Jack Boyd Buckley

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Jack Boyd Buckley (February 6, 1926 – October 9, 2007 in Fort Wayne, Indiana) was a civil engineer and building consultant based in Houston, Texas. He played a major role in the construction of numerous high-rise buildings and amusement parks throughout the world, including Pennzoil Place and Greenway Plaza in Houston, and was involved in the design of the air conditioning system of the Astrodome. His son, James Sartwelle Buckley, said that his father had a role in the mechanical design of 11 of the 100 tallest buildings in the world, and 25 percent of the tallest buildings in the United States.[1] In addition to air conditioning, Buckley's expertise was in electrical systems. Buckley also helped to write many national engineering standards and building codes and served accordingly as chairman of the Houston General Appeals Board and the Engineer's Council of Houston.


Buckley was the older of two children born to Chauncey Jason Buckley and the former Ruth Wilkens Boyd in Fort Wayne, Indiana, graduating from Central High School. He completed his studies early so that he could enlist on December 7, 1943, in the United States Navy Reserve V5 Flight Program. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in California on June 14, 1946. He returned to Rice University in Houston where in June 1948, he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.

On January 18, 1952, Buckley married his wife of fifty-five years, the former Helen Charlotte Sartwelle at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston. Helen was born in 1922 in Palacios in Matagorda County, the daughter of James Williams Sartwelle (1887-1965) of Dallas and the former Lura Charlotte Arnold (1897-1970), originally from Pittsburg, Kansas. She also graduated from Rice—in the class of 1944. The Buckleys made their home in Houston and had four children.

Buckley was employed for some fifty-five years in different facets of engineering, including contracting, equipment sales, and project design. For most of his career, Buckley was affiliated with I.A. Naman & Associates but worked briefly for W.L. Lashley & Associates in engineered equipment sales. After his retirement from Naman, Buckley launched his own firm, Buckley Consultants, where he spent some twelve years advising owners on their building projects.

Buckley was also a philanthropist who gave generously to Cal Farley Boys Ranch near Tascosa in Oldham County in the Texas Panhandle northwest of Amarillo as well as his church, the Ascension Episcopal Church, Rice University, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, all in Houston. He supported Rice athletics with scholarships for two players. He also provided scholarships to junior engineering students at Rice and to theological students at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas.

In addition to his wife and son James, Buckley had a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Buckley Till; two sons, Dr. Steven Boyd Buckley and his wife, Siobhain Anders, of San Antonio, and William Henry Buckley of Houston; James' wife, Deborah Murphy; a sister, Carol Jean, and brother-in-law, Ronald Brown, of Fort Wayne; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Buckley was interred at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery, 12800 Westheimer Road, in Houston prior to a memorial service at Ascension Episcopal Church.


  1. ^ Melanie Markley (October 13, 2007). "Jack Buckley, 81, helped design some of tallest buildings". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-19.