Good Shepherd Humane Society receives $39k donation from estate of late Holiday Island resident

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Late Holiday Island resident David Horton Bucknam left Good Shepherd Humane Society a generous gift when he left the earth two years ago.

Bucknam, who died Dec. 2, 2018, donated a $39,000 check to Good Shepherd in his estate. Good Shepherd board member Carmen Caldwell said the organization didn’t receive the donation for a couple of years because the estate was being settled. When the check did arrive, Caldwell said, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It was a big deal to us this year, especially having to close the thrift stores for almost three months and not doing our annual fundraisers because of COVID-19,” Caldwell said. “That funding is crucial. Because of it, we didn’t have to lay off any employees. We were able to take care of the animals and do everything we could for them.”

Caldwell said Good Shepherd doesn’t know much about Bucknam, but she has been reaching out to Holiday Island residents to learn more about him.

“His wife’s name was Stella. It would be great to know if they were cat people or dog people any other details about them,” Caldwell said. “Truly, that gift was a godsend this year.”

According to his obituary, Bucknam loved boating, coin and stamp collecting, playing bridge, golfing and visiting with his many friends. He served his country honorably in the United States Air Force and requested memorial donations to be made to Holiday Island Presbyterian Church.

Caldwell said Bucknam’s obituary is indicative of the kind person he was.

“We just wanted to acknowledge him somehow because something he did anonymously has had such an impact on our community,” Caldwell said.

Cole Wakefield, animal services manager at Good Shepherd, said estate donations are very important to all nonprofit organizations.

“Even a modest estate can have a pretty large impact on what we’re able to do,” Wakefield said. “You don’t have to leave us a million dollars to really change lives. Most of the estates we’ve gotten were relatively modest, but they all filled a fundraising gap during COVID-19. They were perfectly timed and they helped us out.”

Wakefield said Bucknam’s donation came “completely out of the blue.”

“I opened the envelope with the check in it and nearly fell out out of my chair,” Wakefield said. “We had no idea it was coming. It came at the right time and was exactly what we needed to take care of the animals.”

Good Shepherd would like to create a memorial in Bucknam’s honor, Caldwell said, and thats’ why she’s hoping to learn more about him.

“We want to put it somewhere people can see it,” Caldwell said. “If anyone has any details about Mr. Bucknam, please let us know.”

Caldwell asked anybody who knew Bucknam to contact Good Shepherd Human Society at or 479-253-9188.

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