John Gordon Buchanan Photo

John G. Buchanan, age 79, passed away peacefully at his home in San Carlos, California on September 6, 2021.

John was born to Harold and Grace Buchanan on May 13,1942 in Ravenna, Ohio. He and his younger brother, David, grew up in South Bend, Indiana where John was a Boy Scout, played the trumpet, and swam at the community pool. He attended Riley High School and continued to swim competitively and play in the band. At age 14, he qualified for the Olympic Trials. He swam in five state championship events, became an All-American, and helped the Riley Wildcats to a state team championship in 1957.

John was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1960 and graduated as an officer with The Great Class of 1964. He served on the USS Coral Sea and USS Ranger as a Naval Aviator during the Vietnam War. He was a flight instructor in the training command until being discharged in 1972. John was very proud to have served his country.

John married Constance Nora Richards on September 3, 1965. They moved to their home of 49 years in San Carlos, California where they raised their three children, Katie, Sarah, and Mike. John’s career as an Engineering Consultant took him around the world. He served on the San Carlos City Council for nine years, including two terms as Mayor. He was an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and enjoyed singing in the choir. John also volunteered in the community as a tutor, election official, and with several local non-profit organizations including Rebuilding Together.

Above all, John was a loving and devoted family man. He was a constant and supportive presence in his children and grandchildren’s lives, frequently doing school drop-offs, attending sporting events and school musical performances, and walking the family “granddogs” around San Carlos. Among the family’s most precious memories is spending summers together on Lake Michigan.

John is survived by his wife of 56 years, Connie, brother David, daughter Katie, daughter Sarah (Charlie), son Mike (Sarah), and six beautiful grandchildren (Jacob, Will, Ellie, Caroline, Sadie and Conor)

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that remembrances be made to Mission Hospice (, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (, or US Naval Academy Foundation (

A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at the Church of the Epiphany in San Carlos, California on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

Please check for important information about John’s Celebration of Life. The service will be available as a livestream for those unable to attend.

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God bless all! Connie, our prayers are with you. John was and will always be a great guy and I am saddened. I always enjoyed his smile and laughter as well as enjoying a conversation and good story every now and then when we ran into each other on the rare occasion. John will always be remembered by all he touched and all he laughed with!

With Love and blessings, Sean O’Donnell and Family

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