ROBERT WELFORD ESTES, JR. "Buck" Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Robert Welford "Buck" Estes, Jr., age 90, of Gordonsville, Virginia passed away Sunday, May 29, 2016 from complications of a four-wheeler accident. Buck chose to take risks and live life to the fullest.
Buck is survived by his loving wife and WWII pen pal, Leona Francis Tanner, two sisters; Virginia (Gin) Miller of Rochelle, Va. and Evelyn Mackey of Sorrento, Fla., five children, Sue Luthi and husband Mike of Sperryville, Ronnie Estes and wife Linda of Powhatan, Donnie Estes of Gordonsville, Donna Beswick and Debbie Estes both of Annandale; eight grandchildren, Lisa, John, Sam, Matt, Kelly, Shelby, Katie, and Carly and 20 great-grandchildren.
Buck was born in Rochelle, Virginia on September 27, 1925 to Beulah Tusing and Robert Welford Estes Sr. In 1943, at the age of 18, he entered the United States Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific on the Island of Peleliu. When the war ended, anxious to return home, Buck chose to ride the crow''s nest of the USS Maryland to its port in San Diego, California. Following his honorable discharge from military service in 1946, Buck moved to the Northern Virginia area where he began a career as an appliance repairman.
After many years of working for Solon Service, he eventually opened his own business, Estes Appliance Service, where he served the Washington Metropolitan area for over 40 years. Although living and working in Fairfax County, he maintained ties to the Piedmont area, owning and operating Circle Laundromat in Gordonsville with his sister, Virginia Miller, from 1967 to 1987. In 1966 he purchased a farm outside of Gordonsville and upon his retirement in 1991 he and his wife built a home to live out his life-long dream of farming his own land.
For 65 years he was a member of Union Grove Christian Church where he also served as a deacon. He was a member of the Barboursville Ruritan Club for more than 20 years before being recognized as an Honorary Member in 2016. Buck never met a stranger. He enjoyed telling stories, dancing, and feeding his grandchildren and great-grandchildren M&M''s out of his shirt pocket. He loved The Lord, his family and friends, and his life.