Mary Brooks Buchanan, a longtime resident of Lexington, died on Nov. 2, 2023, in Williamsburg.

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Mary Brooks Buchanan, a longtime resident of Lexington, died on Nov. 2, 2023, in Williamsburg.

She was born on Feb. 22, 1928, the younger daughter of Charles Knight Brooks and Elizabeth Bump Brooks. Mary grew up in Monroe, New York, among her extended paternal family and graduated from Duke University in 1949.

In 1950 Mary married William J “Buck” Buchanan and became a dedicated wife, mother, and community volunteer. She ably raised four daughters while relocating frequently in support of Bill’s U.S. Army career. They enjoyed his final assignment the most when “The Colonel” was commandant of cadets at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington during 1972-77.

They retired in Lexington where Mary frequently and graciously hostessed her family and friends, including Bill’s VMI 1950B classmates — brother rats. Mary moved to Patriots Colony in Williamsburg several years after Bill’s death in 2002, where her skill at bridge came in handy.

Mary is survived by her four daughters and their husbands — Kathryn and Paul Peterson, Elizabeth “Tigger” and Barry Hughes, Susan and Grant Wesley, and Jamie Buchanan and Carlton Ranson; as well as her grandchildren — Jesse Hughes, Kari Peterson, Cory Hughes, Lara (and Nate) Jebsen, William Wesley, and Samuel (and Krista) Wesley — and 13 great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren remember their Nana for summer swims, “healthy food” and her uninhibited laughter on big scary rollercoasters.

Mary’s daughters are very grateful for the love and compassion from Patriots Colony residents and staff who became her family too. In lieu of flowers, Mary would have appreciated contributions to the Col. William J Buchanan Scholarship Fund of VMI.

Mary will be buried beside Bill in Lexington’s Oak Grove Cemetery. A graveside family service will be held at a later date.


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