Melvin Henry "Bud" Gearke died Feb. 7, 2006, at the age of 87 at his winter home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The son of Anna Heidbrink and Nate Gearke, Bud was born in Le Mars on May 28, 1918. Bud attended Le Mars Schools and graduated in 1935. He worked in his father's meat market known as Gearke Food Market. Bud enjoyed playing in an amateur hockey league at White Way east of Le Mars and also in cities across the state of Iowa.
Bud was returning from a visit to his fiancée, Ruth Johnson, in Ireton when he was involved in a life threatening car accident where he lost his leg. After many months in the hospital, Bud married Ruth on Jan. 1, 1942. Married life found Bud working at Le Mars Mutual Insurance Company. He was on the road as a claims adjustor and finally became general manager until he retired.
Bud's sons for many years delivered the Globe Post and remember their dad taking them on their routes driving a 1941 Chevy. The boys would stand on the running boards and run the papers to the door. Bud and Ruth raised their four boys who were very active in Le Mars. He especially enjoyed the Le Mars sand pit swimming pool, where people marveled at how Bud excelled at swimming with only one leg. The family also enjoyed camping and vacations to Colorado.
Bud was active at St. John's Lutheran Church, Elks Club, Toastmasters, Lions Club and the town's park board.
In 1986 after Bud and Ruth's retirement they moved to Colorado to be closer to their sons. In 1983 they started enhancing life as 'Snowbirds' in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bud and Ruth celebrated 51 years of marriage.
He is survived by four sons: Tom (Michelle) of Sedalia, Colo., Larry (Barb Brodie) of Littleton, Colo., Dick (Patti) of Littleton, Colo., and Paul (Kathy) of Omaha, Neb.; 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, in 1993 and his brother, Glenn.
Services were held at Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver on Feb. 14.
Memorial donations should be made to St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, and Bethany Lutheran Church in Denver, Colo.