Ralph "Bud" T. Zeckser, 94, entered eternal life Tuesday, December 4, 2012. He was given the gift of life, born the fourth son of Herman Conrad and Emma (Mitze) Zeckser on the family farmstead in Alma, KS on May 19, 1918. He was received into the kingdom of God's grace through Holy Baptism June 30, 1918 and reaffirmed his baptismal vows through the Rite of Confirmation, March 20, 1932 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Alma. He was a charter member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, NKC, former member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, KCMO and present member of Trinity Lutheran Church,
Mission, KS. He had a devout faith in the Lord enriched as a Stephen Minister, a member of the Lutheran Layman's League, 50+ Group, and held various board positions for church and school. He was recognized in "Engaging the Aging" for producing inspirational cards used for evangelism purposes, as correspondence & card inserts, or as handouts to medical personnel as a personal steward of Christ. He was ever so grateful for the lay ministry Bob Day brought to him and residents at Park Meadows Senior Living.
Early elementary education found him attending grades 1st, 2nd and 4th in a District 51, one-room schoolhouse in rural Wabaunsee Co. Transportation was sometimes by horseback, walking or being driven to school by his father or siblings. For school fundraisers, students were required to recite poems to parents and those from the community, who attended the semi-annual "box suppers." Recently, he shared one of those poems from memory with us…
"Of my old Ford they all make fun
They say it was born in 1901.
Maybe it was but this I'll bet,
She's good for many a long mile yet.
Her coils are dead and her plugs won't fire,
And her piston's rings are bailing wire.
But in spite of this it pulls me through
And that's about all any old car can do.
So if Henry Ford stays in the game,
I might buy me another by the same old name."
His later elementary years he attended grades 3rd and 5th- 8th at St. John's Lutheran School in Alma, KS. At high school in Alma, KS, he followed in his brother's, Art "Big Woody" and Paul "Woody's" footsteps, & played football where he lettered on a team known as the "Flying Dutchmen"-helping extend their school's winning streak to 33 consecutive games. After graduation in 1936, he worked as a farmhand to fund his tuition at Central Business College in KCMO in 1937. While, going to school, he worked as a waiter in a private dining room, earning pay for room and board and gas. After college, he was employed by Greyhound Bus Lines until March, 1942. In April, he enlisted as a 3rd Class Yeoman in the US Navy. He was a proud veteran having served as Chief Petty Officer in WWII where he suffered his hearing loss. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he was employed for Skelly Oil in KC before a more permanent job as clerk in the Inspection Office for the United States Postal Service the next 25 years. After retirement in 1971 from USPS, he engaged his carpentry skills while he worked for Burke Mobility Products as shop foreman for 10 years. A true sports fan found him taking tickets for the KC Chiefs for 34 years-one of the most senior employees in the franchise history—up until 1997, the KC Athletics for 12 years and the KC Royals for 10 years. He continued to follow his favorite teams on radio and TV. Even though he was legally blind, he was an avid bridge player, bowler, investor and Wall Street Journal subscriber, in his later years. He loved fishing and BBQ. He was a member of The American Legion, Naval Minewarfare Assoc., DAV, and VFW. At 92 years old, he was a grateful recipient of the Heartland Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. for veterans. From 1981 and the next 20 years, he served the community by delivering Meals on Wheels to people in need. He was an advocate for parochial education for children and served on the Board of Education for Immanuel Lutheran School.
On June 8,1946, he married Ordella M. Pfortmiller and was blessed with three children, Susan, Bonnie and Douglas. They were married 19 years. After her passing, God blessed him with a wife, Marie (Tefft) Davis in 1967. Only married 2 1/2 years until her passing in April, 1970, he embraced her three children, Scott, Bill and Elaine, as his own. He departed this life married to his loving wife, Maxine F. (Carpenter) with her 2 children, Gayle and Joe "JD." Bud and Maxine were privileged to visit all 50 states in the USA and over 30 foreign countries while married for 41 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 devoted wives, Ordella and Marie, brothers, Art, Ben and Paul Zeckser, sister, Esther Schwiesow and daughter, Elaine (Davis) Smith. Survivors include his wife, Maxine and canine friend, Molly, of the home, daughters, Susan Looney (Herb) San Antonio, TX, Bonnie Simon (Bill) Eudora, KS, and son, Douglas Zeckser (Shelly) Bucyrus, KS, his special children,
Scott Davis (Pat) Westminster, CO, Bill Davis (Trudy) Arvada, CO, Gayle Creason (Daryl) Raymore, MO, JD Carpenter (Colette) Overland Pk, KS and sister-in-law, Katy Zeckser, Shell Knob, MO. His blended families have blessed him with 15 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends. Bud's family would like to thank STLK'S So. Cardio Rehab, Hollie and the staff at Crossroads Hospice for their time, care and compassion for Bud during his last days on earth and a special thank you to Dr. C Cordell of the VA Audiology Dept., KCMO.
Friends may call from 6-8pm Thursday at DW Newcomer's Son's, 8201 Metcalf, OPK,KS 66204 and a Celebration of his Life will be at 11 am, Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5601 W 62nd, Mission, KS 66202. Immediately, following the service, his body will be laid to rest, with military honors, in Park Lawn Cemetery, 8251 Hillcrest, KCMO. In lieu
of flowers, Bud requests memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran High School, 12411 Wornall Rd., KCMO 64145 or Orphan Grain Train, 11670 S 340 E, Elizabethtown, IN 47232.
Pallbearers: Grandchildren, Jason Looney, Amy (Looney) Bridges, Kevin Looney, Stephanie Zeckser, Ryan Zeckser, Meranda (Zeckser) Lathrop.
Honorary Pallbearers: Grandchildren, Jim Fairchild, Christie (Simon) Lehr, Lisa (Ferguson) Hatfield, Matthew Carpenter, Tracy (Carpenter) Hearshman, Amber Smith and Nathan Smith.
God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around you
And whispered, "Come to Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you pass away,
And though we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best."