Danley remembered for love of community

Florence resident passes away at age 82

By:Vanessa S. Holt
   FLORENCE — After Harry "Bucky" Danley retired in the late 1980s he went right back to work, putting in another 14 years as a driver for a car dealership. That was the kind of person he was, said friends and family — a dedicated worker, committed to his community and the people he loved.
   Bucky Danley died at the age of 82 on March 31.
   Born in Pemberton, he lived most of his life in Roebling, serving on Township Council and so many other boards, clubs and organizations that it would take forever to list all of them, said grandson Richard Grove of Gloucester.
   "He did everything he could for people in town to make it easier for everyone else," said Mr. Grove.
   He said his grandfather was not one to toot his own horn, however, avoiding the spotlight and simply working hard to help others where he could.
   Joseph Yeager, a Roebling neighbor and longtime friend, said "loyalty" was the key word to describe Mr. Danley. He recalled their work together as members of United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO, Local 2110, and a friendship that included trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby for labor rights.
   "One of the biggest things we were proud of was in the early ’70s, we were successful in getting Congress to pass a labor reform pension bill," said Mr. Yeager. "That was a big, big item; in a sense it guaranteed our pensions in the steel industry."
   He recalled Mr. Danley as a gung-ho political activist, becoming involved in local and county politics throughout the 1970s.
   A Florence Council member for 12 years, he also was past secretary and treasurer of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge Commission and president of AFL-CIO Local 2110.
   Not only that, but he was a member of the zoning board for 20 years, the housing authority for 10 years, served 12 years as president of John A. Roebling Senior Citizens and for 15 years was the chairman of the Florence Democratic County Committee.
   "He was a people person," said Mr. Yeager, who served with Mr. Danley on the zoning board during the 1970s.
   A World War II Army veteran, Mr. Danley worked for John A. Roebling’s Sons Co. for 33 years, at Yates Industries in Bordentown for 14 years and after his retirement he worked at Miller Ford in Mount Holly, for 14 years.
   He also was president of the Florence Public Library and was past chairman of the Red Cross Blood Bank in Florence and the Florence Chapter of the Deborah Foundation.
   "He was involved in a lot of activities for a long time," said Mr. Yeager, adding, "a lot of people wouldn’t have put up with it."
   Mr. Grove said his grandfather had been involved with the library for 30 years because of his love of children and belief in the importance of literacy.
   "He wanted to do it for the kids," said Mr. Grove. "He fought to keep it open for them."
   Councilman Jerry Sandusky, who was first elected to Township Council after Mr. Danley left almost 20 years ago, said he remembered Mr. Danley for his fairness and impartiality.
   "He gave everyone a fair shake," said Mr. Sandusky. "He didn’t take sides because of politics. A lot of good people leave because of politics."
   Mr. Sandusky said that even when they didn’t see eye-to-eye, they would always walk away shaking hands.
   He also recalled Mr. Danley’s volunteerism, noting that you could see "Bucky" in the kitchen helping out every year at the Valentine’s Day dinner dance at American Legion Post 39 in Roebling.
   Mr. Danley also belonged to Opre Larson VFW Post 8838 in Roebling. Mayor Michael Muchowski asked for a moment of silence at the beginning of the April 3 Township Council meeting for Mr. Danley, recalling his devoted service to the township.
   Mr. Yeager said Mr. Danley had been told by doctors several weeks ago that he would not have much longer to live and he was at peace with that knowledge.
   "He said he had a good life," said Mr. Yeager.
   The diagnosis was liver cancer, but Mr. Danley continued to work up until the very end, said Mr. Grove.
   "That’s how he was; he liked to work," he said.
   "He did a lot of things for a lot of people," said Mr. Yeager. Those who knew him will never forget him, he said.