A celebration of life for Doris Buck, a retired union leader in the egg and poultry industry (now United Food and Commercial Workers) will be held Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. at the Columbia River Yacht Club, 37 NE Tomahawk Drive at Jantzen Beach.
Buck passed away at home in her sleep Jan. 8. She was 98.
At the time of her passing, a surviving member of her family was experiencing health issues, which delayed the announcement of her death and the memorial service.
Buck recorded a number of “firsts” in her 16-year union career. She was the first woman leader of Egg Candlers and Poultry Workers Local 231, a union in which women workers were in the majority. As leader of that local she negotiated the highest wage rates in the poultry industry in the United States, and bargained the first pension plan for poultry workers nationally.
Buck was the first woman to serve as a trustee of the Oregon Federation of Butchers Health and Welfare Fund, and the first woman trustee of the federation’s pension plan. She was the first union leader from Oregon to serve on the International Advisory Board of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen Union.
In taking over the leadership of Local 231, Buck moved into a job once held by her husband, Amos. He died in 1966.
Buck played an active role in the planning of a series of mergers that led to the formation of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. When she retired in 1983, she was secretary-treasurer of UFCW Local Ten-Eleven. That local was the product of a merger of Local 213, Butchers Local 656, and Meat Cutters Local 324.
In 1985, Local Ten-Eleven and other UFCW locals in Oregon and Southwest Washington merged to establish Local 555.
Doris (Ruhl) Buck was born Aug. 29, 1913 in Portland, Oregon. At an early age her family moved to the Los Angeles area, where she grew up and graduated from high school.
Her family returned to Portland, and Buck found work first in a doctor’s office and later in a poultry plant. She met Amos while employed in the bakery at a Portland Fred Meyer store where he was a meat cutter. She was a member of Food and Drug Clerks Local 1092 and he belonged to Meat Cutters Local 143. She also was a checker at Fred Meyer supermarkets and at a Tops All store.
During World War II the Bucks worked at the shipyards in Portland and Vancouver as members of Asbestos Workers Local 36.
In December 2001, Buck was named to the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council’s Labor Hall of Fame.
For many years in retirement she managed a mobile home park in southeast Portland that is owned by her family.
She lived in the Northeast Portland retirement community Summer Place where, according to her daughter-in-law, she led a very active life and still drove a car to do errands.
Buck is survived by her only child, Robert; four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.