April 20, 1931 – June 25,2021
At birth he was named Lora Joe, but he went by Bud all his life. He was born in his maternal grandparent’s home in Kirksville Missouri. Bud was very young when his dad built a wooden trailer, loaded him and relatives in the back of it and moved to California. His childhood was the real-life story of a child of the Depression. He lived the story of the “okies” that migrated to California in search of work. They arrived in Bakersfield and set up camp along the Kern River around Chester Avenue, which became known as Hooverville. Bud lived a childhood where he developed true grit and determination. As fate would have it, his family eventually built a house across the alley from, in his words, “the prettiest girl he’d ever seen”, his future wife Marguerite. Bud graduated from East Bakersfield High School in 1949, and immediately enrolled in the apprentice program with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 428. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in January 1951. Marguerite joined him after her high school graduation; they married and soon started their family. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force they returned home to Bakersfield. Bud returned to his apprenticeship with IBEW where he worked for 41 years, retiring in 1992, and remaining a member for 71 years. He developed lifelong friendships with some of his co-workers that remain family friends to this day. Marguerite and Bud remained married for 64 years until her death. Those years were spent gathering with family and friends for all holidays and many camping trips. In retirement Bud & Marguerite loved living at their “ranch”. Nothing made them happier than family gathering there. Bud had many interests and collected many things. He was always working on a project or two and could make just about anything mechanical work. He told stories of water skiing in the lake at Hart Park. He loved motorcycle riding; camping trips were always about riding. He loved to hunt. He even learned how to fly small aircraft, achieving his pilot’s license. To his 3 children Bud was and always will be “Daddy”. He leaves them and their families to continue with the family traditions that were so important to him: daughter, Kathy Melson, (husband Jerry), son James (Jimmy) (partner Karen Boyd), daughter Judy Wonderly (husband Tom). Grandchildren: Wayne Melson (wife Nicole), Lora Larkin (Melson), Brent Spears (partner Kristin Hart), Travis Spears (wife Teresa), Troy Spears (wife Tiffaney), Nicole West (husband Jeff), Bryan Wonderly (wife Tanya), Darren Wonderly (wife Kati). Great-Grandchildren: Tanner Melson (wife Meghan), Caleb Melson, Chase Melson, Julie Larkin, Hunter Spears, Madison Spears, Baylie Spears, Cole Spears, Kane Spears, Klay Spears, Cameran Gomez (husband Dakota), Riley Spears, Jacob Spears, Willow West, Ivory West, Clyde Wonderly, Oliver Wonderly, Hank Wonderly, Quincy Wonderly, Kimber Wonderly, and Gavin Wonderly. Great-Great-Grandchildren: Brantley Spears, and two more on the way. Bud was proceeded in death by his parents Ernest and Flossie, his sister Ernestine Maddox, daughter in law Teresa Spears, and maternal grandparents Clyde and Jennie Sweet. Our Daddy’s favorite thing was sharing meals with his family, so it seems appropriate that we honor his life by hosting a luncheon on Saturday, July 31, 2021, Salty’s Banquet Center, at noon. Please contact a family member for more details.