CHINOOK - Ordway Clinton "Bud" Rafter, died Saturday, May 29, 2004, at the central Montana nursing center.
Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Wing Cemetery with the funeral to follow at 11 a.m. at the American Lutheran Church in Hogeland. Visitation will be at the Rafter farm east of Hogeland on Wednesday.
Bud Rafter was born on Oct. 18, 1913, in Harlem to William and Elsie
Bud spend most of his life on the family farm near Hogeland. He went his first eight years of school at Wing School, which was
located two miles from the farm. He attended high school in Harlem, boarding with various families. He dropped out of school his sophomore year and his dad put him on the "North Place," 16 miles from home in the homestead shack with a band of sheep to care for. When school started the following year, he was the first in line to register. He graduated from Harlem High School in 1932. He also worked for a few years in Harlem at the J.C. Penney store.
On Oct. 17, 1944, Bud married Verna Jensven from Hogeland. They were married 52 years. He thoroughly enjoyed his family, including his grandsons, many nieces, nephews and their children, as well as his many friends. He loved holidays when everyone would congregate at the farm for great food and fun. He and Verna also attended many basketball games and drove many miles to cheer on their favorite teams. He also enjoyed playing pinochle with neighbors during the cold winter months.
He was a member of the American Lutheran Church in Hogeland and an associate member of Zion Lutheran Church in Lewistown.
Bud took great pride in his farm/ranch operation. He raised Hereford cattle and was one of the first in the area to introduce Charolais cattle into his herd. He also raised wheat and barley, and he was chosen Blaine County's Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1987.
In 1990, Bud and Verna purchased a small home in Lewistown near their daughter. Soon Verna's health began declining, and he became a loving caretaker. He continued to spend as much time as possible on the farm. Even though his address was Lewistown, his heart was always on the Big Flat. He loved spending time on the farm, especially sitting on the porch watching the activity. He continued living in Lewistown until the time of his death. In January of 2003, he moved into New Horizons Assisted Living, where he was a favorite with everyone. In April of this year, he went into a skilled nursing home due to failing health.
Bud was a wonderful story teller and would share with anyone who had a minute to stop and listen.
Bud was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Verna in 1996; son, Lee in 1994; brothers, Clayton and Richard; and sisters, Erma Klungland, Ruby Murphy, Beth Dolven and Grace Meitzel.
Survivors include his daughter, Lynette (Brian) Sallee, grandsons, Del (Staci) Sallee with the U.S. Army and Kale (Jessie) Sallee of Lewistown; sisters, Margaret Thronson of Bellevue, Wash., and Garnett Sumner of Toano, Va.; and step-grandsons, Ralph and Mike Wiks.
Memorials may be made to the American Lutheran Church in Hogeland, Zion Lutheran Church in Lewistown, the Hogeland Fire Department, or a charity of one's choice.