Verl W. “Bud” Sewell of Hood River, Ore., passed away July 24, 2018, at The Springs at Mill Creek in The Dalles, Ore. Bud was born June 25, 1927, and was 91 years of age at the time of his passing.
Bud was born to parents Verl Willis and Ruby (Wallace) Sewell in The Dalles, Ore. He attended both Joseph G. Wilson Elementary and The Dalles High School. In 1945, Bud enlisted, serving in the United States Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was sent to Germany where he survived several jumps from gliders which he referred to as “flying crackerjack boxes”. He was honorably discharged in 1948.
Bud returned to The Dalles and found a job driving a laundry truck until hearing that the Union Pacific Railroad was hiring. He applied and was immediately hired as a brakeman. Ten years later, Bud tested and was promoted to conductor, a position he retained until his retirement.
In November of 1963, Bud married Winnifred Walters Espey in The Dalles and became stepfather to “Win’s” 8-year-old daughter, Linda. Together they lived in LaGrande, Ore., for several years while he worked for the railroad as a conductor on both freight and passenger trains. In 1973, Bud and Win bought a piece of property in Hood River and in 1975, they built and moved into their dream home on the banks of the Hood River. In 1988, he retired as conductor on Amtrak when Amtrak was still operational on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, doing runs from La Grande to Portland.
Bud enjoyed many hobbies, particularly fishing for salmon and steelhead. He was an avid fisherman and an excellent fly fisherman who in turn became a licensed guide on the Deschutes River. Thanks to the teaching of guides Homer Baker, Chet Oliver and Sam Holmes, Bud was one of the first guides to run the Deschutes River in a wooden jet boat with twin jet pump motors. In addition to fishing, Bud was an excellent trap shooter.He and Win traveled throughout the Northwest, to various trap shoots, winning many trophies and awards. While fishing and trap shooting were two of his favorite hobbies, at the age of 55, Bud started running and competing in numerous marathons throughout the country, including Hawaii.
Bud is survived by his stepdaughter, Linda Sewell of Trout Lake, Wash.; two cousins, Sharon Layman of The Dalles and Art Means of Lake Havasu, Ariz.; two nephews, Ted Loeffler of San Rafael, Calif., and Mike Loeffler of Portland, Maine; and two great-grandnephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Verl Willis and Ruby Wallace Sewell; wife, Winifred “Win” Espey Sewell; and sister, Denise Loeffler.
At Bud’s request, there will be no formal memorial service. His ashes will be scattered per his request at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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