Bud Lawrence, 86, Mankato, died peacefully Wednesday November 29, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family. Memorial service will be held at 11am Monday, December 18th, 2017 at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato. Visitation will be held from 4-8pm Sunday, December 17th at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Private interment will be held at Hay Creek German Methodist Cemetery in Hay Creek, MN. Woodland Hills Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Louis George "Bud" Lawrence, best known to his family and friends as Bud, was born March 25, 1931 to Ervin E.F. and Luverne (Geisler) Lawrence. March 25 is also the birthday of Bud's paternal grandfather and Luverne had promised to name her son after him if she had her baby on this date. However, refusing to call a child "Louis" she dubbed him "Buddy" immediately and the name has stuck. In 1936 the Lawrence's moved from the farm in Clements to Kasson, where Bud attended high school. Following high school Bud began working for the DNR in Bemidji and Cloquet. After his time with the DNR, Bud joined the Army and was stationed at Camp Rucker, AL. When he was honorable discharged from the service Bud began working with Rochester Dairy as the district manager. On June 3, 1956 Bud and Shirley Thomforde were united in marriage at the Lutheran Church in Hay Creek, MN. Later that same month Bud and Shirley moved to Mankato. Upon moving to Mankato Bud became involved in the Y's Men's Club and continued to be active with the club for many decades.
When the Lawrence's moved to Mankato Bud took the office manager position with Model Dairy. In 1964 Bud started managing Robby's Restaurant. Some years later Robby's became Hardees. Through his years at the restaurant Bud touched the lives of many of the areas youth and was a pioneer in hiring girls, minorities, and immigrants. In 1995 after the Hardees was closed Bud stayed with Hardees parent company, Terratron INC, and started as Marketing Director at the AmericInn in Mankato. Bud has never retired and has been working for Terratron for 52 years. Bud also enjoyed his years working as a greeter at Woodland Hills Funeral Home.
Bud liked to stay busy even in his free time; he had a special love for the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time at the family cabin near Osage, and taking fishing trips to Woman Lake in Canada. He also had a deep interest in his German/Norwegian heritage and enjoyed Genealogy. If you ever had lived near Bud you know that he loved to take walks and could often be seen around town taking long strolls with that contagious smile on his face. Bud also started, along with Mark Shuck, the Hardee's/MSU - Mankato Fun Run which was held for 18 years. Most of all Bud loved to spend time with his family and friends.
For all his activities Bud is best known for his relationship with the Dakota Indian people. In 1958 Bud befriended Dakota leader Amos Owens. Bud, Amos, and Jim Buckley worked on reconciliation between the Dakota people and the City of Mankato. Over the years Bud was involved with many efforts meant to foster a positive relationship between the two communities. One such effort being the Mahkato Wacipi Pow Wow which began in 1972 and is still going strong today. Bud was also instrumental in the establishing of Reconciliation Park in downtown Mankato.
Bud never sought public acclaim for doing the things that he did. When asked about his activities, he tended to down-play them. However, Bud did received many awards for his services to the community and humanity. From the Dakota people, Bud received the Birch Bark (1965) and Star Blanket (1987) Awards. During his many years with the Y's Men's Club he received the International Crowe Award (1985 -'86) and International Golden Book Award of the Y's Men's Endowment Fund (1991). From organizations and groups involved with Minnesota State University - Mankato, Bud was awarded the Truman Wood Community Leadership Award (1998), MSUM American Indian Award (2008), MSUM Principle of Diversity Award (2008), and is the two time recipient of The Martin Luther King Pathfinder Award (1990 & 2016). He also received many community awards throughout the years including; Mankato Christmas Tree Project Award (1970), 120th Anniversary Certificate of Recognition from the City of Mankato, Member of Citizen's Advisory Committee (1988), two Sertoma Service Club Service to Mankind Awards (both in 1988), The First Annual Diversity Foundation, Inc. Bridging the Gap Recognition Award (1997), The Good People Jefferson Award (1997), Greater Mankato Diversity and Tourism Advisor Awards (both in 2004), Rotary Club Service Above Self Award (2007), the Visit Mankato Travel and Tourism Award (2016), and the Mankato Sunrise Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellowship Award (2016). Bud's most cherished honor was being adopted into the Dakota Tribe and being given the name "Red Heart". Red stands for the Indian people. Bud has a heart for the Indian. He carries the Indian in his heart. He speaks and advocates for the Indian.
Bud is survived by his wife, Shirley Lawrence of Mankato; children Alan (Becky) Lawrence of Mankato, Barbara (Neil) Kaus of North Mankato, and Susan (Jeff) Enevold of Victoria; grandchildren, Jacob Lawrence, Sarah (David) Linder, Jessica (Myles) Knutson, Benjamin (Mary) Kaus, Jonathan (Christa) Kaus, Nicholas Kaus, Samantha Enevold, and Joshua Enevold; great grandchildren, Harry and Louie Linder, Charlie and Claire Kaus, Lydia, Henry, Silas, and Allison Kaus; siblings, Richard (Beverly) Lawrence of Brooklyn Center, Mary Alice Stewart of Owatonna, and Janet (Larry) Johnson of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Merlen Lawrence; sister in law Wanda Lawrence; brother in-laws Robert Stewart and Kenneth Thomforde.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Greater Mankato Area United Way or the Mdewakanton Pow Wow Association.
Published on December 11, 2017