E. E. "Bud" Brinegar
1921 - 2014
The Christmas gift that kept on giving for 92 years returned to his source of strength on February 8th, 2014. Elvin Earl "Bud" Brinegar was born in a small farmhouse in Thayer County, Nebraska outside the small community of Alexandria during a horrific 1921 Christmas Eve snowstorm. This would be the beginning of a life that was filled with a determination to survive and fervor to always press forward to success.
Growing up in Nebraska during the great depression, Bud spent many hours working farm fields. On one particular long day working a thrashing machine around a field that never did fill an 18-bushel tank, he knew there had to be a better way to make a living. At the age of 18, he left for Idaho with $9 in his pocket and another $9 tucked in his sock by his mother. Later his grandson Reed would write an essay entitled "From Hitchhikin' to Drivin' a Cadillac" which was exactly what happened to the farm boy who became a city administrator.
Enlisting in the Army in 1941, he was sent to Georgia. While stationed there, his high school sweetheart, Virginia Hoppe came to visit, and they went to Phoenix City, Alabama to be married on August 28th, 1942.
Bud was sent to Europe with the Third Army under General Patton and participated in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He came home with a Bronze Star for carrying some comrades out of a mine field, but as a typical soldier of the times never expounded on the terror of those days.
After being honorably discharged in 1945, he came home to Meridian where Virginia was now living with his parents, Earl and Ima along with his new daughter, Sharon, or "Bunny" as he called her since she was born on Easter Sunday. He then began his career in retail, and spent 16 years as an employee of the J. C. Penney Co. working in Boise, Caldwell, and then sent as the youngest manager in the company at the time to Hailey, Idaho.
In 1954, Bud went to work for the Idaho Department Store Co., managing stores in Preston, Meridian, Weiser, and Burley, Idaho and later Keith O'Brien's in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Desiring to return to Idaho, he became manager of the Van Engelen Dept. Store of Burley. In 1975, he was asked to become Administrative Assistant to the Mayor as City Clerk of Burley. Later, Bud was named to the position of City Administrator. Throughout his life he was an active participant in service clubs and community organizations often serving as an officer. One of his greatest honors was his role as president of the City Clerks Association of Idaho. He retired from the City of Burley in 1997, and moved to Meridian. Never one to be idle, he was asked by his friend, Senator Denton Darrington, to serve as a Pardons and Parole Commissioner for the Idaho Dept. of Corrections, and was thus appointed to the commission by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. This was a challenging task that he gladly and wholeheartedly embraced.
Through all these adventures in life, his loving helpmate was always Virginia or "Jake" as he nicknamed her. Together they went through the death of their infant son, Bruce, while living in Caldwell, and were later blessed with the birth of son, Clyde, while living in Weiser. During their 69 year marriage, Bud and Virginia developed a great passion for real estate investment, which grew into a thriving business. Virginia passed away on January 26th, 2012.
During this past year, Bud made many new friends to add to his list of multiple friends as he lived at Salmon Creek Retirement Center. Thanks go out to all those who touched and were touched by Bud on his journey through life.
Bud is survived by his daughter, Sharon Ostermeier; son, Clyde (Kathleen) Brinegar; grandsons: Shane Ostermeier and Mark Brinegar, and granddaughters: Katy (Peter) Privon and Keriann Brinegar. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Ima; his wife, Virginia; son, Bruce; grandsons: Sean and Reed Ostermeier and son-in-law, Ron Ostermeier.
Funeral services will be held at the Meridian United Methodist Church, 240 E. Idaho in Meridian at 11:30 AM on Thursday, February 13, 2014, with Rev. John Mars officiating, viewing will begin at 10:30 AM at the church. Military honors will be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at 2:00 PM. Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Feb. 11, 2014