NEWBURYPORT, MASS. — William L. "Buck" Stearns, 56, of Newburyport, died Wednesday, May 3, 2006, at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, after a brave struggle with heart and kidney disease. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth S. Abby Stearns.
Born in Plattsburgh, N. Y., June 29, 1949, he was the son of the late Florence E. (Harding) Stearns and was a graduate of Beekmantown Central High School. A longtime Newburyport resident, he worked for Turning Point in Newburyport and previous to that had worked for many years crafting decoys. He was a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1968 to 1972 and was stationed at Merrimack Station on Plum Island for two years.
He was a member of the Pointer's Fish & Game Club in Manchester, enjoyed fresh water fishing in the pristine lakes of both Maine and New Hampshire. Drawn to the beauty of nature, he was a gifted woodworker, carving exquisite decoys. He also had an extensive antique walking stick collection and had also hand carved many walking sticks as well. He spent many quiet hours tending to his garden which was admired by all who walked by it.
In addition to his wife of 28 years, he is survived by two brothers and their wives, James H. Stearns II and Rita of Middletown, R.I., and Richard H. Stearns and Carol of Wassaic, N.Y.; two sisters and their husbands, Florence M. Fresn and Arthur of West Chazy, N.Y., and Sandra J. Thomas and James of Mt. Vernon, Ky.; one aunt, Prudence (Harding) Altemose of South Bend, Ind.; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; cousins; and many close friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at noon at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Newburyport, followed by interment in Oak Hill Cemetery. Calling hours at Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green St., Newburyport, will be today from 4 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Turning Point Christmas Fund, P.O.B. 548, Newburyport, MA 01950 or to Among Friends, c/o St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 166 High Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.