Gerald "Bud" Wilton Westlake

October 3, 2020

Bud Westlake, age 89, a lifetime resident of Union County, died peacefully Saturday, October 3, 2020 at Memorial Hospital in Marysville.  He was born December 20, 1930 in Broadway to the late Samuel E. and Mary (Hartshorn) Westlake.  He spent 89 years dedicated to the family farm.  Bud graduated from Broadway High School in 1948, where he lettered in basketball and was a stand-out “all county” center on the high school basketball team.  He then went on to serve in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.  While stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, he met the “love of his life,” Julia Ann Cone and they were married August 15, 1952.

 

Faith, family, farming, sheep, and community involvement were the cornerstones of Bud’s life.  When he lent his support to a group or cause, he did it with his whole heart.  Giving was a way of life for him and his broad community reach has been felt by many.  Bud served and was actively involved with Memorial Hospital.  He was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1998 and was reappointed to a six-year term in 2004.  He was visionary in the establishment and development of Memorial Gables Care Center.  Bud was a Godly man who truly loved and lived for Christ.  He was a lifetime member of the Calvary Baptist Church.  His greatest joy was being involved with his children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities.

 

Bud devoted his whole adult life to the breeding, managing, and promotion of purebred Suffolk, Hampshire, and Shropshire Sheep.  During this period, he developed his Suffolk flock to National prominence at shows and sales throughout the nation.  He also coordinated export of United States sheep into foreign countries such as Canada and South America.  Throughout this time, he always approached the sheep industry with integrity required of a purebred livestock producer.  Bud was an integral part of the Ohio State Fair Sheep Barn.  In addition to exhibiting many champions in both breeding and market divisions during his time, he was selected by his peers to judge many breeds of sheep at the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Iowa, and California State Fairs.  He also judged at the Chicago International Livestock Show, North American International Livestock Exposition, Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts, Nugget All-American Suffolk Show in Reno, Nevada, Keystone International Livestock Exposition, Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, Los Angeles County Fair, Midwest Stud Ram Show, Saskatoon Saskatchewan Fair, Canadian Royal in Toronto, and Expotiba Internacional in Curitiba, in the state of Parana, Brazil.

 

Over the course of his lifetime, Bud received recognition for his work pioneering the Suffolk breed in the Midwest, including the Ohio Master Shepherd Award in honor of Charles B. Boyles – Ohio’s highest sheep honor, recognized by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association.

 

He served on the board of the National Suffolk Sheep Association and received their Distinguished Service Award.  He was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame by then-governor George Voinovich for his 40 years plus of exhibition and judging in Ohio.  He was involved in being President and Director of the Ohio Suffolk Sheep Association, Vice President and Director of the National Suffolk Sheep Association, and Ohio Lamb and Wool Board.  In 2013, Bud and his family were honored and inducted into the United Suffolk Sheep Association Hall of Fame in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

In addition to his parents, Bud was preceded in death by his brothers, Arthur and George; his sisters, Rosemary, Judy and Carolyn; his in-laws, John D. and Maude Cone; his grandson, Jarret D. Westlake; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Alwyn (Francis) Cone, Wilma (Perry) Ransom, David W. Justice, Lanice Ray, Dewey Shirk, Willard Ferrell and Ronald Chapman.

 

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Julia Ann Cone Westlake; his children, Karen (David) Westlake Haller, Steve Westlake and Dan Westlake, all of Marysville; his grandchildren, Emily, Derek, Leigh Ann, Joshua and Jacob; his great-grandchildren, Evan, Karrigan, Karis, Caroline and Vivian; his sister, Phyllis P. Ferrell; his sister-in-law, Lenice Justice; his brother-in-law, Douglas Ray; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

 

His laughter, compassion and loving nature will forever be a gift to those who knew and loved him.  The family will hold graveside services 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Broadway Cemetery.  Rev. Verne Kirby will officiate and military honors will be provided by the Union County Military Funeral Honor Guard.  COVID precautions will be practiced.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Deacon’s Fund or a charity of choice.  Underwood Funeral Home in Marysville is assisting the family.  Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.underwoodfuneralhome.com.

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