H-BucknerColorado awoke this morning to the sad news that Democratic Rep. John Buckner died at the age of 67 after a brief illness.

Buckner was elected to the State House in 2012 and represented House District 40 in southern Aurora.  Prior to his election, he worked for decades for the Cherry Creek School District with tours at Laredo Middle School, Smoky Hill High School or Overland High School.  In fact, the gym at Overland is named after Buckner, who was an advocate for excellence in education.

In addition to his role at the State House and in Cherry Creek Schools, he served on many boards within the community, including Colorado Institute for Educational Inquiry, the Multi-Culture Task Force for Cherry Creek Schools, the Colorado State Board of Education’s Principal and Administrator Standards Board, and the Aurora Leadership Board of the Chamber of Commerce.  He attended the Harvard University Principal Leadership Academy as well as an alumni of the Commerces’ Leadership Aurora program.

Buckner is survived by his wife, Janet, who told The Denver Post that “My heart is broken.  I can’t believe my life partner isn’t going to be here, but he got a lot done. He was fair and he was a straight shooter.”

He also is survived by twin daughters Jennifer and Joy, and son Jay.

Those who knew Buckner took to Twitter to offer tributes: