When Buck Weston walked into a room, heads would rise and ears would perk up.
He was 6 feet, 3 inches, a straight shooter and "he also had a little whistle to him," said Dennis McClelland, executive vice president of the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, who knew Mr. Weston for 45 years.
"You never saw Buck take a back seat to anybody," he said. "He told the truth and he called the shots."
Harold "Buck" Weston grew up poor in the countryside of Sewickley and got his first whiff of the good life caddying at golf clubs and carrying the spoils of wealthy hunters. He always said he wanted to live like a millionaire, even if his bank account never got there.
Mr. Weston died Tuesday morning at age 91, having succeeded on all counts.
The Pittsburgh real estate world knew him as co-founder of the Wunderly-Weston Real Estate Agency in the 1950s that he grew into one of the region's largest firms before merging with Northwood Realty in 1982. Mr. Weston also was behind the West Penn Multi-List, now the region's largest listing service.
"He was an imposing physical [presence] and he wasn't above using that to intimidate people in his sales career," said his son, the Rev. Gary Weston of Mars.
In the years following his return from World War II, when Mr. Weston went from house to house selling for Prudential Real Estate, he'd wait for someone to crack a door and then he'd slip one of his large, five-buckle boots in the gap to keep the conversation going, his son said.
"While he came across as really brash -- I'm sure a lot of people would describe him as big-mouthed -- inside, he was a touch soft," Rev. Weston said.
It wasn't uncommon to see him helping a family move into a home that Mr. Weston had sold, Mr. McClelland said. "He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty."
Mr. Weston also relished competition, his son said.
An avid golfer, Mr. Weston was able to shoot his age while in his 70s, but never beat his wife Gayle's record of two holes-in-one.
He also knew his way around a poker table, at times using his winnings to supplement the family's finances during a tough business period. And he liked to play bridge. That's how Mr. Weston spent his last evening at Sherwood Oaks, a retirement community where he lived with his wife of 70 years.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Weston is survived by four other children: Tex Weston of McCandless, Jo Bethea of Silver Lake, Ohio, Cheryl Pattinson of Monroeville and Kim Michaels of New Castle; 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown, 5825 Heckert Road, Richland.
Memorial donations may be made to Valencia Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or the National Parkinson Foundation.
Anya Litvak: email@example.com or 412-263-1455.