STONEHAM, MASS. -- Childhood friends, high school classmates and relatives gathered in this small town north of Boston at a memorial service for Lebanon hostage William Buckley at St. Patrick's Parish, where Buckley was once an altar boy.
Buckley, the former CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnaped by terrorists in March 1984. He is believed to have died in the summer of 1985 after being tortured, but his body has not been found.
Buckley's two sisters, Joyce Wing and Maureen Maroney, attended the service with their families. Beverly Surette, Buckley's companion of more than 20 years, was also present. Buckley never married.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chip Beck, a longtime friend of Buckley who met him 16 years ago in Indochina, delivered the eulogy. "He wasn't well known to the world, this man Bill Buckley, but the effect he had on people whose lives he entered was tremendous and positive," Beck said.
Before the service, Beck recalled Buckley's remarks during one of the last occasions they spoke.
"He mentioned to me that he might be kidnaped," Beck said. "He told me not to let the bureaucracy wind its way down slowly so he might die of ill health or execution, which is exactly what happened."