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Robert "Bud" Jeffries

Robert "Bud" Jeffries died Thursday, March 22, 2007, at the Belle Fourche Regional Senior Care Center.

Another old cowboy has been called home; he leaves behind some big boots to fill.

Services were held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Pioneer Hall in Dupree, with Pastor Fay Garreau officiating.

Music was provided by Butch Samuelson, pianist, and Mitzi Hunt, vocalist. Ushers were Mark and Marvin Garrett. Pallbearers were Juan Garrett, Jim, Bob and Ron Jeffries, Neil Birkeland and Henry Hanson.

Interment was in the Dupree Cemetery.

Robert Oakley Jeffries better known as "Bud" was born November 22, 1923, at Pierre, SD, the sixth of nine children born to Vincent and Ruth (Cunningham) Jeffries. His father and mother homesteaded in Haakon County in 1915, a few miles south of the Cheyenne River near Cherry Creek, SD. Bud grew up in Ziebach County, living both south and north of Cherry Creek. He attended school at the L slash Y - Jeffries School and in Dupree. In about 1938, at the age of 14, he began working at his life-long passion of ranching. He worked for several area ranchers and then Wally and Sarah Knight. He was treated like a son by them, and being the same age as their son, Jess, the two grew up together as brothers, working, breaking horses and competing in rodeos.

In the late '70s, Bud rode his last bronc and bull at an Old Timers Rodeo in New Underwood. By then Bud was in his late '50s. He never lost his passion for raising, riding and training good horses. He rode everything from broncs to race horses, never afraid to try anything. He was also an avid water skier.

When he was a young man, Bud left Dupree and worked in the zinc and lead mines in Kellogg and Wallace, ID. He worked in the copper mines in Butte, MT, once again coming home to Dupree where he lambed for Walt Tidball and then joined the United States Navy.

Bud went to boot camp at Farragut, ID. He attended Radio School and spent the winter of 1944 in San Diego. He was stationed on a loading craft infantry ship that was capable of carrying 250 troops at once. During World War II, he received battle stars for Layte, Linguyan Gold, Mindarro, Okinawa and OkaShima.

Discharged from the service in 1946, he couldn't wait to get back to Dupree. He worked again for Knights, Hank Meyers Construction, and the Western Cattle Company known as the Chicago Outfit.

In 1947, Bud married Doris Day, who had lost her mother just a few years earlier and was raising her siblings. Bud became an instant parent. On May 22, 2006, they celebrated 59 years of marriage.

Bud was a self-taught musician and loved to play the guitar and sing. His children remember going to sleep with his music at night and waking with it in the morning. Bud was a story teller and Cowboy Poet. He entertained often in large crowds and on the spur of the moment on the street or in a business. He was a very well read man and had quite a library. His grandchildren loved his stories and often asked him to come to school to pass his history lessons onto others. While his grandchildren were in college, they would still call Granddad for information they couldn't find, because he would know! His great-grandchildren loved to hear him recite the alphabet backwards as fast as they could recite it forward.

During his life, Bud was a truck driver, heavy equipment operator, a foreman at the Kaiser Aluminum Plant in Spokane, WA, rancher, horseshoer, a conductor on the Burlington-Northern Railroad retiring from that in 1981. After retiring he leased a place in Haakon County and went back into ranching. Trying to slow down, he moved to a ranch of his daughter and son-in law still running his own cows and helping them until the death of his wife Doris. He then spent time between his children's' and granddaughter's home and care center in Belle Fourche.

Bud's "home" was always Dupree and he never got too far from it. He always came back to his "roots". He loved South Dakota and his time spent with people. He never met a stranger and would give anything he had to someone in need. He has passed along his love and knowledge of animals, people, music, books, stories, and of course his love of the land to his family and friends.

Bud always said he had a full house, three queens and two jokers. His family includes Janie (Lee) McLean of Lake Elsinore, CA, Julie (Gary) Nixon of Philip, Joy (Rodney) Bull of Dayton, WY, Zane (Beth) Jeffries of Philip, and Kevin (Julie) Jeffries of Rapid City. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one brother, Kenneth (Cora) Jeffries of Ft. Pierre; a sister, Jackie Birkeland of Dupree; three sisters-in-law, Helen (Dale) Packer of Rapid City, Mary (Dick) DeYoe of Belle Fourche and Debra Day of Howes; two brothers-in-law, Bud (Iris) Day of Meadow and Sam (J'Lyn) Bruno of Kansas City, MO; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Bud was preceded in death by his loving wife, Doris, in July 2006; his parents; a great-granddaughter, Rhian Caywood; a brother, Jeff Jeffries; five sisters, Marjorie, Eileen, Doris, Faye and Betty Mae as an infant.

A memorial has established. Arrangements were with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.