Bud attended Pleasant Ridge grammar school and then two years at Houston High School. At the age of 16 1/2 he left home with his cousin Dwayne Ragain to follow the wheat harvest into Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. When the wheat harvest fizzled out, the two had a pocket full of change and an old Pontiac. While having breakfast together in Colorado they decided to head to California. Heading out to California from Colorado, they took their old car and gave it to the local sheriff and bought two bus tickets to California. Once they arrived in California they landed in Modesto. There they started looking for work in the local newspaper. They both found a job at the Campbell’s catsup factory where they worked for the winter. After their winter’s work, with their pockets full of change, they bought another old car and were told there was work in Crannell, California. Driving all day and all night, they ended up in Eureka, California. They sat at breakfast over some flapjacks and heard that the work was at Hammond Lumber Company in Crannell and went to work there in the spring of 1947.
After working a couple logging seasons, Bud left by bus to go to Ukiah, California. He bought himself a brand-new 1949 Harley motorcycle and rode it back up to Crannell. His cousin Dwayne wanted to take the Harley for a ride, where he laid it down on its side and back to Ukiah the cycle went to be repaired.
Upon his travels on the Harley he stopped at the Little Red Hen where he met Clair Ann Childs. While courting Clair Ann, the Korean War started so Bud joined the Navy. After serving in the Navy, Bud returned home in 1954. He and Clair Ann began courting again. While he was gone to the service she had married and had five children, Barney, Linda, Beverly, Roger and Vernon Curtice. He had open arms for each and every one one of them. After a brief courtship, Bud and Clair Ann were married in 1957 and their first child, Mitchell D. Ragain, was born December 18, 1957.
In 1957 Hammond Lumber Company was sold. On the same day he quit Hammond Lumber Company, Bud went to work for Simpson Timber Company in Korbel, California. He worked for Simpson Timber Company from 1957 to 1987. During this period of time he and Clair Ann had three girls, Arlene, Marlene, and Eileen, whom he called his “leenies.”
After retirement in 1987 from Simpson Timber Company he returned home to Missouri and went into the cattle business with his brother and father. After their father passed away, Bud and his brother Mibb continued the business together. Bud would travel back and forth to his homes in California and Missouri a couple times each year.
Bud reconnected with a lifelong friend, Dottie Weaver, and they were married.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Grace; his youngest sister, Virgie (Virginia); his brother, Mibb Ragain; his wives, Clair Ann and Dottie; his son, Vernon; and granddaughters, Jane and Jasamyne.
He is survived by his son, Mitchell and wife Marcy of Mckinleyville, California, and children Stevee and Cameron; daughter Arlene Key and husband Larry of Brighton, Missouri, and children Jill and Joshua; daughter Marlene Ragain of Eureka, California, and children TJ and Connor; and daughter Eileen Ragain of Mckinleyville, California, and children Blythe, Taylor, and Drake. Bud is survived by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved very much, from Clair Ann’s children. He is also survived by his sisters, Violet Fern Parks of St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothy Pinkston and husband Dean of Houston, Missouri, and Rosemary Walls and husband Keith of Cabool, Missouri.
Bud was a member of the Eagles Club in Houston, Missouri, as well as being a Mason for over 30 years with the Masonic Lodge in Arcata, California. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Services were Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 11 a.m. in Evans Funeral Home. Pastor Russell Kane officiated. Pallbearers were Mitch Ragain, Roger Curtice, Cameron Ragain, Matt Duffy, Larry Key, Gaylord Ragain, TJ Brogan and Connor Brogan. Burial was in Hickory Ridge Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to Hickory Ridge Cemetery.