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Bud Vanek

April 17, 1935 - October 15, 2019

Burial Date November 1, 2019

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Clarence Anthony “Bud” Vanek, 84, of Sandpoint, Idaho, passed away on October 15, 2019 in Sandpoint.

Bud was born on April 17, 1935, to Rudolph and Anna (Comes) Vanek in Lewistown, Montana. The youngest of three sons, Bud was raised on his family’s Central Montana ranch. Educated in one-room school houses until high school, Bud grew up with the chores and physical labor associated with living on a working ranch of a section of land in central Montana during the late Depression, onset of World War II, and beyond.

In 1953, Bud graduated from Lewistown High School, where he was a stellar athlete in football and especially baseball, which would earn him spots on semi-professional teams. Bud was drafted During the Korean war, and though as the remaining son on a working ranch he could have declined service; he refused deferment and served from 1953 until 1955.

Upon returning from military service, Bud married Nancy Bissell of Butte, Montana. The family would move extensively throughout Montana, living in Lewistown, Billings, Missoula, Anaconda, Butte, Harlem, and Cut Bank; additionally, they would live in South Dakota, in Aberdeen, and California, in Salinas, Dublin, and Hollister. In 1976, the family moved to Rathdrum, Idaho, where each of their children would graduate from high school. Bud and Nancy divorced in 1989, after which Bud moved to Kootenai and later Sandpoint.

Bud was an active member of his community in many capacities throughout his time in all his various residences, working in the Federal Land Bank and the Production Credit Association and as a general manager in several commercial banks. For many years, Bud was a credit counselor at Bonner General Hospital. Bud enjoyed serving his community, which he often did through coaching and then later umpiring American Legion and Little League baseball. Additionally, Bud held positions on the city council while living in Rathdrum as well as in Kootenai.

In 1989, Bud entered a month-long treatment program to help him break a decades-long addiction to alcohol. Through his time in Alcoholics Anonymous, Bud would go on to mend relationships, counsel and sponsor recovering addicts, and help organize A.A. meetings. Many of his Alcoholics Anonymous friends credit him with help in their own lives and success.  In September, he received his 30-year AA coin.

Survivors include his four children, Jerry Vanek of Nashville, Tennessee; Ann Staker, husband Doug Staker of Spokane, Washington, and Bud’s grandchildren Troy and Emily Staker; Daniel Vanek and wife Shelbie Vanek of Redding, California; and, Paul Vanek and wife Melissa Vanek, of Windsor, California. Bud is also survived by his long-time companion, Norma White of Sandpoint.

Many people know Bud for his sense of humor; he possessed a wide repertoire of one-liners and occasionally off-color remarks and jokes.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, November 1st, at 10:00 A.M. at the Lakeview Funeral home in Sandpoint with Fr. Dennis Day officiating. A reception will follow. Military honors and interment will be held at 3:00 P.M. at the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery in Medical Lake, WA. Viewing will be held Thursday from 9-5. Should you come, Bud would be happy to let you know that he is “glad you got to see him.” Additionally, he used to often remark that the size of one’s funeral “depends an awful lot on the weather.” We will see.