Bud Morrow  Oct 18th 1956 - Jul 13th 2013

Beloved Friend to All                                Life Story Film   1st Annual Ride for Bud (pictures by Deb Pinkster Young)

Bud MorrowHarry “Bud” Morrow was a big man, with a big life and a bigger heart, a heart he shared with all who knew him. Bud’s life leaves a legacy so rich in family, in friends and in memory. Bud never did anything halfway, and he loved those around him the same way he lived his life, always headlong and wholehearted.

Bud’s story began on a picture-perfect fall day in 1956, as the pumpkins were put on porches around the little town of Kankakee, Illinois. Those were such fascinating times in this country, with Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Bobby Fischer making headlines everywhere. The Yankees’ Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history that October, but over in Kankakee, Harry and Gloria (Corden) Morrow were busy celebrating a one-of-a-kind event all their own. On October 18, 1956, a warm, sunny fall Thursday, the couple had their third child, a little boy they named Harry, but who would forever be known as Bud.

 Bud joined his older brother Oren and big sister Julia in the family’s Kankakee home. Living in a southern suburb of Chicago, Bud naturally grew up rooting for the Chicago Bears football team as a kid. When he was a boy he watched the Bears win the 1963 NFL Championship, which solidified his loyalty forever.

When Bud was in middle school, his family packed up and moved 177 miles away to the little factory town called Comstock, Michigan. Bud began going to Comstock Schools, though he’d find much more than new classmates and courses there.

There Bud met a beautiful young blonde named Jorene Verburg, and the sparks flew between them right from the start — not all in a good way, either! Bud was quite smitten with Jorene from the get-go, and wanted to take her bike for a spin. She agreed, but he ended up wrecking it! Not the first impression he was hoping for, but Bud was undeterred. In fact, he went home that day and told his mom he’d marry that girl someday! Bud never gave up easily.

She was just 14, and he was 18, but he eventually won her heart, and before they knew it, they were getting a fresh start as husband and wife, just like he had predicted. The young couple married on a mild Monday, December 8, 1975, and settled in nearby Paw Paw. There Bud completed his GED and eventually began working at Menasha Corporation, the nearby paper mill in Otsego.

Being the loyal, all-in kind of guy he was, Bud stayed at Menasha virtually his entire working career, even rejoining the mill after it closed and reopened as USG Paper Mill. He worked hard, but it provided a good life for him and his wife, and soon, their growing family.

Bud and Jorene had three wonderful children over the years, who brought Bud so much pride and joy. Together with Jorene, his son Jason and daughters Andrea and Stephanie were the light of Bud’s life.

And what a life it was. As Bud always said, “Life is good.” That was his personal catchphrase, the kind of saying only a perpetually positive, fun-loving man like Bud would use, and he used it often.

Bud wasn’t happy unless he was sharing his life with the people around him, either. He was warm and friendly, funny and fun-loving, always ready for a good time, a good party, a good challenge. He was a jokester, too, and loved to make people laugh.

Bud and Jorene enjoyed their dream home on Pine Lake in Plainwell, which was the central hub of entertainment and so many great memories through the years. Being the adventurous man he was, Bud loved to travel, but loved his lake home even more. It gave the hardworking man the feeling of always being on vacation when he was there, whether it was relaxing on the deck, or taking the boat out with friends and neighbors.

Being so close to his birthday, Halloween was one of Bud’s favorite holidays, and he celebrated in grand style each year. He loved putting on big parties for his family and friends, always keeping his costume a secret until “showtime.” He also loved to scare the trick-or-treaters each year, too!

That was Bud, though: always all-in and headlong, nothing halfway. He was a very active man, who loved to run and bike his whole life. His garage became a shrine to his many road races through the years, every numbered bib a fond memory, a good challenge. He ran and biked right to the end, running the Borgess Hospital 5k, and even completing a 100-mile bike ride recently. He’d even been planning and training for a bike trip to Colorado. Bikes were one of Bud’s favorite passions, and he collected some true beauties. Some he called his “Cadillac” bikes, worth more than his own car!

Bud had many loves in his life, from going golfing with friends, to listening to the blues or classic rock, to a home-cooked dinner and his mom’s hush puppies. He followed the Bears win or lose, and rooted for the Michigan Wolverines, too.

But the most important part of Bud’s life was his family and friends, and he left no doubt in their minds. Bud always saw the good in people, and he told everybody, “Love ya, man,” in the genuine, heartwarming way only he could. Bud was a big man, with a heart so much bigger than his stature.

Bud was also the kind of husband who left daily love notes for Jorene, helped his son with home improvement projects, and ran races with his daughter. As the years progressed, Bud also doted on his five grandchildren, Alyssa, Jordan, Alivia, Dallas, and Annabelle, and anxiously awaited his sixth grandchild, as well.

Sadly, Bud passed away on Saturday, July 13, 2013, at the age of 56. He was a big man, with a bigger heart, a heart he shared with all around him. Wherever he went, whatever he did, Bud always lived the way he loved, headlong and wholehearted. “Life is good,” he always said, and he was right.

Bud Morrow was a great man with a good life, a life we were so lucky to share with him. He will be so greatly missed.

Bud is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jorene; three children: Jason (Lacey) Morrow, of Plainwell; Andrea Morrow, of Plainwell; Stephanie (Ryan) Meninga, of Kalamazoo; five grandchildren, with one on the way: Alyssa, Jordan, Alivia, Dallas, and Annabelle. He is also survived by his sister: Julia (Jerry) Fecke, of IL; mother-in-law: Joann Verburg-Henry; brother and sister-in-laws: Ardell Morrow, of TN; sister and brother-in-laws: Sherry Verburg, of Plainwell; Steve and Arlene Verburg, of Paw Paw; Scott and Ebie Longshore, of Paw Paw; Trent and Chris Bennett, of Paw Paw; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents: Harry and Gloria Morrow; brother: Oren Morrow; father-in-law: Rene Verburg and brother-in-law: Rene Verburg.

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