her many students... actually all people. Colette was & is an inspiration to her many colleagues & students.
Condolences to Marty and her loved ones.
Kathy Atwater
Vermilion, OH
- Kathleen Atwater

Monday, 8/27/2018
she was a teacher of mine when i was a little kid. she was very kind. i loved her. rest in peace, i hope ur doing what u love in heaven!
- samantha fonseca

Sunday, 8/26/2018
My condolences to Marty and family! Colette was such an inspiration to the field of education! Such a beautiful soul! RIP dear Colette, you will be missed!
- Christine Miller

Saturday, 8/25/2018
It was certainly a pleasure teaching along side Colette in the Lorain City Schools... she in art and me in Phys Ed. She was relatively easy going, but could show fire when aggravated by someone. She was fun to be around, but meant business. I am sorry we lost contact after my retirement. She is in my prayers.
Nancy Domanski Bauer
- Nancy Domanski Bauer

I am so grateful for having Colette as my sister in-law. She came into our family ready and alway willing to support us and help in anyway she could. She also me laugh! I'm going to miss her and my heart goes out to my dear brother Marty. I do feel that Colette is close by and will, as she did here while Earthbound, will probably continue to be helping and supporting us in anyway she can.
I love you Colette!!
- Jeanette Buck

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