September 18, 2012, Dean (Bud) E Wood mounted his horse one last time and rode off into greener pastures.
Bud rode into this life May 7, 1931, in Custer County. Born to Ruth E (Summers) and Leo R Wood, he spent his childhood on the family ranch north of Sumner Ne attending grade school at Mt Olive as it was then known. He and his sister Dona spent many happy hours horseback on the lower meadow. As the 3rd generation to reside on the home place he quickly developed a life long love for the land and the cattle they raised on it.
After graduating from Broken Bow High School with the Class of 1948, Bud spent a year working at Master Cleaners in Broken Bow and another year attending Kearney State College. Both of these ventures convinced him that life on the ranch was his calling.
Bud was drafted into the United States Army in the fall 1950. During his time in the military he served his country in Korea where his duties were those of a medic. Although proud to have been of service, upon his discharge in 1952, he could not travel back to the ranch quickly enough.
Once he returned to the land that he loved so he went back to school. This time it was in pursuit of the teacher. Verna Neben, the teacher at the newly consolidated Burr Oak Rural School caught his eye and they were married on Sept 25 1955 in Lexington Ne. They spent their newly married years on the family ranch where Bud went into the cattle business with his Dad, Leo, and brother- in- law Martin Schipporeit.
While they were living on the home place a daughter, and 4th generation, Mala Kim, was born.
In 1963 Bud and Verna purchased a place of their own across the river and the business expanded into the Cumro community. For the next 24 years he and Verna raised cattle there, going into business on their own in 1972. The spring of 1987 Bud decided it was time to slow down and in Feb of that year they had sold the cattle and most of the equipment. The couple remained on the ranch until December of 1991 when they sold the home site and moved to Kearney and into retirement. Having retained a large share of the pasture ground he spent his time keeping the fences up and the thistles (that he so loved) down.
By spring of 2005 Bud and Verna turned the caretaking responsibilities over to Kim and her husband Mike Mooney. Having been involved in the operations of the business for several years in the past they knew what Bud expected of them and fixed a pretty good looking fence themselves.
Bud was a member of the American Legion Post #153 of Ansley Ne as well as the Broken Bow Elks Lodge and the Kearney Fraternal Order of the Eagles.
Those preceding him in death were his parents , Ruth and Leo Wood and a brother in law Martin Schipporeit.
Left to celebrate their time with him are his wife Verna, daughter Kim and her husband Mike Mooney, Granddaughters Lisa (Mooney) Vraspir and her husband Allen, Marcy (Mooney) Yates and her husband Eric, Nikki Mooney and 5 great grandchildren. Bud is also survived by his sisters Dona Schipporeit and Wanda Jackson, 2 nieces and 1 nephew and their families.
Celebration of life was held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kearney Ne on Sept 21 2012. Bud will rest in the Sumner Cemetery with his parents and Grandparents Frank and Abbie Wood.
Happy trails Dad.
Govier Brothers Mortuary of Broken Bow was in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Custer County Chief, Sept. 27, 2012