(Sept. 8, 2008)
Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 8 in Byron at the LDS Church for Arthur Forrest “Bud” Petrich, also known by many as “Art,” who died Sept. 3 in Lovell.
He was born Feb. 28, 1925 in Houston, Texas, the first son of Arthur Henry and Forrest Aline Cockburn Petrich, cherished by proud grandparents, uncles and aunts. A sister, Charmaine, soon joined the family in 1928.
During the tough economy of the 1930s, the family moved north to Wyoming in 1933 to work in the oil fields. They lived in Byron several years. Brother John was born in 1936 in Lovell. The Petrich family lived in Lamont for a time, where Bud and Charmaine boarded in Rawlins to attend school. In 1942, Bud graduated from high school in Rawlins, as there was no school to attend in Lamont.
Bud rough-necked in the summer from age 15 and until he was drafted into the service in 1943. He began working as a young boy and stayed in for the long haul, showing leadership on the job and in the army. He served during WWII in the U.S. Army Infantry 69th Division as Master Sergeant. Bud was involved in the heavy action in Europe and was discharged in 1945.
He attended University of Wyoming for one year on the GI bill until he was recalled to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., to train troops going to Korea during the war there.
Siblings Charmaine and John were proud of their big brother Bud and prayed for him as he served in the trenches and across a hostile German territory, truly a soldier of the great generation, never in the headlines, but forever in the hearts and memories of his family, friends and fellow soldiers.
He didn’t boast or even talk about his achievements, his war experiences or even the medals he earned. He willingly accepted life's responsibilities and always challenged himself to find new opportunities for his family, friends and business.
In 1952, He married Anne Lucille Alexander. Four sons were born to the couple: Chad Martin in 1953, Allen Todd in 1954, Troy Michael in 1956 and Gary Eugene in 1960. He dearly loved his children and grandchildren.
In 1957, Bud and Ed NeVille started the NEPECO service company in Byron. Ed sold his share of the business to Bud some years later, and the business is still operating today.
He took his family to the oil fields of Kuwait and saved his earnings to start the business that continues to be a mainstay of the surrounding area, providing the employment and security for many families. By his example, he brought his sons and grandson into the real world of hard work.
Bud and Lucille owned, operated and leased the Byron Bar for several years until it was sold in the 1970s.
Bud served on school boards, the B.I.G. organization, was a member of the Shrine and a Mason. His success in business helped him contribute much to the community by contributing to local athletes, scouts, Lions and many others. His company also gave much to the building of the church in Byron.
Bud liked to take his dog buddies on rides in his little red truck, JJ and later Angel would run along in the sand hills while Bud drove the truck. They always wanted to be where he was.
Bud’s health had been deteriorating for the past few years, and it became necessary for him to move into the New Horizons Care Center in Lovell earlier this year.
Bud was preceded in death by his parents and wife Lucille. Survivors include sister Charmaine P. Bailey; brother John D. Petrich (Christy); his four sons; three grandchildren, Jeanie Petrich, Andy Petrich and Victoria Vorce (Dustin); two great-grandchildren, Zoie and Tucker; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Burial took place in the Byron Cemetery. Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell was in charge of the services.