Bill "William, Billy" Budd

Died on February 13, 2013. Among his many and varied achievements, Bill founded the Gilbert and Sullivan Company of Santa Barbara in 1982, and directed all of its shows at the Lobero Theater until 1994. During that twelve-year period, he also performed in most of them as the 'patter song' character.

Bill was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1932. He sang as a featured soprano soloist with the Saint Paul's Boy's Choir from the age of seven, performing in such places as Carnegie Hall and the New York Metropolitan Opera House.

He held a BBA degree from Hofstra University and served as an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps.

Bill was president of Budd Publications in New York City for twenty years, specializing in periodicals in the import/export and tradeshow fields. He was a private pilot, a raconteur and joke-teller extraordinaire, but his prime avocation was musical comedy.

With his infectious smile, genial spirit and unbounded optimism, Bill definitely saw "life as a stage", and he enjoyed performing on it. He also never lost a chance to use the stage to brighten the lives of others. Many have attested to the enrichment and joy Bill brought to their lives. This includes adults who were children when Bill introduced them to Gilbert and Sullivan through 'Peanut Gallery Productions'.

Bill Budd formed Performance Memories, a video production company, in 1977. He and his wife Betty moved the company to Santa Barbara in 1982, where it continues today with over 20,000 local customers.

Bill is predeceased by his brother John, his daughter Bonnie, Arthur Sullivan, W.S. Gilbert, Abraham Lincoln and too many others to list.

A "Celebration of Bill's Life" will be held on March 17 on the grounds of Bishop Diego HS, 4000 La Colina Rd., at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, or any donations, please just take a moment to remember Bill and how he made you laugh.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from Mar. 8 to Mar. 12, 2013