Residents reflect on service of former Proctorville mayorPublished 9:51am Tuesday, December 11, 2012
PROCTORVILLE — A longtime Proctorville public servant is being remembered for his devotion to his family and his hometown.
Jimmy Lee Buchanan, 68, died Thursday at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Buchanan served 12 years as mayor of the village during the late 1990s and early 2000s as well as owner and operator of Jim’s Gun Shop, which he started 34 years ago.
“Jimmy was a very active mayor,” Current Mayor Rick Dunfee said. “A lot was accomplished in the years he was there.”
Dunfee served on council with Buchanan before becoming village manager during Buchanan’s administration. Last year Dunfee was elected mayor and looked at Buchanan as a mentor as he took over the duties of leading the village.
Among the accomplishments during Buchanan’s term were building a new water plant, a new water tank and several thousand of feet of in-ground water line, plus adding a third traffic lane to the main street running through the village.
“Also during that time we built a new river park,” Dunfee said. “He had a good council. At the time there was money available and he knew the right people to get grants. He was very studious and he was very charitable.”
Gary Whitley also served on council when Buchanan was mayor and called him a very caring person.
“He did some pretty good things for the village,” Whitley said. “I thought he was an excellent mayor. He worked with the fire department pretty closely.”
While those who worked with him in the public sector remember him, Buchanan’s sister, Debbie Buchanan, recalls the private man who never missed a ball game or ballet performance when it involved his two grandchildren.
“He was more like a workaholic but he enjoyed himself when he went fishing,” she said. “He also raced boats for many years.”
Buchanan was also a veteran union man working at ACF in Huntington, W.Va., for 30 years with the gun shop more of an avocation.
“He used to hunt and this place was more like a hobby,” she said.
The funeral service for Buchanan, who is survived by his wife, Beverly Buchanan, and son, Jon, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hall Funeral with burial in Rome Cemetery. Visitation is set for 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Condolences may be made to the family at www.timeformemory.com/hall.