David Bucknam grew up in the Denver area, and had a passion for the outdoors which led him to backpack, climb, and explore every corner of Colorado’s wilderness. He met his future wife, Susan, as a member of the Colorado Mountain Club Juniors, when they were both teenagers.
David served in the US Army Reserve with the 224th Engineering Battalion at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, while completing his studies at the University of Colorado, from 1969 until 1976. He taught junior high history and geography for several years, worked for the Colorado Land Use Commission, and then for over 24 years with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. He retired as Director of the Office of Active and Inactive Mines. Under Dave’s leadership, Colorado’s Inactive Mine Reclamation Program and the Colorado Mine Safety and Training program were nationally recognized.
Bucknam's family donated his Sharpshooter badge with Rifle bar for inclusion in the metal used to cast The Honor Bell.