John Buford of Sugar Grove, passed away Friday, October 29, 2021, at his home.
John Buford was a man who lived life on his own terms. He had a vision of how he wanted to live his life and he created it. His friends were family, and his family were friends. When he was young, John decided to learn to ski. He didn’t just learn to ski, he dedicated much of his life to becoming part of the first generation of skiers in the high country to become an advanced Telemark skier. He skied all over the Western part of the country and Canada for many years. Later his passion became his career when began sharing his experience with skiers all over the High Country when he managed Ski First Tracks. When he wasn’t skiing, he was on adventure treks. Some of them were day trips, others were several weeks into the Arctic. He always had a friend and a dog with him. His most revered dog was Cane. He went everywhere with John and John often felt as if Cane’s spirit was greater than any human beings. John did not keep his adventures on the ground. He also became an advanced open boater, and he boated on all the major white-water rivers in the region. Later in life, he married his love and created a new vision. He wanted to support his family, so John created again. The Stone Cavern helped support his family for 15 years until he sold it. When John was not working, he could be found on the waters of Watauga Lake with his family and friends. While the lake water was calmer than the wild rivers he once paddled, he still found energy, peace, and shared his love of the water with so many. John’s retirement began with the pandemic, but the silver lining was he was able to spend all day with his daughter who became his greatest achievement. He spent his time relearning algebra just in case she needed help. His passion for math and life led to his degree in physics and philosophy from Appalachian State University many years ago. He touched many lives and will be missed greatly.
This poem was inspired by Cane: Let not the days that I trotted the forest floor with you bring pain. For sure as the stars shine and the sun brings a new day, you and I will always be together. Relinquish me to the realm of memories where I am young again. My lungs fill with fresh air, and I move through the forest as a spirit. Poem by John Buford.
The celebration of life for John Buford will be held at Firerock Station in Vilas at 4:00 pm on Thursday November 4, 2021. It is one mile past the Cove Creek Store on 321 in Vilas. Dress is casual. For more information about the celebration of life please call 828-434-0709
Donations to Partners in Health www.pih.org org or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital www.stjudes.org
Online condolences may be sent to the Buford family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com
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