ATKINSON, N.H. — Roger Buchika, 67, of Atkinson, NH, died peacefully on Sunday, December 18, his loved ones by his side. He was the beloved husband of Jane (Mallen) with whom he shared 26 years of marriage, and was the cherished son of Gertrude (Tessier) and the late George Buchika.
Roger was born in Haverhill October 31,1944, attended Haverhill schools, and graduated from Haverhill High School in 1962. Under the tutelage of Olympic skier Brooks Dodge, Roger earned the National Junior Slalom title. He was a 1966 graduate of Middlebury College, where he starred on the winning Alpine Ski Team, dominating collegiate competitions. In 1965 he was named to the United States Ski Team, and after graduation, he was a top ranking amateur in the East. He continued his ski racing career for many years and was a National Masters Champion.
During his ski racing career Roger was honored as the Haverhill Journal and the Haverhill Gazette Athlete of the Year. During National Veteran's ski races, Roger dominated the Class 1 Division, placing first in the downhill, slalom, and giant slalom. He won the coveted Sise Cup six times. Roger was President and CEO of Buchika's Ski Shops, the business having been started in 1961 as a part time venture by his father George Buchika to fund Roger's ski racing career.
Roger joined his father in the business in 1970, and expanded to locations in Salem, NH and Bethel, ME. He established Great American Ski Rental Company, with locations throughout the White Mountain ski areas of New Hampshire. Bicycle lines were added and Roger turned this small family business into a nationally recognized and award winning retail establishment. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Ski Merchandising Corporation, and a life long advocate for the sport. Roger has been a major influence in the success of the sport in the local and regional area, and has been honored many times for his outstanding contributions to the sport of skiing.
He has been named New England Retailer of the Year, Snow Country America's Top Shops, Gold Medal Shops by Ski Magazine, one of the top Ski Shops in North America, Best Ski Shop in New England, Best in USA, and most recently the BEWI award for snowsports marketing, and the New England Sports Representatives Hall of Fame Award. He was named Innovator of the Month by the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, and inducted into the Haverhill Sports Hall of Fame.
Roger was an avid golfer and long time member of the Haverhill Golf and Country Club. He was a tough competitor in many local and regional tournaments, and had competed in the Massachusetts Golf Association Amateur Championship. In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by his sisters, Clodette J. and her husband John Ruth Jr, and Cynthia A. Buchika, all of Haverhill, his daughter Samantha A. Buchika, M.D. of Flagstaff, AZ, his sons, Andrew Roger Buchika and his wife Charity of Skaneateles, NY, and Brant O. Buchika and his wife Regina of Minnetonka, MN and his three grandchildren, Olivia, Ayla, and Skyler Roger Buchika, as well as several nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral Mass on Friday, December 23, at 10:00 in St. James Church, Winter St., Haverhill. Burial will be in Atkinson Cemetery, Atkinson, NH. Calling hours will be Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St., Haverhill, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Roger's memory may be made to the Roger Buchika Alpine Skiing Fund, in support of the Middlebury College Alpine and Nordic Ski Teams; and may be sent to Middlebury College, 5 Court Street, Middlebury, VT 05753. Condolences and directions may be obtained at www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.