, Charles Breneman Buchanan 91, of Glenmont, passed away peacefully on March 24, 2023 at the Albany Medical Center, after a brief illness. He was born in Appleton, Wisconsin on November 3, 1931, to the late William Eugene and Josephine (Breneman) Buchanan, and was a resident of the Capital Region for nearly 50 years.
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1953, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1957. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1953 through 1955.
Following his graduation from Harvard Business School, he embarked on a successful business career working in his family business, the Appleton Wire Works Corporation, and in 1969 Charlie became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. In 1973 Appleton Wire Works became Appleton Wire Division of Albany International Corporation, and Charlie and his wife, Charlotte, relocated to Albany, New York where he made his home. Charlie held various leadership roles at Albany International, including President of Appleton Wire, Assistant to the President, and from 1980 until his retirement in 1997, Vice President and Secretary. He was a director of numerous for profit corporations, including Albany International Corporation, Fox Valley Corporation, Murray Machinery Inc., First National Bank of Appleton, and the Outagamie Corporation.
Throughout his lifetime, and certainly at an accelerated pace during the last 25 years, Charlie contributed his time, talent and philanthropy to many civic and charitable endeavors. He was most proud of his co-founding efforts with 518ElevatED (formerly known as Sponsor-A-Scholar), where he served as President and Director since he co-founded in it 1996. He served as a Trustee of Skidmore College from 1981 through 2020, and served as a Director of Albany Tula Alliance Inc., the Nature Conservancy of Eastern New York, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Medical Center, the Preservation League of New York State, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the School and Business Alliance, the Strategic Planning Committee of the Albany Public Schools, Historic Albany Foundation, the Governor Clinton Council Boys Scouts of America, the Rensselaer County Junior Museum, the North Carolina State Pulp and Paper Foundation, the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, the Medical College of Milwaukee, the Appleton Board of Education, the Wisconsin Manufacturers Association, YMCA Camp Manito-Wish Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, Capital Roots, and the Albany Fund for Education.
Charlie was a passionate supporter of the arts and had memberships with the Albany Symphony, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Glimmerglass Opera, Albany Pro Musica, and Jacob’s Pillow.
Charlie was indeed a renaissance man. While his business acumen was demonstrated in the board room, his other gifts could be found in his garden, on the golf course, skiing down a mountain, or engaging in a deep and purposeful conversation. He valued education and was a life-time learner and reader. His gentle personality, intellectual curiosity and interest in people and the world community made him an endearing and respected person to all who knew him.
He was a longtime member of the Schuyler Meadows Club, and the Dartmouth Club in New York City.
Beloved husband of 52 years to Charlotte (Stark) Buchanan, Charlie is survived by his children (all of whom were graduates of Dartmouth College), Douglas M. (Deirdre) Buchanan of Arroyo, California, David C.R. (Tatiana, deceased) Buchanan of North Greenbush, New York, Clare Buchanan (Chuck) Lowery, of Glenmont, New York, and was recently predeceased by his son, Michael (Judy) Buchanan of The Villages, Florida; twelve grandchildren, Alexei (Paige), William, Charles and Ian Buchanan, Sophia (Chuck) Morris, Blake (Hallie) Buchanan, Josie and Conner Buchanan, Courtney (Arif) Damji, Nicholas (Lindsay) Buchanan, Kai and Luke Buchanan; and five great-grandchildren, Stella, Olivia, Belle and Brogan Buchanan, and Kyla Morris.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to 518ElevatED (formerly known as Sponsor-A-Scholar).
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