Monday, October 01, 2007

My Father Died - An Obituary

Joseph F. Buda
3/5/22 - 9/27/07

Members of the Greatest Generation were being killed at a rate of 1000 per day during World War II. Sixty years later those who survived the carnage are still dying 1000 per day. Last Thursday, my father was one of those who rejoined his comrades in arms.

Joseph Buda was many things to all those who knew him. He was a devoted husband to his wife of 64 years, 11 months, Margaret. He was the eldest brother to Robert Buda, Betty Rose Beets, Elsie Steinwandt, Wallace Buda, and Ernest Buda. He was a father and provider to his eight children: Susan, Ron, Bunny, Brian, Merrianne, Kevin, Patty, and Becky. In his later years, he enjoyed his 17 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Joe started his long journey in Michigan, the first son of immigrant parents. He graduated high school in a class of 6 students. He left the family farm for the lights of the big city. He initially worked in a machine shop making left-hand springs for British Spitfire airplane engines. Within months, Pearl Harbor was bombed, war was declared and Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Machinist Mate 1st Class in the South Pacific aboard the Destroyer U.S.S. Converse from 1942-45, participating in several of the great naval battles to defeat Imperial Japan. During the war, Joe married his sweetheart, Margaret in 1942.

When he left the Navy in 1948, Dad worked as an assembler for Ford Motor Co. where he was fired. He then walked across the street and was hired to work the night shift at Chevrolet Motors. When he left that job, Dad went into dairy farming during the mornings and evenings while during the day he worked as a cabinet maker to pay for the farm and provide for his family which had grown to three children. In the mid-1950s, Joe and Margaret, gave birth to a physically handicapped child. For the health of the child, the family (now increased by that child plus one more child) moved to Auburn, Ca. to manage the turkey ranch on Lone Star Road owned by sister Elsie's husband. While there, the Joe Buda family grew by two more children.

Leaving the turkey business, Dad worked through the local Carpenter's Union as a Journeyman Carpenter. He helped build many of the houses in Auburn and surrounding towns. He also worked a few years building the California's water storage system of dams. Dad and Mom also had their eighth child during the Union years. When he left the Union, Dad worked freelance and eventually operated his own company, Joe Buda Construction.

He loved to work the land. Dad would plant a vegetable garden every year with tomatoes, squash, corn, beans, and many others that we kids often hated. But, he would have us out in the garden with him weeding, spreading compost, and picking. He showed us the wondrous tastes of fresh picked vegetables while working right there in his garden.

Dad also loved the Pioneer Methodist Church where he often volunteered time for committees and activities. Dad gave freely of his construction skills when the Church needed repair. Not a man comfortable speaking in public, he would read the Scripture because it served his beloved Lord and Savior.

Dad was a collector. He collected stamps from all over he world, and Indian arrowheads in Michigan and the Auburn area before it was illegal to do so. He would often display the arrowheads at the Auburn Museum. Dad was always a writer of poetry and prose. He wrote a book, "Hell in Paradise" about his experiences in the Pacific during WWII. At the time of his death, Dad was writing a journal about growing old, his thoughts on death, and reflections on his life.

He would tease and tell the same favorite joke dozens of times to anyone who would listen. In the very early morning hours, just before sunrise, Dad was teasing the nurses in the ICU. He asked for his socks to be taken off his feet. When the socks were removed, his Earthly journey ended. Dad died.


Louise said...

My condolences to you and your family.

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Louise. This has been a difficult time for Mom and we appreciate your kind thoughts.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Condolences Red, both to you and to yr. family. Nothing can be said to make it better for you, although it is no doubt better for your Dad with God.

Indigo Red said...

Thanks, e.j. max. My Dad thought it would all be better with his Lord, too.

Gayle said...

It's a wonderful tribute, Indigo. I'm sure your Dad is pleased. You have my condolences because even though your Dad is not suffering, we who are left behind always do, and having been married to my husband for 49 years (I'm 65), losing him is one of my greatest fears. I don't fear death, I fear losing my husband, so special condolences to your mother, may God bless her and help her cope, and help you as well.

