Richard ‘Bud’ Rabern

Richard J “Bud” Rabern, 86, passed quietly Sunday, Sept. 18, after battling cancer, or as Bud called it, “The Big C.”

Bud was born May 1, 1930 to Dick and Emma Rabern at his granddad’s home 18 miles north of Presho, S.D. It was here, along with sister Dulcie, that he spent his early childhood.

Bud began his PRCA bull riding in 1948, and continued through 1957. He rode in such places as the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Madison Square Garden in New York City. He tangled with colorful characters, including Casey Tibbs and Ted Williams.

Bud’s rodeo aspirations were interrupted in 1951 when he was drafted into the Korean War. He served as a paratrooper in the 187th Regimental Combat Team. He received numerous honors, including two bronze service stars, and was honorably dispatched in 1953.

With military service complete, Bud found his way to Winnett, where he was employed at the Nebraska Feeding Company. At some point, Bud met the love of his life, Donna Mae Daum. The two tied the knot June 2, 1958.

Bud and Donna shared 56 years together, bringing their one and only child, a daughter, Tina Marie, into the world in 1968. They finally settled in the Winnett area in 1966, the two worked side by side in farming and ranching, and did delivery of bulk fuel. In the spring of 1987 he purchased Harold’s Auto Service, which became Rabern Oil, which he operated until retirement in 1999.

Bud held offices in both the Winnett Roping Club and Youth Rodeo Association. He loved the outdoors, especially when fishing was involved. He was always up for a game of poker, and loved to share his many stories.

Bud had his own language. On many occasions one needed a “Bud to English” dictionary to understand what he was talking about. Bud was a kind, gentle and humble man. He will be greatly missed by all he touched during his life.

Bud was preceded in passing by his parents, Dick and Emma abern; his beloved wife Donna; sister and brother-in- law, Dulcie and Ben Thomas.

Survivors include one daughter, Tina, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services were held Monday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Winnett School Gym. Memorials may be made to Winnett Ambulance or charity of your choice.

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