Roger Buchika crosses final finish line
Ski Shop owner, Middlebury Ski Team standout and holder of multiple skiing titles, Roger Buchika died Sunday (Dec. 18) in Atkinson, NH at the age of 67.
A native of Haverhill, NH and graduate of the Haverhill school system Roger was schooled in ski racing by Olympic skier Brooks Dodge and earned the National Junior Slalom title. He was a 1966 graduate of Middlebury College, where he starred on the winning Alpine Ski Team, dominating collegiate competitions. In 1965 he was named to the United States Ski Team, and after graduation, he was a top ranking amateur in the East. He continued his ski racing career for many years and was a National Masters Champion and a six time winner of the Sise Cup.
Buchika was President and CEO of Buchika’s Ski Shops, the business having been started in 1961 as a part time venture by his father George Buchika to help fund Roger’s ski racing career. Roger joined his father in the business in 1970, and expanded to locations in Salem, NH and Bethel, ME. He established Great American Ski Rental Company, with locations throughout the White Mountain ski areas of New Hampshire. Bicycle lines were added and Roger turned this small family business into a nationally recognized and award winning retail establishment. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Ski Merchandising Corporation, and a life long advocate for the sport. Roger has been a major influence in the success of the sport in the local and regional area, and has been honored many times for his outstanding contributions to the sport of skiing.
He has been named New England Retailer of the Year, Snow Country America’s Top Shops, Gold Medal Shops by Ski Magazine, one of the top Ski Shops in North America, Best Ski Shop in New England, Best in USA, and most recently the BEWI award for snowsports marketing, and the New England Sports Representatives Hall of Fame Award.
In addition to his wife Jane (Mallen) and mother Gertrude (Tessier), he is survived by his sisters, Clodette J. and her husband John Ruth Jr, and Cynthia A. Buchika, all of Haverhill, his daughter Samantha A. Buchika, M.D. of Flagstaff, AZ, his sons, Andrew Roger Buchika and his wife Charity of Skaneateles, NY, and Brant O. Buchika and his wife Regina of Minnetonka, MN and his three grandchildren, Olivia, Ayla, and Skyler Roger Buchika, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Donations in Roger’s memory may be made to the Roger Buchika Alpine Skiing Fund, in support of the Middlebury College Alpine and Nordic Ski Teams; and may be sent to Middlebury College, 5 Court Street, Middlebury, VT 05753.