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Bud Leben - January 23, 2011

Wayne “Bud” Eugene Leben was born Dec. 1, 1927 to Walt and Anna Leben at the family farm near Amherst. He died Jan. 23, 2011 in Wray.

He attended elementary parochial school in Amherst and went to high school in Holyoke, graduating in 1946. He was married to Virginia Covert March 26, 1950. To this union, three daughters were born: Bunnie, Vickie and Paula.

Through the years, he had many jobs along with helping on the family farm. He worked for the Butane & Propane Service Company right out of high school and then went to work for the Amherst Grain Elevator.

In 1960, he and his brother Ray and brother-in-law Bob Kramer bought the Redi-Mix companies in Holyoke and Wray and Bud moved his family to Wray to run that end of the business.

In 1973, he sold the business and started working with Jack Fisher on his farm. He also worked for Ron Chamberlain after Jack’s death. He worked for 1256 Cattle Company for a few years and also helped the Osmus Brothers with harvesting for years.

He was no stranger to hard work. When he wasn’t working, he was fixing things for his daughters, grandchildren and wife. He was always the go-to guy for any problem his daughters had. He came out on many a night to rescue girls in a broken-down vehicle. Sometimes he simply said, “Find your own way home!” And they did.

He adored his grandchildren, especially enjoying them when they were toddlers and young children. He did find teenage girls a bit of a challenge, even though he had raised three of them. But he was excellent at taking his grandsons fishing, playing ball with them and taking them with him when he had to check cattle or feed baby calves. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren all could feel the incredible love he had for them.

When he lost his loving wife in 2007, his health declined fast. He just couldn’t learn to live without her. His three daughters had been caring for him in his home for the last three and a half years and have been blessed to come to know their father so well. He was a friend, hero, advisor and super dad to them. They will miss him immensely.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; parents, Walt and Anna; brothers, Ray and Rex; sister, Fern Mast; granddaughter, Tara Jo Kerst; nephew, Craig Leben; brother-in-law, Frank “Punk” Linnenbrink; and parents-in-law, Lloyd and Virdie Covert.

He is survived by his daughters Bunnie Hardy of Yuma, Vickie Kerst and husband Joe of Wray and Paula Leben of Wray; grandchildren, Tate Kerst and wife Amy of Dallas, Texas, Takk Kerst and Tomarra Hardy of Seattle, Wash., Ty Kerst and wife Liz of Arnold, Md. and Telena Kerst of Wray; great-grandchildren, Brandon, Taran and Stephanie of Dallas and Raleigh of Arnold; sisters, Faye Rockwell and husband Gene and Bette Brown and husband Gene; sisters-in-law, Yvonne Wernet and husband Boyce, Bette Linnenbrink, Winona Leben and husband Gordon (cousin of the deceased) and Dola Martinson; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Mr. Leben requested no services and that his body be donated to science.

Memorials can be made to Hospice of the Plains, P.O. Box 365, Wray, CO 80758.