When Buck Delventhal passed away, many of us lost a true friend. The public lost a person who was passionately devoted to public service and one who exemplified the very best of what public service means. For decades, Buck provided wise counsel and advice from his seat in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office to countless public officials seeking to make good decisions, often in trying or difficult circumstances. His wisdom, reliability, honesty and integrity were not confined to San Francisco. Often, Buck was the “go to” person for many at the regional, state and even national level when a difficult legal or policy question arose. Buck usually knew the answer, as well as the historical or political background to the problem posed. Buck was a “ rock star” at regional, state and national gatherings – a key participant in the discussions and deliberations. Yet at no time was there ever an ounce of arrogance in Buck’s soul. On the contrary, Buck was generous with his time, kind, compassionate and caring to all- no matter what their station in life. I never once heard Buck say a mean or unkind word about anybody, nor have I ever heard anyone say a mean or unkind word about Buck. They couldn’t. Buck was universally respected and beloved throughout the legal community (attorneys and judges alike), as well as the larger community.
Buck was truly a Renaissance Man. He spoke several languages fluently. He knew every nook and cranny of San Francisco history and then some. He loved San Francisco and the people in it. His physical prowess and swims in the Bay are legendary. For years, Buck was a friend and mentor to many who went on to distinguished careers in their own right. Buck dearly loved his family and they loved him. Over the years, Buck and I would often compare notes about our children and later our grandchildren as they arrived. The world has been a better place because of Buck. He will be greatly missed.
-Louise H. Renne, Former San Francisco City Attorney (1986-2002)