Melvin (Bud) Bernard Stiffler, born February 25, 1930 in Burket Indiana, and died on January 21 , 2023.
Bud was the 2nd of 2 boys and 2 girls born to Hugh and Beulah Lenora (Reece) Stiffler. Born and raised during the depression, Bud lived at the base of that one hill in Warsaw that was uphill both ways, a 10 mile walk from everything and always had hip deep snow on it. Year around. They were so poor the only thing he had to play with was his shoes (as he always said). So Bud did his best with what he had and developed a love of sports, a love that would continue throughout his whole life. Bud was a three sport athlete at Warsaw High school where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. Upon graduating from Warsaw High School in the spring of 1948, he worked several jobs in the Warsaw Area as well as continuing participating in sports. In 1950 Bud joined the United States Air Force during the Korean conflict.
Bud married Jill Ellen Waterson (who preceded him in death on Feb 1, 2020) on May 19th, 1951 at St. Paul’s Methodist church in South Bend.
Bud spent a total of 21 years in the USAF, stationed in Texas, Ohio, Okinawa, Korea, Viet Nam, Mississippi, South Carolina and Florida. Bud finished his USAF career as an instructor for air flight controllers in 1971. While in the USAF, Bud received numerous citations including the Bronze Star for his work while stationed in Viet Nam, several Oakleaf Clusters and the Combat Readiness Medal. When he retired, Bud had achieved the rank of Master Sargent and was the NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) of his squadron.
After he retired from the USAF, Bud worked for 13 years at Bertsch Vending Company in Warsaw as the cook and then for another 9 years as the head custodian of Silver Lake Elementary School.
Bud was a lover of football, baseball and basketball, but his beloved Cubbies were always his favorites. As a family we were happy that he got to see the Cubs win the series in 2016. Bud was also a lover of any sport played by his children or grandchildren.
In their 80’s both Bud and Jill were baptized into the saving grace of Jesus, whom they both professed as their savior at the Warsaw Wesleyan Church.
This quote is from and old note written by his granddaughter Mikaela and sums up the kind of grandpa Bud was..."Dear Grandpa, Remember when we would walk to the park and my legs were too short? Thanks for being the best grandpa ever and letting me give you makeovers. Thanks for being at my volleyball games. I love you so much, you are a great role model. I was looking at old pictures and sir, you were (and still are) adorable. Well I hope to see you guys again soon! I love you! Mikaela. PS Take good care of my Grandma."
Bud and Jill were married for 69 years, raised 5 kids, supervised the up bringing of 8 grandkids and were blessed with 11 great-grandchildren.
Bud was preceded in death by his parents; his infant son, Scotty Allen; and his oldest son, Michael, his big brother Dean, his great-grand daughter Juniper, and his bride, Jill Ellen Waterson Stiffler.
Bud is survived by his sisters Joan Berlin and Donna Mills. Surviving children are Pam (Marvin) Dragoo (Warsaw), Tim (Robin) Stiffler (Syracuse), Jodi (Mark) Conley (Silver Lake), and daughter-in-law Rose Marie Stiffler (Sand Point, Idaho). Grandchildren include Mandy Dragoo, Kristin Conley, Kacie Langham, Cassi Glaze, Renee Case, Mikey Stiffler and Mikaela Bixler. Great-Grandchildren, Jilli, Treavor, Landon, Kirsten, Grace, Oliver, Jacoby, Gideon, Ivy, Riley and Bowie.
Bud’s life will be celebrated with a private family ceremony. He will be laid to rest at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw, Indiana with military rites conducted by active duty members of the Air Force Honor Guard and local members of the American Legion. Arrangements were entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana.
Memorial donations may be directed to The Magical Meadows, 3386 E. 525 N., Warsaw, Indiana 46582 and would be appreciated by the family.