Ronald L. Buchan, 62, librarian, lexicographer

November 08, 2003

Ronald L. Buchan, a former librarian and lexicographer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 62.

Mr. Buchan was born and grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and earned his bachelor's degree in 1962 from Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Ind. In 1964, he earned a master's in library science from Pratt Institute in New York City.

He began working in 1960 in the library of Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y. From 1966 to 1974, he was a librarian at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

He joined NASA as a librarian at Wallops Island, Va., in 1974 and became the agency's lexicographer when he joined its Scientific and Information Facility in Linthicum in 1979. He was also an editor of the NASA Thesaurus. He retired on a medical disability in 1993 after suffering a stroke.

His professional memberships included the International Standards Organization and the American Society of Testing and Materials, serving on the terminology committees of both.

The former Linthicum resident had lived since 1996 at the Augsburg Lutheran Home in Lochearn.

Mr. Buchan collected African colonial postal stamps and enjoyed classical music. He had been a subscriber to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for many years.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Mr. Buchan is survived by his wife of 40 years, the former Carol Dahlgren; a son, Geoffrey H. Buchan of Summit, N.J.; a daughter, Heather Loza of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two brothers, Burton Frederick Buchan of Columbia and Richard M. Buchan of Charlotte; a sister, Christiana Kurtz of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and four grandchildren.

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