Al Buch, the captain of Cal's 1959 NCAA championship basketball team and a strong supporter of the Haas School, passed away at the age of 67 after a long battle with throat cancer.
En route to the NCAA national title, Buch scored 18 points and led the Cal team in a semifinal victory. "He truly was a leader," said Buch's coach Pete Newell in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "He had the qualities of leadership that a team needs. He had a great ability to get people to react to what he suggested, which was usually the right thing to do."
After graduating with a BA from Cal in 1959, Buch founded EMPCO Industries, a tire and wheel business based in Southern California. Though he moved to London several years ago with his second wife, Jill, Buch stayed connected to Cal, serving as a trustee for the Berkeley Foundation.
In 1984, Buch was named one of five members of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Silver Anniversary All-America Team. He was inducted into the Cal Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
A funeral was held in London and a memorial was held at Haas Pavilion. Buch is survived by wife Jill, three daughters, and a son.
William G. Conover
William G. Conover, recipient of two Distinguished Flying Crosses from World War II, died August 14, 2004.
Conover, BS 50, ME 51, MBA 51, began his career as a market analyst for Standard Oil's Oronite Chemical Co., and then spent 12 years at the San Francisco headquarters of US Steel. Upon moving to Pittsburgh, PA, Conover went into sales of insurance, securities, and real estate. He became a top producer for several companies, director of housing at Boise-Cascade's Tahoe-Donner community in Truckee, and developed his own firm of 600 agents in eight states.
In the 1930s Conover became the youngest licensed pilot in the United States. He went on to be highly decorated for his service during World War II.
Conover served on the board of directors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1962-63) and the California Alumni Association (1959-1960). He and his wife Miriam, raised four children in Orinda, and have lived in the area for more than 50 years.
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