In memoriam: Famed skier, retailer Roger Buchika dies

A legendary skier and retailer, Roger Buchika died on Dec. 18, 2011, at the age of 67.

Race-winning skier and award-winning retailer Roger Buchika, died on Dec. 18, 2011, at the age of 67. According to the official obituary, Buchika, of Atkinson, N.H., died peacefully with his loved ones by his side. 

Under the tutelage of Olympic skier Brooks Dodge, Buchika earned the National Junior Slalom title, and was a 1966 graduate of Middlebury College, where he starred on the winning Alpine Ski Team. 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.

As a retailer, 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 fund Roger's ski racing career. Roger joined his father in the business in 1970, and expanded to locations in Salem, N.H. and Bethel, Maine. He established Great American Ski Rental Co., with locations throughout the White Mountain ski areas of New Hampshire. He was a member of the board of directors of Ski Merchandising Corp.(SMC), and was honored as New England Retailer of the Year, a Gold Medal Shop 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.

“Roger was a big part of the SMC family, SMC President Tom Gately told SNEWS. Buchika’s Ski Shop joined the group in the very early formative years of the group and Roger served on various hardgoods committees and the board of directors. He was extremely well respected as a savvy specialty ski retailer and was often quoted for his famous line during one of the SMC buyers’ meetings, 'You cannot underbuy!' Above all he was a gentleman and good friend. He will be sorely missed.”

In lieu of flowers, 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.

--Peter Kray

Send your WinterSports news to Peter Kray at Subscribers can also post WinterSports news releases directly to the SNEWS website. Email us at to learn about posting your own news releases, getting your WinterSports headlines, or with any other questions or comments.



In memoriam: Ski Market founder Bob Ferguson dies

Robert “Bob” Lee Ferguson, who founded the Ski Market chain of New England retail stores, died on Dec. 12, 2011 from complications with pneumonia. Ferguson, who was born on Dec. 7, 1932, was a retired commander with the U.S. Navy when he first opened St. Moritz Sports in more


In memoriam: Alpinist Riccardo Cassin dies at 100

Riccardo Cassin, a pioneer in Alpine climbing and founder of the Cassin climbing equipment company, died Aug. 6 at the age of 100. “You could absolutely make the argument that he was one of the greatest Alpine climbers of all time,” Tommy Knoll, managing director of C.A.M.P. more


In memoriam: HomeFit founder John Carter dies at 60

John Carter, founder and former owner of HomeFit Exercise Equipment in Canada has died of prostate cancer, May 18, at the age of 60. Carter was a well-respected dealer for both Canadian and U.S. fitness brands. He founded his fitness retail store in Kitchener, Ontario in 1985 more


In memoriam: Sport Chalet founder Norbert Olberz dies at 86

Norbert Olberz, founder of the Southern California-based Sport Chalet chain of outdoor, wintersports and fitness retailers died July 15, 2011, at his home in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., at the age of 86, the company announced. Olberz founded Sport Chalet in 1959, served as its more

In memoriam: Eric Martin, co-founder of City Sports, dies at 50

Eric Martin, 50, the co-founder and president of Boston, Mass.-based, retailer City Sports, died on Sept. 10 after a long battle with cancer. Known for his sense of humor and competitive drive, Martin was, perhaps, one of the few presidents SNEWS® knew who would shut down the more

In Memoriam

Saying good-bye to someone is never easy, and industry veterans were getting more than a little misty this week with the untimely passing of two men. Kurt E. Lankford, a 43-year-old Boulder, Colo., resident, died of a heart attack while running on the Anemone Trail west of more

In memoriam: Fitness pioneer, Nautilus inventor Arthur Jones dies at 80

Arthur Jones, whose invention of Nautilus selectorized-type exercise equipment offered a more targeted approach to strength training, opening up the concept to non-body builders and changed the idea of a strength workout, died Aug. 28 of natural causes at his home. He was 80. more

In memoriam: Susanne Scaringi and Teri Johnston

Susanne ScaringiOutdoor Research's Susanne Scaringi was critically injured in a bicycle collision with a van on Sept. 27 in Seattle. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in order to care for her life-threatening injuries, but died later that evening. Scaringi, 26, was the more


WinterSports Retail Alert: Q&A with SSL buying group’s Steve Rogers

Following the SSL buying group’s annual fall preview, where ski and snowboard manufacturers give Sports Specialists Limited President and CEO Steve Rogers and his buying group of 54 specialty ski retail shop owners a first look -- and pitch -- on next season’s stuff, as well as a more