Andrew Stephen “BUD” PAZUR Jr. passed away peacefully on December 19, 2023 after a brief illness and surrounded by family and friends.
Born in McKeesport, PA on March 2, 1947, Bud was named after his father. He earned his nickname from his mother when she heard the war song “My Buddy” airing on the hospital radio as she held her infant son.
A firstborn child, Bud received two brothers and two sisters over the next nine years. A very intelligent and shy child, he was awe-struck by science, astronomy and spirituality, reading Einstein and the Bible while in grade school. Bud discovered a love of music at a young age, and played trombone in the Versailles Avenue School band, and the marching band at McKeesport High School, graduating in 1965. Years later he played trombone with the municipal band in Plymouth, WI.
During the Sputnik era when the U.S. was recruiting students strong in math and science, Bud earned a full scholarship to Penn State University. There he majored in physics and graduated summa cum laude in 1969. He went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Mellon Institute (Carnegie Mellon) in 1971 while working as a process engineer for Essex International in Detroit. Bud worked for GAF Corp. in New Jersey from 1973-1978, then accepted a highly-coveted position in research and development with Diamond Shamrock Corporation, followed by B.F. Goodrich, both in Cleveland, where he worked until 1996. As research engineer, section leader and technical manager, Bud collaborated with field leaders to advance plastics formulation, processing, recycling and novel environmentally responsible uses for polymers in diverse applications.
Bud holds a patent and has published research papers under his professional name of A.S. Pazur. He presented his research at international conferences and testified before state commissions. A career highlight for Bud was as sole representative from B.F. Goodrich to Egypt in 1980, collaborating with the Egyptian Public Authority to oversee extrusion of corrugated pipe for the Nile Delta Drainage Project. He completed his 40-year career as technical manager at VPI Corporation in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Despite his career success, Bud more closely identified his core persona as a father, musician, prolific poet and writer, photographer and artist. Authenticity was paramount to him; he gravitated to outside-the-mainstream “race records”, alternative radio, independent films, and visiting authentic juke joints in the Mississippi Delta. If something was popular with the masses, Bud took the path less traveled. He often said that blues, rock n’ roll and rock have formed the soundtrack of his life.
First and foremost in Bud’s life was his son Stephen, born in 1982. A devoted husband, provider and father, Bud read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and other fantasy books to Stephen as a child, the same books that enthralled him in his own boyhood. He invented pretend worlds filled with whimsical stuffed animals, and imbued them with unique personalities, all to delight children—his own son, nieces and nephews, and even his siblings. This fantasy world of his own making was integral to who Bud was.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Bud tackled daunting projects—among them full body-off restorations of two vintage cars, a 1963 Ford Galaxie convertible, and a 1960 Austin-Healey Bug-Eye Sprite. He raced vintage cars at Road America, driving his two Austin-Healey racing Sprites. His need for speed was unquenchable, fulfilled in part by Harley-Davidson motorcycles he drove for much of his adulthood, and the Shelby Cobra he owned in recent years.
Throughout his life Bud read books on theoretical physics and quantum mechanics for sheer pleasure. Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, Capra’s “The Tao of Physics” and Lederman’s “The God Particle” were among his favorites, as were fantasy books by John Crowley including the 1981 “Little, Big: Or the Fairies’ Parliament”. Bud enjoyed researching World War II, his dad’s military service, and his paternal Carpatho-Rusyn ethnic roots.
Social justice was important to Bud. Part of the counterculture movement while in college from 1965-1969, Bud joined campus demonstrations against the Vietnam conflict, and photographed the End of the War Rally in Central Park in May 1975. He retained his pacifist convictions for the rest of his life.
Bud was quick-witted with a dry sense of humor. He had an abiding love of nature and its preservation and conservation. He gravitated to the underdog and had a foster child in the 1970s. Bud also had a steadfast love of cats—especially special-needs and stray kitties, and was a generous supporter of animal rescue and rehabilitation.
Bud remains the beloved father of Stephen Wenceslaus Pazur (1982-2000), son of the late Andrew S. Pazur and Charlotte M. Cobes Pazur, and husband of 30 years to his best friend Denise Leisz Pazur. He is the brother of Thomas (Leslie), Dr. Paula (James) Balogh, James (Ann), and Marysue (Keith) Kovach. He is uncle and godfather to Lolita (Christopher) Valento and Jamie Pazur; uncle of Nicole Pazur (Andrew Nowakowski), William Dawson, Dr. Blake (Timothy) Hoppe, Ryan Pazur, and Ribeka (JC) Danhires; and great-uncle of Alexander, Taylor, Quinn and Lana Dawson; Ellyse and Evan Hoppe; and Andrew Garrity. Bud is also survived by his former wife of seven years Ann Devries, and by friends and colleagues including Larry Zajdel and Mitchell Nothem. He is also survived by his two cats Charlie and Louie.
Visitation is Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 10 a.m. at SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Sheboygan, with Mass of the Resurrection to follow at 11 a.m. After Mass, a Celebration of Bud’s Life will be at the 8th Street Ale House from 12:30-4 p.m. in Sheboygan.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Bud Pazur Memorial Fund at the Humane Society of Sheboygan County (adoptsheboygancounty.org/budpazurfund).