On April 20, 2018 Albert Wilton “Bud” Doepke passed away peacefully and the world lost a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. To describe Bud in a few sentences does not do justice to the magnitude of his fantastic life. Bud was born September 2, 1923 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Albert and Ione Doepke. He graduated from high school in Climax, Colorado being one of seven graduates in the class of 1941. After graduating high school Bud attended Denver University where he studied business. His college education was put on hold when he was called to serve in the Army Air Corps at the beginning of WWII. While serving, he was a Staff Sergeant in the Asia Pacific Theatre. Bud was an intercept high speed radio operator, deciphering enemy transmissions. Upon completion of his military service he returned to Denver University to finish his Business Degree.
After graduating college, Bud was a traveling salesman for Associated Western selling hunting and fishing supplies. Later he moved to St. Louis where he worked for Colgate Palmolive traveling between Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri often on rural gravel roads. Eventually Bud ended up at the Lake of the Ozarks operating the family business, Bridgeport Marina and the Governor McClurg Excursion Boat, the first party boat on the Ozarks, complete with a live band.
It was in the Ozarks where Bud met the love of his life, a horse crazy girl named Jody Niedergerke, from Fulton, Missouri who was serving as a Girl Scout camp counselor. They first met as he was towing her canoe back to camp. In 1955 Bud and Jody got married and shortly thereafter moved to Kansas City and established Doepke Disposal Company, which he operated until it was purchased in 1970 and became Browning Ferris Industries of Kansas City. Bud stayed on with BFI until his retirement in 1986.
Retirement afforded Bud time to spend with the love of his life, Jody, his wife for 54 years. It also allowed him to pursue the breeding of horses which evolved into his love of trail riding all over the country with the Holy Ghost Riders and with Saddle and Sirloin where he was a member for over 50 years. Another of Bud’s great passions was fly fishing on the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork River’s which he first fished when he was 10 years old and last fished when he was 94. His fishing trips to Colorado with his brother Dale was an event he looked forward to yearly.
Bud was such a curious, intelligent, witty man, who truly cared about others and what was going on in their lives. He lived a life full of integrity. He was a friend to everyone and was always there to lend support in times of need and to relish others successes. He was a member of the Village Presbyterian Church, Board of Trustees for the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-Sciences, Board of Trustees William Woods University, Northeast Kansas Quarter Horse Association President, member of the Round Up Riders of the Rockies and member of the American Quarter Horse Association.
He was preceded in death by his wife Jody. He is survived by daughter Sherri (Phil) Tearney, Randy Doepke, Cassie Doepke, brother Dale Doepke, grandchildren Drew, Dale and Rory Doepke, Rachael Tearney and two great granddaughters Gracie and Gabby.
His family is especially grateful to Patricia Jones, his caregiver for the last several years of his life who took such incredible care of Bud, treating him as though he was a member of her own family, making sure he was safe and comfortable and affording his family security and a piece of mind and also to the staff at Santa Marta for their excellent care.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, April 27, 2018, 11:30am to 2:30pm at Saddle Sirloin, 14401 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo 64145.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111