Dr. Jon William "Buck" Couch

August 20, 2021

Dr. Jon William “Buck” Couch, 85, died on Friday, August 20, 2021, at Clapp’s Convalescent Nursing Center in Asheboro, North Carolina, after suffering a stroke five years ago. He was born in Durham, North Carolina, on April 10, 1936, the eldest son of the late Leamon F. Couch, Sr. and Gladys Andrews Couch, and brother of Janet Couch Teer and Leamon F. “Lea” Couch, Jr., who survive him. Buck graduated from high school at the Fork Union Military Academy in 1954, where he played football and served as the drum major of the marching band. He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1958, and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. At Duke he participated on the school lacrosse and club football teams, and was an avid golfer. While in college he enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve, where he served as a hospital corpsman assigned to a Marine Corps reserve unit. He later received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1964 after attaining the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class (HM2). After working in his father’s furniture store in Durham, Buck entered dental school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1961. Upon his graduation in 1965, he opened a dental office in Asheboro, North Carolina, where he practiced for the next twenty-nine years. He was known as a skilled and compassionate dentist, who provided his services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Throughout his life Buck was an active member of the Randolph County community. As a member of First Presbyterian Church in Asheboro he sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. For his many years of service as the leader of Cub Scout Pack 525 he was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver Award by the Boy Scouts of America. He sang tenor as a member of the Randolph Community Choir. In his later years he was instrumental in establishing the Asheboro Shelter of Hope by contributing many volunteer hours and finances to supply a kitchen. He was an active member of Back Creek Friends Meeting Church from 2007 until his death. Buck was an avid supporter of all levels of youth athletics as a coach for many baseball, football, and golf teams; and in his participation as an umpire, referee and rules official for high school and collegiate teams. In 1978, he attended Major League Baseball’s Bill Kinnamon Umpire School in Clearwater, Florida, which led to his career as a baseball umpire at the collegiate level in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The highlight of his umpire career were his assignments to two spring exhibition games between the UNC Tarheels and the New York Yankees played in Chapel Hill in 1979 and 1981. He participated as a rules official for the NCAA Women’s Golf Division II National Championship tournaments in 2002 and 2003. The family expresses its profound appreciation to the staff of Clapp’s Convalescent Nursing Center, especially the certified nursing assistants, Casey Strickland, Lou Ann Cagle, and Laura Strickland, for the excellent and loving care they gave to Buck and all of us through the end of his life. Buck is survived by his wife of thirty-four years Mrs. Patsy Waynick Couch of Asheboro, and her children: Mrs. Karen McBride Hall of Badin Lake; Mrs. Amy McBride Ferree (Jeff) of Asheboro; and Mr. Gregory W. McBride of Sanford. From his previous marriage to Mrs. Kay Mitchell Randolph, he is survived by three sons and their families: Mr. and Mrs. Jon M. Couch (Gloria) of Midlothian, Virginia; Mr. and Mrs. David F. Couch (Stephanie) of Summerfield, North Carolina; and the Honorable and Mrs. V. Stuart Couch (Kim) of Crozet, Virginia. He is also survived by his foster children Lena Duggins Cox (Donnie), Kenneth Duggins (Ashley), and Nash Duggins (Allacin). He was the proud grandfather of Alexandra Couch Snukals, Stuart W. Couch, Sara Delle Couch, Matthew B. Couch, Andrew D. Couch, Dalton Hall, Jake Hall, Chelsea Hall Smith, Taylor Ferree, Emma Ferree, Jackson McBride, Lenna Cox, Brodie Cox, Carson Duggins, Sydney Duggins, Carter Duggins, Addie Cate Duggins, and Badin Duggins; and great-grandfather of Warner Snukals, Katherine Snukals, Ellie Smith, and Ret Smith. Buck will be remembered for devotion to his family, friends, and community, and the many people he helped in ways big and small. Buck’s family and friends will hold a “celebration of life” at a date and place to be announced. Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is responsible for arrangements although there will not be a funeral service. Remembrances and memorial contributions can be made to Back Creek Quaker Men’s Group to support their ministry in the community at the following address: Back Creek Quaker Men’s Group C/O Back Creek Friends Meeting, 147 Back Creek Church Road, Asheboro, North Carolina 27205.
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