Obituary: Elwood C. “Bud” Veregge
July 31, 1922 – June 1, 2013
Elwood C. “Bud” Veregge passed away peacefully on June 1, 2013 in Carson Valley Medical Center in Gardnerville with his son, Jim by his side. He was born on July 31, 1922 in Stockton, California, the only son of Roy Scott Veregge (1899-1981) and Grace Zeralda Zent (1899-1993). He is a descendant of three of the families that came over on the Mayflower, on his mother’s side of the family. Bud’s older sister, June Olson, predeceased him in 1990.
After graduating from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California in 1940, he attended San Jose State College, receiving his B.A. Degree in Radio Engineering. While at San Jose State, Bud was Captain of the Spartan Track Team, excelling in the high and low-hurdles. Bud’s love for track continued later in life, as he was a volunteer AAU Track Official for many years in Southern California during the 1970s and 1980s.
At the outbreak of WWII, in 1942, he volunteered to join the United States Marine Corps Reserve and continued his studies while attending the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Electrical Engineering (Communications). Bud served in the Marines for 11 years, moving up in rank from Private to Captain, and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California (First Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion); Ft. Bliss, Texas (Officers Guided Missile/Antiaircraft Artillery School); U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California; and Tsingtao, China.
After his military service, Bud went onto a successful career in Aerospace Engineering/Missile and Satellite systems with Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Litton Guidance and Control Division, Electronic Specialty Company and Interstate Electronics Corporation, where he worked in several key program management roles for each company during his Aerospace career. While at Lockheed, his department was responsible for the successful design, fabrication and development phase for the Satellite and Polaris Missile Systems programs. During the Aerospace decline in the 1970s, Bud obtained his Real Estate Broker’s License and started his own Commercial Real Estate Company, “Business Specialists”, selling commercial property and small businesses in Southern California. He later re-joined the Aerospace Industry, working his last eight years in Hughes Aircraft Company’s Missile Systems Division, in Hawthorne, California, where he retired in 1987. Afterwards, he re-located to Gardnerville, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe, where he always wanted to live and where he has directed that his ashes be laid.
When Bud was just 13, he became interested and toyed with electronics and radio equipment. This interest led to his life-long hobby of being an Amateur “Ham” Radio Operator, and he received his license at age 15 and the call sign letters “W6PBI”. He became proficient in using Morse Code to communicate with many other Amateur Radio Operators on several different communication frequencies (or “bands”). Bud was the last surviving original founding member of the San Diego DX Club at the time of his death.
Bud was married twice; first, to Mildred Harriet Irwin in 1944; and second to Rachel Carolyn Smith, in 1955. He leaves two children from each of his marriages: Frederick Veregge of Bangkok, Thailand, Pamela Frederick of Brentwood, NH, from his first marriage; and James Veregge of Norwalk, CA and Jon Veregge of Laguna Hills, CA, from the second. He also leaves four grandchildren and one great-grandson. During his last 11 years, Bud found companionship with Mrs. Helen Hall, a widow who also lived in Gardnerville, and Bud and Helen looked after and cared for each other the last years of their lives. Helen predeceased Bud late in 2012.
Bud was a proud American, a proud Marine, a proud Republican, and a good and loving father. He will be missed by all that loved him, but never forgotten. A memorial service for Bud will be held at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 1pm, officiated by Pastor Pete Nelson and including a traditional Marine color-guard and tribute to his life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be made to a local charity of your choice.