Donald L. "Buck" Shives Sr., 74, of 10908 Clinton Ave., Hagerstown, Md., died Sunday, Feb. 8, 2004, at Washington County Hospital.
Born Dec. 29, 1929, in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late Clay U. and Mattie Trumpower Shives.
He was a veteran of the Korean conflict, serving in the U.S. Navy.
He was employed with the Western Maryland Railroad/CSX for more than 40 years, retiring in 1991.
He was a member of the American Legion, Joseph C. Herbert Post 222 in Clear Spring, Md., and B.P.O. Elks 378.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy Hahne Shives; one son, Donald L. Shives Jr. of Clear Spring, Md.; one sister, Janice Kelley of Clear Spring, Md.; and two grandsons, Steve Shives of Hagerstown, and Danny Shives of Clear Spring, Md.
He was preceded in death by one brother.
What the obit doesn’t tell you is that he would give me $5 for every A I brought home on my report cards in elementary school; that he taught me to drive in his hunter green Jeep Cherokee; that he taught me nearly every dirty joke I know; that he bought me my first car, a silver-gray 1996 Ford Taurus; that he single-handedly remodeled our basement rec room in the summer of 1995 so I could have my own bedroom; that on mornings when Mom had to work and it was too cold for us to walk to school, he’d drive to Clear Spring from Halfway to pick us up, and he’d always get there early so there was time to take us to McDonalds for breakfast; that he used to tell Granny the red light on the camcorder meant it was off, so he could trick her into being included in their vacation videos; that he saved enough money over his career with the railroad to pay for Danny to go to school, and that the money he left in the bank is paying for my college education right now; that in 1953 he had to borrow $30 from his mother to marry Granny; that after he retired he met a group of friends at Roy Rogers every morning for coffee; that he was a dead-eye with a rifle; that he never treated my mother like anything but his own daughter; that he was always there for my father even when they weren’t getting along; that he kept his wits and his humor right up to the end.
He’s been dead three years. Sometimes I think I miss him more now than I did right after he died. It seems longer than three years that he’s been gone, and at the same time, it still doesn’t feel quite real yet. The night of February 8, 2004, Dad and Danny and I sat at the kitchen table telling stories about him, laughing, remembering all the great times — and even the not-so-great times, which now seemed precious and often funny. It was a great night. Few tears were shed. Pap wanted it that way, I think. No weeping and wailing over him — he found that kind of thing impractical — just our family coming together, having a good thought for him.
At one point, out, for the moment, of stories and memories to share, my Dad sat back from the table and shook his head, and said to me and Danny, “I don’t know what to say. My Dad — your Pap — he was just a hell of a guy.”
He knew just what to say.