Bud Ferdon – Leaving a Legacy

Janie Gianotsos Uncategorized

One man can change the lives of so many, even after he’s gone. We’re grateful to tell Bud’s story of inspiration and his generosity and thank his grandson, Loren Verville, for sharing this story with us.

Bud grew up in Wisconsin. His parents struggled to provide for their children but always did the best they could. Growing up, Bud’s family received food assistance from the Salvation Army. He witnessed his parents’ struggle to put food on the table and experienced first-hand how charities could help families like his during difficult times. This left a mark on him and contributed to his desire to do something with his life.

Bud built a successful injection molding business, and Loren shares that Bud didn’t have overnight success. “It wasn’t really until later in his life that he came into true success financially, but his businesses were always healthy even through major industry shifts” he tells us. Bud’s first business was a small plastic molding company in Illinois. His love of the great outdoors prompted a move to Colorado in the 1960s.

Bud’s new business, Mountain Molding, began in Berthoud and later relocated to a new location in Mead. At a time when injection molding trended moving overseas, Bud and his partner Don Cheyne found their niche producing medical-grade parts that needed to be made in the United States. Bud and Don figured out a way to not only survive, but to thrive.

Bud was selective about the charities he chose to support. “He put a lot of effort into vetting where he gave his money and his time and his resources, and Food Bank came up to speed in all of those areas,” Loren shares. Bud chose to support Food Bank of the Rockies because he thought FBR did a wonderful job using donations efficiently. Bud liked being able to see how all the dollars went to work directly improving people’s lives through food.

A very social person, Bud encouraged his circle of friends and acquaintances to support FBR too. Loren explains, “If you wanted to try to figure out a way to give back or wanted to give to a good cause or support something but you weren’t sure what to do, talk to Bud! He’d point you in the right direction.” Bud’s friends trusted that he’d spent time and energy learning about charities that were doing good things with their money and things that mattered to people in need.
“He was deadly serious that there not be a funeral, that there be a party instead,” Loren says about his grandfather, who knew cancer’s return meant his time was limited. “And so we did that—we got a couple hundred people or so at a park and had a party. We told stories about his life…I don’t think a lot of people realized all he had truly done for individuals until the actual stories were coming out.”

Bud was humble and helped others in a quiet way. He worked hard to build his business and his generous bequest isn’t about name legacy as much as it is about giving value and worth to the intense amount of work he did to put everything together. He wanted others to have a chance at success, supporting hunger relief and education, so people could make it through the day and eventually live fulfilled lives and fly on their own.

What lessons did Loren learn from his grandfather? “The details matter,” he shares. “Pay attention to those little, small things. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. It sounds cliché, but it’s his thumbprint—that mindset is on everything that he did.”

Loren expresses one parting thought with us, “Bud’s extended family, we’re all very proud of the bequest that’s been made to Food Bank of the Rockies, in addition to other charities as well. It is a good thing… We know it’s a part of the legacy, both for Bud and for the family overall. We’re all just thrilled to vicariously partner with you guys through the gift that he made.”

Thank you Bud for the many years you helped us while you were here and now for leaving this incredible legacy. It makes a tremendous difference for our food bank and our mission to help families thrive. Because you cared so much, struggling men, woman and children have more hope for a better future. We’ll remember you always in gratitude!