Mr. Buford was an educator with the Battle Creek Public Schools, starting his teaching career August 26, 1968, as a teacher at Franklin Elementary School. He later moved into an alternative education program for high school students. Mr. Buford was appointed to his first administrative position as the Principal of Dudley Elementary School in 1972 where he served for nineteen years. He was then Principal of Lincoln Elementary and then Washington Edison. During his forty two year tenure with Battle Creek Public Schools, he also worked at Central Office as the Student Recovery/Outreach Coordinator. He retired in June of 2010.
Mr. Buford obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Henderson State University in Arkansas and a Master in Education from Western University.
During his years as an educator and after retirement he pursued his love of Beagles and Field Trials. He was the Founder of the National Kennel Club/American Rabbit Hound Association in Michigan, creating the NKC/ARHA Central Michigan Beagle Club. He served on the Board of Directors for National NKC/ARHA. All the while he mentored young people in the sport.
Mr. Buford married Cynthia J. Bradley on July 22, 1977. To this union, two children were born. The concept of family and acceptance was the foundation of their everyday life. Cynthia and Leon spent countless hours managing “The Little Store” on Kendall Street, which for him represented fun, boyhood memories of his father’s neighborhood country store.
Leon Buford enjoyed the out of doors. He was active in golf and was president of the Greater Battle Creek Golf Club for many years. He was an avid hunter and a member of the Cedar Creek Eight Corporation, a wetlands and forest preserve in Dowling, Michigan.
Leon was involved in many facets of Battle Creek. He was the President of North Central Neighborhood Planning Council. His love of animals encouraged him, along with his family, to start the Calhoun County Animal Center which to this day houses, cares for, rescues and adopts out the stray animals of Calhoun County.
Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Leon will forever be remembered by his children, Mrs. Lynette (Caleb) Landry of Fayetteville, NC. Thomas J. Buford, Battle Creek, MI and Lachelle R Buford, daughter of Katie M. ( Buford) Smith, of Moreno Valley CA.; two brothers Earl Buford of Gurdon, AR and Jerry L. (Yvonne) Hatley of Brownsville, TX; sisters, Cloria (Chester) Lee of Okolona, AR, Sheila (Hillory) Fierson of Marshall, TX, Carrie Fae Issac of Prescott, AR, Brendel Hatley of Battle Creek, MI and Dianne Hatley of Battle Creek, MI; an appointed younger brother (nephew) Michael (Anita) Hatley; three grandchildren, Atticus, Calixte, and Shea Larayne Landry of Fayetteville, NC and numerous nieces and nephews.