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HAROLD (BUD) LOTTRIDGE


Harold (Bud) Lottridge excused himself from this earthly realm quietly on Jan. 9, 2022 in his favorite recliner, never knowing how much his loving wife of 67 years had spent on her new Sealy Posturepedic mattress.

Bud entered the world on Aug. 16, 1934, the first child of Jack and Gladys (Hill) Lottridge (both deceased). He attended school in Watervliet K-12, playing football, basketball and baseball. His wild popularity made him the subject of many newspaper articles in which typos were made, and so was born his nickname, Bird Butt, which was a preferred moniker used by his favorite nieces—Terry, Pam and Monica—the daughters of his brother, John, who preceded him in death.

Except for the years Bud devoted to the Army from 1957-1959— being stationed at both Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland— he worked for the Watervliet Paper Mill until it shut down in the early 1990s. He was one of the very last employees to walk out the door. If you didn’t have the pleasure of working with him at the mill, you may have been lucky enough to work with him at Turner’s Machine Shop in Coloma or have had the pleasure of being helped by him at Ace Hardware in Watervliet.

Without question, the best thing Bud ever did happened in September of 1954 when he married his high school sweetheart, Jeanette Bellenger. Had it not been for overcrowding at Coloma High School, Bud and Jeanette may never have gotten together, but in her freshman year, Coloma had three too many students and Jeanette came to Watervliet, where she caught the eye of a handsome sophomore. From this union came three of the most wonderful and intelligent children ever: Kimberly (Gene Butler) now living in St. Joseph; Roger (Aimee Moore), residing in League City, TX; and Mark (DeeDee Schultz) of Bartlesville, OK.

Bud’s family remembers him as a man who had a fondness for the smell of cigars and watching a good Western, swinging on the patio while having a fun conversation, the many beautiful woodworking projects he produced in his workshop, defeating the purpose of Wii Sports by playing seated in his recliner, taking his kids fishing on Lower Scott Lake, and the screened in tree house he built for them at “the woods.” He is also remembered for his love of golf and bowling, since golf got him out of the house and bowling gave the kids a reason to play in the arcade at Coloma Lanes.

Though Bud had many passions, his favorite was his grandchildren, Kyle and Dylen Lottridge of Texas, and Willow (Rick Walker) and Levi Price of St. Joseph. Bud taught them how to operate numerous types of saws and sanders, as well as how to drive a riding lawn mower.

In addition to those mentioned above, Mr. Lottridge is survived by two very special friends, Jerry Price and Jack Turner, both from this area. His younger sister, Judy (Herb) Kehlstrom of Racine, WI, is available to tell tales of Bud in his youth, for anyone interested. Ask her why she tied her brother’s shoe laces together one afternoon while they were both at school.

Besides his family, Bud was loved by 98.7% of the people who met him. He carried a smile and compassion wherever he went. His friends at the North Berrien Senior Center will miss his quick wit and willingness to let them win at cards now and then, telemarketers will miss his snark and his family will miss everything about him.

As we know, when a loved one passes a certain song, a smell, even a sound sparks vivid memories of that person. For the Lottridges, a corny dad joke or a whiff of Limburger cheese will do it!

When Bud returns to his family from the crematorium, he will return to his favorite recliner until such time as a more permanent location seems appropriate.

Donations to the North Berrien Senior Center, 6648 Ryno Rd, Coloma, MI 49038 may be made in Bud’s name as a memorial. At this time, no services are planned, so celebrate him in a way that makes sense to you: smoking a cigar, eating limburger cheese, and falling asleep in your recliner would be fitting.

Hutchins Funeral Home in Watervliet is assisting Bud’s family with arrangements. You may leave a message of comfort for his family at hutchinsfuneral.com.

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