Aug. 12, 1927-Dec. 31, 2012
On the eve of Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, our beloved father, Arthur Cecil ‘Bud’ Darwood, was passed from the hands of his loved ones here on earth into the arms of our Heavenly Father. (Dad had been lost without Mae, his beloved wife and best friend of 57 years, since her death in 2006. Blessedly, they are now reunited to share eternity together.)
Arthur ‘Bud’ Darwood was born at the home of his parents, Stanley and Edna Fender-Darwood on Aug. 12, 1927. Bud was raised on the small Darwood ranch and orchard near Carlton, Wash., along with five other siblings: Effie Mae, Letha, Donald, Stanley ‘Junior’, and Jerry Nicholas. The children attended schools at Beaver Creek, Carlton, and later Twisp.
Upon completion of the seventh grade, Bud took on the working world to financially assist his family. His first jobs were with the neighboring Ross Orchards and the Charlie Nelson Orchard at Cow Creek near Carlton. After one year, he was hired as a working foreman for the Ralph Nelson Orchards at Riverside, Wash., where Bud remained for three years.
At the age of 18, Bud was drafted into the military. He served with the U.S. Army at the end of WWII as a medic in Japan from 1945 to 1947. During these ‘American Occupation Years’ (reconstruction after the U.S. dropped the A-bombs on Japan), PFC Ward Master Darwood was an overseer of the U.S. nurses at Skofield Hospital in Hiroshima, Japan.
Returning home, Bud resumed his job with the Ralph Nelson Orchards, Riverside, Wash., until 1948 when he was hired by the King and Klinkert Sawmill in Twisp. Six months later, he was personally asked by Otto Wagner to come to work for him at his Wagner Sawmill, also in Twisp. After a short stint of working at the millsite, Bud opted to transfer to the ‘woods crew’ where he worked for the next 33 years.
On March 22, 1949, Bud married Annabelle Mae Walker-Eiffert, the love of his life. Together they raised five children: Jim, Neta, Debra, Paul and Scott. Their children blessed them with 12 grandchildren: Joy Hobbs, April Darwood, Gary (Sandy) Mathews, Sheari Mathews, Mindy Ogden, Tennille (Richard) Bennett, Curtis Ogden, Mathew Ogden, Wes (Georgia) Darwood, Mark (Allie) Darwood, Beth Darwood; and grandson-honorary ‘son’, Tory (Cresta) Lappen.
Bud and Mae spent every possible spare moment with their children and grandkids, as well as their life-long friends, Jack and Catherine Shaw and their children (and later their spouses and children). Referred to as Bud and Mae’s ‘other kids’ and ‘other grandkids’ are: Dean Shaw; Kathy and Ron Saling, Kori, Rusty, Brendin; John and Kim Shaw, Mathew, Michael, Gavin, Mirabelle; Merrie and Byron Akita, Dan, Tim, and Kimberly. The two families called themselves the ‘Shawoods’ camping many weeks each year to share quality time playing, visiting, eatin’ lots, singing and strumming around the campfire late into the nights.
Bud’s wife, Annabelle Mae Walker-Eiffert, is best remembered as news correspondent, and later, publisher and editor of the Methow Valley News newspaper in Twisp from 1963 to 1982.
Bud worked from 1949 to 1982 for Twisp logging operations that supplied logs to the Twisp and Omak sawmills. He started as a ‘knot bumper’ in the days when knots were bumped with an axe. He later drove dumptruck and set chokers before later learning how to operate a ‘Skiddin Cat’ and a dozer to build roads. Bud, along with Tommy Farrow, Wayne Tangun, Bud Lloyd, Lee Seigel, and Hugh Hudson built most of the roads in Okanogan County forests we travel today.
Bud was ‘woods supervisor’ from 1976 to early 1982. Six months prior to his final retirement, he became the shop foreman at the Twisp Sawmill, which was then owned by Crown Zellerbach.
Bud served 20 years as president of the local union before becoming woods supervisor. During eight of those 20 years, he also served as president of the Central Washington District Council of Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union of Olympia, Wash.
Also in 1982, Bud, Mae and sons started ‘Darwood’s Incorporated’ which dealth with logging slash operations. The company was up and running until late 1988 when Bud retired for good.
Prior to retirement, Bud served six years on the Twisp Town Council with five of those years as the mayor of Twisp.
Bud was a member of Legion Post #0143, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He proudly went through the chairs and served as president several times with these organizations.
After retirement and until poor health, Bud enjoyed yard and garden work, tinkering, helping out his children and grandkids, as well as helping out the elderly women of the community. He was continuously called upon to put his construction and mechanical expertises to work for family, friends, and neighbors. He was known for toting people throughout the state for surgeries, doctor’s appointments, to airports, funerals, weddings, graduations, reunions, etc. Besides these things, Bud cared for Mae who was in worse health than he was. In 2005, Bud and Mae sold their Twisp home of 42 years and moved to Omak, Wash. to be closer to doctors. Mae passed in 2006.
In Bud’s final seven years, he was cared for at his new home by his daughter, Neta, and son, Scott. His other children, several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, helped out when necessary. They ranged in years from one year old to sixty, caring for their ‘Papa Darwood.’ It had been our father’s wish to spend his final days in his own home. How could his children not attempt to fulfill the wish of such a good man? He was a man who had given so much of himself to others. (Except for our father’s final four days of life in the hospital, we succeeded in filling his wish. Thank you, God.)
Bud is survived by his daughter-in-law, Dixie Mathews Darwood of Grand Coulee Dam, Wash.; daughters, Neta Lappen-Reed and Debra (Steve) Ogden, both of Omak; sons, Paul (Sabina) Darwood of Carlton, Wash., and Scott Darwood of Omak, Wash.; sister-in-laws, Helen, Evelyn and Rose (Darwoods) and Bernice Eiffert, all in the Methow Valley; ten grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. He also was blessed with eight step-grandchildren, 14 step-great-grandchildren, one pet grand ‘kat’, Buck.
Greeting Bud at the pearly gates will be his wife, Annabelle Mae; his eldest son, Jim; his parents, Stanley and Edna Darwood; two older sisters, Effie Mae Kerchenko and Letha Acord-Scott; three younger brothers, Donald, Stanley ‘Junior’, and Jerry Nicholas; his buddies, Jack and Catherine Shaw; along with pets, Bina dog and grand ‘katz’, Blakkat and Kokee Girl.
The family will honor Bud with a celebration of life later in the spring.