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Gayle. I brought Mom out to the computer so she could read the kind wishes of strangers. She was very touched by your fears because those are the same that burdened her in the last few years. She was heartened by the shared feelings.

Thank you.

Mike's America said...

Sounds like your Dad had a rich full life blessed in many ways.

His is also a uniquely American story of opportunity, faith, family and freedom.

Thank you for sharing his story.

Interesting about the socks. I'll keep mine on if I find myself in a hospital.

Tom C said...

With time comes peace. Know that you and yours are in my thoughts.

Indigo Red said...

Mike, as the week has gone by, we have discovered how full Dad's life really was. As were most of the men of his generation he was quiet about his own actions. People are telling abot the things Dad did for them, but we were never aware of his many kindnesses.

His time came, Tom, and he has the peace that he so longed for in the last few years. He would have very much enjoyed your company, Tom, down by the water fishing and talking, or just sitting as guys do..

Ron Lyre said...

Sorry to hear about your Dad Indigo.
Dads are good aren't they? But then again so are mums

Indigo Red said...

Yes, they are, Ron. And my Mum is a remarkable person, too.

Thank you, Ron.

dcat said...

Thank you for sharing and yes I stayed away till you could post this and have a little time to reflect.

What a wonderful post and he will rest in peace.

(((((Hugs)))) Indigo

His birthday is one day before my mom's and she was born in 1921-
My dad was the 3/9 1916-1962

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, dcat. I've had a week to reflect and it's hard to come to terms with the loss. I'm just glad Dad's death was not unexpected. He knew it was coming and let us know it. He had hoped he would make it to his 65 wedding anniversary, but he died exactly 1 month short.

Tom C said...

Indi I got this today from our buddy.

Indi. I haven't been callously ignoring your Dad's death. I just haven't been able toget on naloscan at your site. If you happen to stop by here, please accept my sincere condolences.
Don | 10.11.07 - 5:38 am | #

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Don. I have passed all condolences on to Mom and she appreciates each and every one.

Tom, thanks for passing the note.

bernie said...

He lived a full, fascinating life with a wonderful family. I'm certain that most of us, when it's time to go, would wish to have lived as well and with such a loving son as you.

I hope you have wonderful children; those who do, know there is is no greater joy in the world.

Gayle said...

Thank you for showing your mother the comments. I don't know her, but I still can't help but wonder if she is okay?

Indigo Red said...

He did live a full life, Bernie. Dad just didn't know it until the end. He thought he had failed at whatever it was he was supposed to do. You know, right to the end he was helping others. While in ICU, a 35 yr old woman was brought in who had taken too many pills and almost died. She was in the bed next to my Dad. When the doctor asked what happened she said she had tried to kill herself. Dad told his medic to move his bed next to hers so he could tell her what wonders life holds and to not give up so easily. The idea was nixed, but to the end, Dad was trying to help and encourage.

Gayle, my mother is doing fine. She caught a cold during funeral week and has been busy fighting that off. She is not alone in the house as she lives with my youngest sister and her husband, their son, and 3 year old daughter. Mom is anything but alone. She has a few hours each day to be alone and sort through her life past and present.

As you know, I've told her about you guys and your well wishes and concern and she has been comforted knowing that strangers from as far as Stratford-Upon-Avon care enough to leave a note of concern here.

I never really thought that an internet communication could actually form a community, but I was wrong. The comments left have given me comfort as well. Thank you all; thank you, my friends.

Tom C said...

Indi said "I never really thought that an internet communication could actually form a community"

Indi I remember you and I along with some friends getting together to help one of us out here on the net. We have not yet met, but know that you are kin bound by the brotherhood of our thoughts and actions. If you had a need that I could meet I'd be there.

Anonymous said...

My sympathies to Rose and Red.

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Anon.