ITHACA, N.Y. -- Carol Jean Buckley, a student services supervisor in Cornell University's Olin Library and member of the Cornell Savoyards, died at her home on June 24. She was 40.
Buckley, highly regarded in the Cornell and Ithaca communities for her musicianship and acting, had been honored recently by the Cornell Library System with its 2005 Outstanding Performance Award for her many contributions to the library. She served as access services student supervisor, and was responsible for hiring, training and overseeing student employees at Olin Library. Her Cornell employment also included work with the library's Special Events Committee.
For many outside the library system, Buckley will be remembered for her performances and singing with the Cornell Savoyards as well as in concert throughout the Finger Lakes region. At age 16, she debuted with the Cornell group, performing in the chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Gondoliers." She went on to perform in leading roles for numerous Savoyard productions, including Rose Maybud in "Ruddigore"; Phyllis in "Iolanthe"; The Plaintiff in "Trial by Jury"; Rosa Budd in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"; and Mabel in "The Pirates of Penzance." She also appeared in area theaters and with various groups, including the Hangar Theatre, the Ithaca Opera Association and the Troika Association. Buckley also was a founding member of Women's Works, which promotes the music of women composers.
After Buckley was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, she made great efforts to educate the public about the illness and was featured in an Ithaca Journal article about the disease. In April 2005 a benefit concert was held in her honor, attended by more than 30 artists from Cornell and the Ithaca area.
A service in celebration of her life will be held Sunday, July 3, at 2 p.m., in First Congregational Church at 309 Highland Road, Ithaca. Gifts in her memory may be made to one or more of the following organizations: Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County, 172, East King Road, Ithaca, N.Y., 14850; the ALS Association of Upstate New York, 5424 West Genesee Street, Camillus, N.Y., 13031; and the Carol Buckley Scholarship for Students in the Arts, c/o Ithaca Public Education Initiative, P.O. Box 4268, Ithaca, N.Y., 14852. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating Ithaca High School student pursuing advanced study in the arts.