Eulogy for
Etheridge B. "Bud" Baugh, Jr.

Presented by Gordon Kingma
March 18, 2008

We are gathered together to honor the life of our Rotarian friend, "Bud" Baugh who completed his earthly struggle with Parkinson's disease on Friday evening, March 7 and passed on to a richly deserved heavenly reward. This is a special opportunity for all of us to render our gratitude and to salute a good friend for his many contributions not only to his family, but also to his community, and to recognize many of the other members of the Baugh family who left their mark on Lafayette and Tippecanoe County since the family's arrival in our community in 1829, just a few months after our city's founding by William Digby in 1825.

Etheridge "Bud" Baugh was a special person, who both walked and talked quietly, but like Teddy Roosevelt recommended, he literally carried a big stick. He never desired praise or fame, but he earned high marks for his accomplishments. I am certain that many of you share my admiration, my love for this guy who led such an exemplary life and achieved so much. He had the unique ability of exuding confidence in his beliefs, but doing so with a smile and a sound sense of humor. He was absolutely likeable, the kind of person we probably all undoubtedly aspire to mimic.

Bud was born in 1925, around the same time his dad, Etheridge B. Baugh, Sr., graduated from Purdue University. By the time Bud attended Highland Grade School in fashionable Highland Park, his parents lived in a splendid home a few houses east of that school at the corner of Owen Street and Wea Avenue. His dad, perhaps during the early depression years, became the Executive Secretary of the Purdue Alumni Association. Joe Rudolph who succeeded Eth Baugh as head of the Alumni Association, recalls that his former "boss" really was quite famous for holding down two jobs at the same time: one with Purdue; another as secretary of this Rotary Club. Joe told me that Bud's dad, Eth, was undoubtedly one of the two best Rotarians he ever knew; the other was Ed Elliott. Bud's dad wrote the weekly Ripples newsletter and was elected president of this club in 1939 and 1940, about the same time Bud was moving from Highland Grade School to Jefferson High.

Bud had lots of neighbors who followed the same scholastic path. Chuck and Jack Horner just lived a block away; Ted Reser was a neighbor as were the Vaughan kids, Dick Kamp and many others who lived in the neighborhood that featured the famed bicycle bridge and was just a little more than a seven-iron away from the Lafayette Country Club. Dick Kamp, remembers that Bud was a good student at Jeff. He especially remembers that Bud, Dick and another young man survived a skiing accident as they attempted to negotiate a steep snow-covered slope on the Country Club's ninth fairway, an endeavor that sent all three of them to the hospital Dick with a broken arm and Bud with a ruptured spleen. .

World War II interrupted Bud's educational career. Immediately after graduating from Jeff in 1943, he joined the Marines. After the usual intensive Marine training, Bud found himself aboard a ship heading to Japan, when he and his shipmates learned we had dropped an atomic bomb there. The boat Bud was on was suddenly deployed to Hawaii. His son, Bruce said his dad always bragged to his children that he spent the rest of his military career "living in style" in Hawaii.

Back in the states, now a toughened Marine veteran, Bud enrolled in the Business School at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Son Bruce said his dad "went out' for the football team there and frequently related that he appeared in uniform for two games during his collegiate career. Bud met his wife, Patricia, there. Pat Clements, (for some reason pronounced ClayMENTS) had grown up in a small suburb of Buffalo, New York. After Bud's graduation in 1948 and Pat's graduation a few years latter, the two were married and moved back to Lafayette, where they began raising their subsequent family of three Katie, Bruce and Lindy. Katie is a commercial banker with the First National Bank in San Diego; Bruce, a West Point graduate, is an engineer right here with the Wabash National Corporation . Lindy, at age 20, died in a tragic accident some years ago.

Bud began a retail-training program at the local downtown Sears, Roebuck & Company store and became a department manager there. In 1956 he and his boyhood friend, Ted Reser decided to pool their abilities, their savings and began a retail business of their own: The Baugh and Reser Hardware store. Just a year or so later, I met these two hard-working people. Their store was located at Fifth and Columbia Street, right next to the Monon Railroad that at that time ran down the middle of Fifth Street. I had a new job as a trainee at Lafayette National Bank, just one block to the west at Fourth and Columbia Street.

Ted Reser, talked at length about store memories with Bud and Pat. Bud was a specialist in paint selection, paint color mixing, interior and exterior decoration and furniture refinishing. Ted and Bud's store offered a massive selection of merchandise. Ted remembers that when they first started they were afraid they did not display enough stuff, so they stacked closed empty cartons around to full space. When they closed the store a few years ago, they had a massive inventory. Ted humorously recalls a store slogan the two men never published: "We have a bolt for every nut in Lafayette".

Following in his dad's footsteps, Bud joined this Rotary club more than a half century ago. In 1956 he began his long membership.

Bud was an accomplished artist. The family said that he began honing artistic skills during a rehab time following his grade school skiing accident. "That's when he began painting," family members said. During his lifetime, Bud became well known for restoring oil paintings, and certainly became famous for selecting Pratt and Lambert paints and special colors for homes throughout Lafayette and West Lafayette. One of the officials of that paint company thought so much of Bud's paint abilities that he visited Bud's funeral and eulogized him as the very best product salesman that company ever had. Downtown Jeweler Jeff Kessler, another friend of Bud, told me that Bud prescribed paint and colors for every home that he and his wife Jana ever owned.

Nearly one year ago, Bud and Pat moved into a new home in the Heron Bay neighborhood just a few homes away from ours. Before that they resided for 30 years in their dream home, a home he assisted in designing on land that for years was treasured as the location of the Baugh family farm. When the first Baughs moved here in 1829 they began farming land south and west of Lafayette not far from Farmers' Institute and close to Bud and Pat's family church, The Stidham Methodist Church. That farmland is where Bud learned to hunt and fish as a youngster. He spent lots of time with his farmer uncle Leonard Baugh hiking in the properties woods and enjoying a manmade fish-stocked lake always known as Lake Bernice, named after a spinster aunt, Bernice Baugh, who had lived at the farm and was well known in this community as a Sunnyside School teacher and as a longtime organist at Trinity Church.

There are so many more things we could attribute to Bud. He had so much talent, so many interests. He flew his own ultralight airplane. He was the driving force in starting the annual Around the Fountain Art Fair. He has restored many, many oil paintings. He loved dogs and hunting and fishing. He was known as a leading conservative in the Republican Party. He was so proud of his grandson Travis, and his scholastic and athletic accomplishments at McCutcheon High School.

Bud Baugh lived by a family motto that we all might cherish: "Life is nothing but an enduring adventure." His wife, Pat, needs to know that we Rotarians love, him, respect him, and will long remember Ethridge (Bud) Baugh for his friendship, his accomplishments, his ethics, his service to others and his special dedication to life quality in our community.

March 18, 2008