Testimonials and Condolences

Don was such an incredible mentor. I am glad that I had many opportunities to let him know what an influence he had on my own pediatric critical care fellowship training. I think that one of my favorite recollections was hearing about the “foul language jar” in the Pediatric Surgical Unit …. he would put a large bill in the jar in the morning to cover him for the day. He had such a commanding presence in our hospital. I miss seeing him sporting a backwards hospital gown, making his rounds and never missing a chance to call someone out for not being compulsive about patient care.

Patricia G. Cantwell, MD
Division Chief, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, University of Miami
Division Chief, Pediatric Critical Care; Director, Pediatric Palliative Care, Jackson Memorial Hospital

As medical student, Don Buckner was a legendary figure. The kind of physician everyone aspired to be. His expertise, professionalism and genuine care for his patients made him a hero to all of us. As a faculty member I truly appreciated his enthusiasm for learning and teaching his colleagues that ability to see all sides of an issue and find the common ground. He is that rare individual admired by everyone. Heaven has gained a true gentleman and a scholar. He will be missed by all of us.

Pat Caralis, MD, JD, FACP
Professor of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine Integrated Ethics Officer, Miami Veterans Administration Hospital

I did not know Dr. Buckner but read all about him. What an extraordinary man he was, and what a tremendous legacy he left. I am sorry that you lost a great friend, colleague and mentor. My sincere sympathies.

The Hon. Jeri Cohen
Judge, Circuit Criminal Division
Eleventh Florida Judicial Circuit

A giant of a man, excellent and caring pediatric surgeon. A great colleague and friend. May has memory always be a blessing.

Ann-Lynn Denker, PhD, ARNP
UM and JMH
Past President, Florida Nurses Association

Don was a truly outstanding physician and surgeon. And he was one of the hardest workers that I have known, 100% committed to Jackson’s children. A brief story that I think of frequently: we often arrived at the green parking garage around the same time in the morning. One Monday morning Don looked a bit down; since this was unusual, I asked about it. He responded that he had just had his first weekend off in two years and that he had to drag himself out of bed that morning. Don thrived on hard work, rather than time off. If Jackson had a Hall of Fame, he would be in it! Godspeed to a great healer.

W. Jarrard Goodwin MD, FACS
Sylvester Professor Department of Otolaryngology
Associate Chief Medical Officer for Sylvester
University of Miami Hospital and Clinics

He sounds like a fantastic human-being. Certainly, a life well-lived. My thoughts go out to his family and those who knew him well.

David Johnson, MD
UHealth Compliance


Dr. Buckner will be missed. He had such a caring spirit and was so kind. I will miss his playful smile and our conversations. May he rest in peace. Blessings and Peace to his family.

Rev. Jacqueline D. Kelley, D. Min.
Director of Pastoral Care
Jackson Health System

Very, very sad to hear that. He was a true Human Being and a great professional, a combination which is rare these days. I distinctly remember when he was on call for Pediatric Surgery, our emergency department physicians made sure they had everything ready and complete before they would call him because they knew he is very detail oriented and always does what is best for patient. May God rest his soul in peace and give the strength to his family and friends to bear this unbearable loss.

Abdul M Memon, MD, FACP, FACEP
Chief Medical Officer for Disaster & Emergency Preparedness
Jackson Health System

Wonderful man! So few like him in the world. We were very fortunate.

Steve Olvey, MD
UM Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy
Department of Neurology

Dr. Buckner was synonymous with being a true physician, the kind that seems today difficult to find. I'll never forget the long conversations we had, and his willingness to give his opinion on difficult ethical, medical and political matters. I will miss him. He was and will always be an inspiration to all.

Raul de Velasco, MD
UM Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy
Voluntary Associate Professor of Medicine
UM Miller School of Medicine