Kenneth H. “Grandpa” Budde

Kenneth H. “Grandpa” Budde, 97, of Ontario passed away at home with family present on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, under the care of Moments Hospice. 

He was born April 21, 1926, to Lewis and Emma (Rumppe) Budde. He was a lifetime resident of the Ontario area and graduated from Ontario High School in 1943. 

He entered the United States Army on June 29, 1945, and served during World War II in Italy, where he met Giustina Jug. They were married in July 1947 and had two children, Carla and Allen. They divorced in 1972.

On May 5, 1947, he was discharged from the service, and the military paid for his training as a certified butter maker. Ken worked for eight years at the Ontario creamery and a couple evenings a week at the Westby Creamery (making whey butter), starting his lifelong love of butter (thus the quote, “You can have all the butter you want at our house”—no margarine was ever served). 

In March 1955, he became a rural letter carrier, starting with a 32-mile route, and when he retired on Dec. 29, 1989, it had become 104-mile route; he received the Million Mile Safe Driver Award with U.S. Postal Service and was a member of the Rural Letter Carriers Union for 74 consecutive years. He was a 79-year member of Bredlow-Ewing American Legion Post 467 of Ontario. He was a member of the Ontario Fire Department for 63 years (1947–1990) and was one of the first two EMTs. He served many terms on the Brush Creek Church Council (many as president). He also served several terms on the Ontario Village Board.

In 1973, he married Deloris (Lord) (Williams), and they were married just short of 48 years. They enjoyed traveling, gardening, fishing, camping, and going out to eat. In later years, when he had stopped driving, he loved to take weekly rides to the Amish bakeries and fruit/vegetables stands, ice cream stops, and just plain sightseeing.

He is survived by his daughter, Carla (Ron) McNulty of Ontario; his son, Allen (Lynnae) Budde of Lodi, Wis.; his grandchildren, Paul McNulty, Melissa Budde (Damien Mikkelson), and Bryan (Ashley) Budde; and his great-grandchildren, Preston and Carter McNulty and Wade Budde. He also is survived by his stepsons, Rodger Williams of Selah, Wash., Dennis (Bonnie) Williams of Janesville, and Mark (Pat) Williams of Ontario; his stepdaughters, Linda Yates of Rock Island, Ill., and Robin (Monte) Anderson of Neosho, Mo.; his step grandchildren, Amy, Wade, Jay, Tonya, Corey, Trisha, Brittani, Tyler and Brittney; 30 step-great-grandchildren; and 15 step-great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Emma Budde; his first wife, Giustina Budde; his second wife, Deloris Budde; his brother and sister-in-law, Gordon and Dorothy Budde; his sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Byron Barnhart; and a step-granddaughter, Tiffany Hartman.

A celebration of life for Kenny is being planned for spring and will be held at Brush Creek Lutheran Church in rural Ontario. Pastors Patrick Ziem and Robert Streeter will officiate. Full military honors will follow, which will be provided by the Ontario American Legion Post 467 in the Hilltop Rest Cemetery, Ontario. 

The family would like to thank all the people from Moments Hospice Care who became a part of his life for the past several months — each and every one of them brought many smiles and comfort to him with their visits. Thanks also to Jonie Curtis, Kim Parker, Dorese Leis, and Riversend for their kindness and support. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given in his name to Brush Creek Lutheran Church ELCA and Bredlow-Ewing American Legion Post 467 in Ontario.                   

The Torkelson Funeral Home of Ontario is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com

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