Walter Paul Buckthal, 96, of Amarillo, Texas, died April 1, 2023. Graveside services will be held at Llano Cemetery on April 15 at 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Murray Gossett officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home.
Paul was born July 17, 1926, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, the only child of Hazel Herndon Buckthal and Walter Fred Buckthal.
Paul graduated from Okmulgee High School in June, 1944. He then served in the United States Navy aboard a destroyer escort, the USS Loeser, attaining the rate of Electricians’ Mate 2nd Class. After discharge he attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a BS degree in Geology. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.
After graduation Paul was employed by The Texas Company (Texaco) as a petroleum geologist. He married Natalie Elizabeth Henkes in Henryetta, Oklahoma, November 6, 1949. During his 10-year service with Texaco, Paul and Natalie lived in Midland, Fort Worth and Amarillo. After two and one-half years with Hamilton Brothers, Paul spent the rest of his career as an Independent Petroleum Geologist and Oil and Gas Producer, never completely retiring. He worked for many years with Petroleum Landman, James B. Franklin, developing wildcat drilling prospects. He was on the Advisory Board of the Division of Professional Affairs of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and served as Secretary.
Paul was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he was a deacon and an elder. He served on the Board of the Presbyterian Children’s Home, the United Way Board, and Camp Fire Council. He enjoyed working with the Boy Scouts where he helped young scouts earn the geology merit badge.
Paul was a member of the Concilium of the Vatican Museums, a support group dedicated to the acquisition and maintenance of art for the Vatican Museum.
Paul was a private pilot, earning his license in 1982. For over 20 years he and Natalie flew extensively over a wide area. He was an enthusiastic dove and quail hunter. He loved hunting quail with his Brittany Spaniels on the Split B Ranch in Hemphill County.
From 1988 Paul spent several months a year in Key Largo, Florida. He was a member of the Ocean Reef Club, the Key Largo Anglers Club, and was active on the Protestant Committee of the Ocean Reef Chapel. He was an avid fisherman mainly on the shallow flats and in the Florida Bay back country. He made many fishing trips to the Bahamas.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Natalie. Survivors include a daughter, Julia Person of Lakewood, CO; a son, John Buckthal and wife Jennifer of Amarillo; five grandchildren, Natalie Heberling of Golden, CO; Paul Heberling and wife Katherine Wallat of Golden, CO; Anne Chilton and husband Thomas of San Antonio; Catherine Watkins and husband Andrew of Raleigh, NC; Madeline Bennett and husband Andrew of Dallas; five great-grandsons, Will Heberling, Alex Heberling, James Watkins, Tripp Chilton and Dave Heberling; and two great-granddaughters, Eliza Watkins and Hazel Bennett.
The family requests memorials to the Regents’ Circle Scholarships, Amarillo College, PO Box 447, Amarillo, TX 79178; Heal the City, 609 S. Carolina, Amarillo, TX 79106, or to the Amarillo Children’s Home, 3400 S. Bowie Street, Amarillo, TX 79109.