Reminiscing: Barbara and Dan Budd
by Cat Urbigkit
December 19, 2006
Friends and family of Dan and Barbara Budd gathered at Gatzkes’ Grubhouse in Big Piney one September afternoon in 2005 to help them celebrate 50 years of marriage.
The Budds’ daughters, Karen Budd-Falen of Cheyenne, Janet Beiermann of Marbleton and Martha Braaten of St. Paul, provided entertainment for the celebration, including a history of how the young couple came to be.
Dan grew up on the family cattle ranch outside of Big Piney, working the ranch and riding bulls and downhill skis for fun.
“In fact, it was that wild life that would cause him to keep a very tight rein on his daughters later in life, as he was afraid one of us would find some boy like him,” Karen said. Barbara said if she would have known what he was like back then, she never would have married him!
Barbara grew up in Ohio, a cosmopolitan girl with a business degree and a hankering for adventure. She traveled to Wyoming to visit her college roommate who had married a geologist and moved west. Barbara liked the area so well, she returned the next summer to work at a dude ranch in Jackson Hole. Her friend was in the Big Piney area studying geology, so Barbara came to Big Piney, staying at the Big Piney Hotel. She was soon reporting the weather, working at the local bank and selling pie at Elaine’s Café.
One day in 1955, Barbara was at a social event in Big Piney, conversing with a geologist who said that Barbara should go skiing if she could find a ride.
According to Karen, “Dan, being the quiet type that he is, hollered from the other side of the room, "I’ll take her."
The next day, once the cows had been fed, Dan took Barbara to Snow King in Jackson. They road the lift to the top, with amateur skier Barbara spending the rest of the day falling back down the hill, little by little, and Dan stopping by on occasion to see how she was fairing.
The couple began regular Sunday ski trips to Snow King and three months later, Dan proclaimed, "I’ll marry ya."
Barbara made her way back to Ohio to plan for the wedding, which Dan said had to wait until September, after haying. Dan showed up in the nick of time for the wedding. After the ceremony, he ran back down the street, ready to head back to Big Piney, but Barbara caught up with him to request he attend the wedding reception first.
Karen said, "One of the guests was heard to remark, ‘Apparently those boys from the West tend to bolt on ya.’ "
The Budds honeymooned in Canada before returning to Big Piney, settling into the ranch, raising cattle and kids and being very involved in their community.
Barbara passed away Monday, December 18, 2006.