Obituary: Ralph “Bud” Armand Hadford

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Ralph "Bud" Armand Hadford

Ralph “Bud” Armand Hadford, age 94, of Reno, Nevada passed away on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 

Bud was born on March 27, 1930 in Garden Grove, CA. He was the fourth child, and only son, of Clarence Hadford and Jeanne Anna (Armand) Hadford.

He passed away at the Carson Tahoe Medical Center in Carson City, NV after suffering a stroke. His two children were able to spend time with prior to his passing.

Bud grew up in Southern California where his family moved around until finally settling in Burbank when Clarence was offered a position at Lockheed Aircraft. 

He enlisted in the US Navy reserve in June of 1947 and was Honorably Discharged in August 1954. He never claimed Veterans status because he was never deployed into active service.

Bud became friends with Arleta Joy Lyons in the fifth grade and they began formally dating in high school. After asking her twice, Joy said “yes” and they were married in March of 1951. They had two children, Jeanne Ellen in 1952 and Gerald (Jerry) Clarance in 1958.  Bud and Joy actively supported the Burbank Camp Fire Girls for several years- Joy, as group leader, and Bud, helping with maintain the summer camp in Big Bear CA. Bud, along with his dad Clarence, were also active with the Burbank YMCA with maintaining their summer camp. Joy died suddenly in July of 1967 at the age of 36.

Bud graduated from Burbank Senior High in June of 1948 and began his employment with Lockheed Aircraft the following month as a Tool and Die apprentice. Bud retired from Lockheed in June of 1990 after 42 years of service. Bud frequently said, “I was lucky to work at a job I loved for 27 years as a Tool Designer for Lockheed. The last 13 years I used the computer design program CADAM to create my designs, and boy was that a ball!” 

Bud dated for several years after Joy’s death until meeting and marrying his second love, Carol Marie Anderson, in November of 1983. During their 27 years of marriage, they were blessed with 9 grandchildren from their combined family. Prior to retiring, Bud and Carol purchased a 30-foot fifth wheel trailer and traveled the US and Canada extensively. This included 2-week vacations with each of the grandkids when they turned 11 years old.

In 1994, Bud and Carol moved to a new home in Atascadero, CA that included a 25 by 25-foot woodworking shop that was furnished with Bud’s tools and tools from his dad. Bud created many projects for his church, family and friends. 

After Carol passed away of a long-term illness in 2011, Bud needed something to keep his mind busy. He purchased a CNC machine with a computer-based router machine that he used to create 400-500 signs for friends, family and small businesses in the Atascadero area.

May of 2021, Bud moved to an assisted living community in Carson City, NV to be closer to his daughter. The thing that drew him to the community was the administrator’s willingness to set up an 8 by 10 shed to house his CNC machine. Dad continued to makes signs in his new location.

He is preceded in death by his parents and three older sisters, Leonore Genevieve, Cora Jeanne, and Evelyn Ruth (Toadie). He is survived by his children and many loving family members and friends.

The family is having a private Celebration of Life on Father’s Day at his son’s home in Colorado.