William C. “Bud” Thomason, 77, of Baker City, Oregon died June 24, 2019, at his home after a short courageous battle with cancer. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 27, 2019, at 1:00 PM at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814. Pastor Brad Phillips of the Harvest Church will be officiating, and a reception will be held following the service at Coles Tribute Center.
Bud was born in Eugene, Oregon to Wm. C. and B. Merle (Mansell) Thomason on October 30, 1941. He graduated from S. Eugene High School in 1959, while still in high school Bud started working after school and weekends at a local grocery store. He continued in the grocery business, becoming an assistant manager until 1966.
Bud and his first wife Sydney had a son, Weston Major Thomason in 1967. He loved being a father and often said Wes was the pride of his life. They shared a love for the outdoors and the special memories they made together are priceless.
Seeking a more fulfilling career Bud started the Apprenticeship and Training courses to become a journeyman lineman. During the training period, he worked for line construction contractors throughout much of Oregon. He completed the apprenticeship program in 1970 and held a six-month position with Bonneville Power Administration. He accepted a position with Tillamook PUD in 1971. In July of 1977, Bud was offered a six-month temporary position with C.P. National Corp. in Baker City. That temporary position lasted for 27 years until his retirement from OTEC in 2005. Bud was proud to be a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He loved being a lineman and often said he couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to go to work.
Bud met Arleen in 1981 and soon they became inseparable, except for his occasional hunting or fishing trips! They were married in July of 1984. They both loved the outdoors and traveling to faraway places. They even became snowbirds after retirement loving the warmth of the desert and the many friends they met. Bud opened his arms and heart to Arleen’s children, Tessa and Eric, and welcomed each grandchild with his love and strength. Arleen’s parents and siblings became his own extended family. He loved them deeply, and, as with his own family, was always willing to lend a hand and offer his support.
Bud had a heart of gold and showered family and friends with his affections, kindness, and generosity. Even some wisdom from time to time!
He lived life to the fullest and was happiest if events involved hunting or fishing. If it had hide, feathers, or scales it was fair game. He always felt closest to God when he was out in nature. Alaska held a special place in Bud’s heart. After graduating from high school, he and two friends drove to Alaska in a VW Van. He stayed in Fairbanks for a year before returning to Oregon, but he never could quite totally stay away. He returned over the years for five fishing trips and an entire summer with Arleen and the RV.
Bud’s personality was bigger than life, he had a great sense of humor and a spontaneous laugh that was uniquely his own. Arleen always said she would never lose him in a crowd because he was always laughing, and she would know right where he was. He was a voracious reader, loved playing cards, and working jigsaw puzzles. He developed a talent for woodworking and creating lasting woodcraft gifts for family and friends as well as renovating an old Victorian home. A fact he tried to hide was that he had a fabulous singing voice. He could croon like Bing or wail like Willie Nelson. We hold dear the memories of the “concerts” he held while in the shower!
Bud was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Merle Thomason.
He is survived by his wife Arleen; son, Weston of Portland; Eric Pickler (Darlene) of Oak Harbor, Washington; Tessa Pickler of Moses Lake, Washington. Brothers, Randy (Suzi) of Bend, Mike (Linda) of Earleville, Iowa; sister Deborrah (Greg) Haag of Elmira; six great-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Earlynn (Rhonda) Garrett of Ione, sister in-law’s, Rosalynn Gorham of La Grande and Annette Tomat of Medford; numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, two aunts, and friends too numerous to list.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Hilary Bonn Benevolence Fund through Gray’s West & Co. at 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, OR 97814.