Columbiana honors Buck Falkner’s life of service

Buck Falkner, grand marshall of the Columbiana Christmas Parade.

Former Mayor Jefferson Dowell “Buck” Falkner will be the grand marshal of the Columbiana Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m.

Falkner was born on Feb. 25, 1921, and moved to Columbiana in 1923 at the age of 2.

“There were no paved streets, no electric lights and no running water,” said Falkner.

The Falkners have a distinguished history in Shelby County. James Jefferson Falkner, Falkner’s grandfather, was elected sheriff of Shelby County, the first elected Democrat in the county after the Civil War. He was succeeded by his son, Curtis Jefferson Falkner, who was elected sheriff at age 26 since the sheriff could only serve one term.

Falkner graduated from Shelby County High School in 1938. When he was a senior he met the love of his life, sophomore Lorene Juzan.

“Lorene and I were buddies,” said Falkner. “We loved to fish and have fun. She was a beautiful woman and a talented artist.”

Lorene and Falkner were married on Dec. 24, 1941, during World War II. He served in the Air Force for two years. After returning to Columbiana, Falkner became head of the Shelby County Farmer to Market Road Program and built roads all over Shelby County. He was treasurer of the Alabama National Gas Association for eight years. Then to his wife’s urging, the Falkners opened Eagle Department Store and Falkner’s Department Store. He is now in the real estate business.

Family is very important to Falkner. The Falkners have two sons, Jeff (deceased) and Terry; six grandchildren, Rebecca, Katie, Zachary, Jeff Jr., Jason and Jon; and three great-grandchildren, David, Emma Kate and Maddie.

“We are a close family,” said Falkner.

Lorene Falkner spent her last four years living at Shangri-La, where Falkner loyally visited her every day. He was devoted to his beloved wife. He remembers his last conversation with her.

“You do a lot for me,” said Lorene.

“Well, I love you,” said Falkner.

“I love you, too,” said Lorene.

Those were Miss Lorene’s last words to her husband of 67 years. She died the next day in 2008 of a massive heart attack.

Falkner devoted 33 years of service to Columbiana. He was a city councilman for 20 years, city superintendent for five years and mayor for eight years. It was during his term as mayor that the Christmas Parade was started.

Columbiana honors Buck Falkner as grand marshal for his life of service to Shelby County.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by e–mail at phoeberobinson@bellsouth.net.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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