Carlin “Buckwheat” Donahue, a storyteller, entertainer, historian, adventurer, and gold-panning champion, and larger-than-life longtime resident of Skagway, has passed.
He had been the executive director of the Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau who often entertained tourists with his tales of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. And he was the founder of the Buckwheat International Ski Classic, a cross-country ski race that is going into its 34th year.
From a post on Facebook by the Log Cabin Ski Society: “Buckwheaters, this is a sad day but also one of great relief. Our dear friend and founder Buckwheat Donahue crossed over to the next bend this morning and is now at peace. He suffered another heart attack a few weeks ago just a few days after settling into a new senior centre in Oklahoma City, where I’m told he was racing about in his new cart, full of life of course. There was a concerted effort to keep him alive after he was brought back, but in the end, after waiting to see if he would bounce back, he was sent on his way, per his wishes. Buckwheat was bigger than life and that’s the way we will remember him. Our love goes out to his niece Kelly, who was with him today when he passed, and his grand-nephew Matt.”
In 2004, Donahue was a guest on the History Channel documentary, Big America: Alaska.