Posted May 28, 2020
Martin Buck began taking classes at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in 1975, but had to pause his studies a few times. Inspired by his late wife, a local educator, the retired Oberlin resident will complete his associate of arts degree in August at the age of 66.
“It has always been my regret that I didn’t finish my degree, and when my wife passed away in 2018, LCCC provided me a way to continue through my grief as well as honor my wife’s legacy to education,” Buck said.
“Colette was my inspiration,” Buck said. “As an art teacher in Lorain Public Schools with over 30 years in the profession, my wife was a proponent of higher education. I wanted to finish for her and for my own sense of self-worth.”
“She always motivated her students to attend college,” Buck said. Ultimately, the impact his wife had on the community made him want to better himself, too.
The first in his family to earn a college degree, Buck first started LCCC after being honorably discharged by the U.S. Navy in 1975. “That period of time whetted my appetite for continuing education throughout my life.”
LCCC helped him advance his career, starting in the ‘70s. “The courses I took helped me move up at General Motors, Co. (GM), as well as land me a new career at Rhenium Alloys as a metallurgical technician/quality assurance technician, and later as an IT administrator,” Buck said.
“I was able to afford college with the GI Bill,” Buck said. “When I was hired at the (now-closed) General Motors Fisher Body plant in Elyria, I paused my education and eventually was working in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, GM assembly plant.” Buck then took courses at Rose State College, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1996 before moving back to Ohio and transferring again to LCCC, which provided him with the skills needed to move up in his career, he said.
Buck moved from the assembly line to becoming a support professional leading a group of welders in the body shop. “I was required to track the quality of the welds in my area leaning on courses in writing and math,” Buck said. “In 1996 I became a metallurgical and quality control technician at Rhenium Alloys in North Ridgeville relying on course I took at LCCC in quality assurance and composition.”
Before he retired, Buck was a self-employed computer/network technician and web designer/ administrator for his business, Techies, from 2003 to 2018, he said.