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Lewis Eugene “Bud” Aldrich Jr., 82, of Haines, died Sept. 19, 2004, at his home.
Memorial Mass will be celebrated Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets in Baker City. The Rev. Robert C. Irwin will officiate. There will be a reception afterward at the St. Francis Parish Hall.
Disposition was by cremation at Eastern Oregon Pioneer Crematory. Inurnment will be Friday at 1 p.m. at the Haines Cemetery.
Bud was born May 22, 1922, at the old St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City, to Lewis and Edna Burnside Aldrich. In the early years of his life the family lived at Mount Carmel, where his father worked for Alva Peters and in the woods for John Davis’ mill. They then moved to Rock Creek for a short time and then, when Bud was 6, the family moved to Muddy Creek to a house which they rented from Tom Tibbs.
Bud started school at Muddy Creek, where he had Fay Christensen for his teacher and where he continued through grade and high schools, graduating in 1940. During the summers of 1933 and ’34 he worked for his uncle and aunt, Dutch and Mona Aldrich, on the Heart place. He raked hay with a team and earned $2 per day. In the summers of 1938 and ’39 he worked as a bellhop at the Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City. The year after graduating from high school he worked as assistant manager at the Geiser Grand for Jess Edwards, earning money to go to college.
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In the fall of 1941 he went to Linfield College at McMinnville for his freshman year. He lived with Harry and Louisa Alvis, and worked for them to earn room and board. After attending Linfield for one year he was due to be drafted into the Army for World War II. Instead he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was inducted into the Naval Reserves in the fall of 1942 and was sent to the San Diego Naval Training Station. After finishing there he was sent to the U.S Naval Hospital in San Diego where he was trained as a Navy corpsman. After finishing his training there he was sent to Field Medical School at Camp Elliot, Calif., for training for overseas duty with the Fleet Marines.
Bud was shipped overseas on the S.S. Luraline from San Diego to Numea, New Caledonia, where he joined the 1st Marine Raider Battalion. After several weeks of training in field operations with “The Raiders,” he was sent with the battalion to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, which had recently been recaptured from the Japanese, and where the battalion joined other Marine units for the buildup for the push north. In early July 1943 the 1st Raider Battalion was sent north to recapture the island of New Georgia in the Solomon group. After the island was secured, the battalion was sent back to Guadalcanal, and from there to New Zealand for two weeks of R and R.
After returning to Guadalcanal the 1st Raider Battalion was sent north again, this time to Guam. While en route they landed on the island of Emeru, stopping there to seize the island. When the island was secured they moved on to Kwajalein, joining Fleet and 3rd Division Marines. They all embarked on the USS LST No. 482, sailing for Guam. Upon arrival Bud was in the first wave of Marines to land on Guam, where the Americans suffered very heavy casualties. The action on Guam started July 21, 1944, and did not end until the island was recaptured on Aug. 27. The battalion then returned to Guadalcanal.
On Sept. 8, 1944, the 1st Raider Brigade and the 29th Marines joined to form the 6th Marine Division. This was the first Marine Division ever formed in the field. On Oct. 23, 1944, the orders were received to return to the United States.
Bud returned home to Rock Creek for a short leave. In January 1945 he left for Seattle, where he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Station Dispensary, Pier 91. This is where he continued his duties until Jan. 8, 1946, when he was honorably discharged from the Navy. Bud was recalled to the Navy for the Korean conflict. He was stationed at Pier 91 in Seattle for 12 months, then discharged.
Bud then returned to Linfield. In 1950 he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology. After working many temporary jobs he moved to Corvallis to continue his studies at Oregon State University. Here he took a job with the college, teaching while he continued his education. In August 1953 he received his master of science degree in zoology and botany. Bud joined the Sigma xi fraternity while attending OSU. He applied for and received a Fulbright Scholarship, which he used to travel to Austria to work on his thesis on the liver flukes of freshwater fish. While in Austria he discovered an unknown type of water bacteria, which was named after him.
Upon returning to OSU, Bud received his doctorate in zoology, botany and entomology in May 1960. This was not the end of his education — it was never-ending. He also earned degrees in ancient world languages, Latin, music and library science. He held a license to be a ham radio operator, and just last year he finished a class in geography through Eastern Oregon University.
From OSU Bud moved to Portland, where he taught at Portland State University for several years before taking a job at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Tex. Here he taught for only one year. He then took a job at Biddeford, Maine, where he taught in the biology department for a number of years. He was so much appreciated by the students and faculty that they dedicated their yearbook to him.
During summers Bud traveled the world. He would say he had seen the world many times, except for one island — Ireland. If he wasn’t traveling he was teaching or taking people on tours to such places as the Galapagos Islands.
Bud finally took a job teaching at Seattle University, which brought him closer to home. He became the president of the board of the zoology department for many years. This is where he retired from teaching, after which he moved home to Rock Creek. He lived with his dad until his dad passed away. He continued to live at the family home until his death.
Bud loved his church, the arts, classical music, traveling, camping and visiting family and friends. He was an elected member of the Baker County Library Board, and a granger with the North Powder Grange. He belonged to many charitable boards and made many generous donations to these organizations as well as to colleges.
Bud is survived by a brother, Gordon Aldrich and his wife, Eula, of Haines; nieces, Sally Scelson of Baker City, and Pamela Mathson and her husband, Dave, of Dillon, Mont.; a nephew, Jim Aldrich and his wife, Christine, of North Powder; many great and great-great nieces and nephews, including Amber Scelson of Baker City and Erin and Jenna Aldrich of North Powder; a great aunt and uncle in Washington state, and many cousins.
Bud was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Edna Aldrich, and by a nephew, Ronald Hung.
Contributions in Bud’s memory may be made to Pathway Hospice, in care of Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 1, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor