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Virtus "Budd" Gale

Obituary for Virtus "Budd" Gale

May 7, 1927 - August 6, 2016
Adrian, Michigan | Age 89

Obituary

Virtus "Budd" Gale died Saturday, aged 89. His life began in Detroit in 1927, took him far afield on a battleship in World War II, Miami Beach after the war as a portrait artist, into the depths of addiction, and to Adrian Michigan where his life began anew when he found sobriety that lasted the rest of his life. It was in Adrian Michigan, surrounded by family, that his life ended from the cumulative effects of multiple physical ailments.
His father was an auto factory man, a unionizer who braved riots and counter-union intimidation. According to one of Budd's recollections, his father once had to hide under a car from an angry mob outside a factory in Dearborn. His mother was a farm girl from the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Budd joined the Navy at age 17. When he returned to Michigan, he met Cecile from Tecumseh, Ontario, the love of his life. In 1959 they moved to Florida. Budd supported himself by painting portraits at Miami Beach hotels. Cecile and Budd would have six children. They relocated to Adrian. It is a great mystery of life why some people become sober while others do not, but Budd did.
He became an art teacher at Sienna Heights College and finished his own education. He made many lifelong friends at AA and Al Anon meetings, including the recently departed Chuck Jameson—his best friend. He ran and cycled for exercise with his wife Cecile—herself a marathoner. He loved his wife's cooking.
At the re-unveiling of Riverside Park in Adrian in 1995, the city commissioned him to create bas relief sculptures which still decorate the promenade.
He showed his artwork numerous times, including once at Sienna Heights when he received his degree in 1986, twice at the Toledo Art Museum in 1988 and 2008, and twice at the Adrian public library—including a two-man show in 2016 also featuring his youngest son. A painting of Budd's still hangs in the library.
In 2007, Budd celebrated his 80th birthday, and the family gathered, and his grandchildren numbered 16, none of whom had ever seen him inebriated.
Late in life, he sometimes told stories about his early years with his brother making visits to the farm where his mother came from in the Keweenaw. He described the Trap Rock River, picking blueberries, calmly milking cows.
He leaves behind his Wife of 60 years, Cecile, his five sons and one daughter. He also leaves behind 16 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren—all of whom only knew him as gentle, humbled and generous.
He is preceded in death by his brother Robert.
Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 11, 2016, from 12:00 noon until time of Funeral Service at 1:00 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian with Minister Charles Stewart officiating. You may send condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee. Envelopes are available at Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Lenawee.

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Anderson Funeral Home

3050 W Beecher Rd
Adrian, MI 49221
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