OKEECHOBEE - On Dec. 21, 2012, Walter "Bud" Robards, went to be with the Lord after a short battle with cancer. Born Sept. 22, 1948, he was the youngest of three children. At seventeen years old, he asked his mother to sign a school permission slip for a field trip. It was actually his enlistment papers so he could fight in Vietnam. He served four years in the United States Army
, attaining the rank of Sergeant E-5 and received three purple heart
s and the bronze star
. After his service in the Army, Bud worked 13 years for Caterpillar Tractor Company as a machinist. In 1984, he and his family relocated to Okeechobee. He worked at Pratt & Whitney as a machinist for four years. Bud also worked for Walpole Inc. driving a semi where he made many friends. His favorite job of all was when he bought his own semi. He was able to travel the country and be his own boss. He retired in August of 2001. He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of Illinois, American Legion, Okeechobee Amateur Radio Club SCARS Ham Radio Group, and the Ambassadors for Christ Ham Radio Group. He was preceded in death by his parents , Eugene and Vera Eileen Robards; and a sister, Judy Grant. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 38 years, Mary Jo Robards; daughters, Deborah "DJ" (Steve) Brantley, Sherry (Robert) Conrad; son, Justin Robards; four grandchildren; Payton and Stormy Stokes, Haley and Ryan Conrad, all of Okeechobee; and his Godson and nephew, Ed (Ronda) Grant of Orlando. He also leaves an extended family and countless friends whom he also loved. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 11 a.m at Buxton-Seawinds Funeral Home. Following the service, the family will receive friends at a luncheon at Westside Christian Church, 8082 State Road 70 W., Okeechobee, Fla. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Bud's memory to Hospice of Okeechobee, P.O. Box 1548, Okeechobee, FL 34973. Friends may send online condolences to www.buxtonseawinds.com
Arrangements are under the care of Matthew and Paul Buxton of Buxton-Seawinds Funeral Home, 3833 SE 18th Terrace, Okeechobee, Fla.