Ira C. “Bud” Gilliand, a 55-year resident of Ukiah, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family and friends on Thursday, May 1, 2003, at the age of 81.
Bud was born July 19, 1921, in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Bud taught auto mechanics, machine shop, welding and driver’s education at Ukiah High School. When he first began teaching, he also was in charge of the transportation department and drove a school bus before and after school. In 1973, Bud became an Administrative Assistant with Ukiah Unified. He was in charge of vocational education as well as being instrumental in overseeing the construction and completion of the new high school, which opened in 1978. He retired in 1985.
With the onset of World War II, Bud enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to the First Marine [Raider] Battalion. Bud was part of the Edson”s Raiders serving under Colonel “Red” Mike Edson. The Raiders are best known for their stronghold on Guadalcanal’s Bloody Ridge, warding off Japanese takeover of the island. While Bud was in the Marine Corps, he met Irene Schmult, also a Marine, and they were married in January 1945.
After Bud’s Honorable Discharge from the service, he returned to New Jersey and received his degree from Rutgers University. In 1948 Bud and Irene moved to Ukiah, California, where Bud began teaching at Ukiah High School. Bud was later the head of the Industrial Arts Department, which he worked hard to make one of the best in Northern California. Today, the Industrial Technology Department at Ukiah High is named in his honor. In the summer when Bud was not teaching, he remodeled homes and worked as an inspector for Underwriters Laboratories.
Bud played a very active role in this community. He was a member of the Abell Lodge, #148, F.&A.M., and received the Masonic Hiram Award for his dedication and commitment to the organization. Bud was also a member of the Royal Arch Masons, #53, a Past Patron and 50-year member of Kingsley Chapter, #58, Order of the Eastern Star, Ukiah Rod & Gun Club and the Cannibal Club. Bud was also an active member of the Marine Raider Association.
Bud”s love of the outdoors found him steelhead fishing or deer hunting with many of his close friends. In his 50s, Bud became an avid snow skier and for many years he enjoyed skiing at several resorts in the Western United States and Canada with his ski buddies Bev Broaddus, Bob Lang and Bob Shore. More recently, Bud was a DAV volunteer driver for the Ukiah Veterans Office.
Bud was best known for his acute mechanical and carpentry skills, being able to create virtually anything out of wood or metal.
Bud is survived by his second wife Dorothy, his daughter and son-in-law Iralene and Everett Holbrook, granddaughters Morgan and Kaylin Levell, all of Ukiah, his brother Thomas Gilliand and wife Marlene of Arizona, his brothers-in law Wilbur Gehrke of Santa Rosa and Floyd Schmidt of Illinois, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Bud was preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years, Irene, his son Donald Gilliand, his parents Ira and Maude and sister Katherine Spissinger.
Funeral services will held on Tuesday, May 6, 2003, at 1:00 P.M. at Eversole Mortuary and burial will be in the Ukiah Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital or to one’s favorite charity.