Arnold J. "Bud" Smith

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Arnold J “Bud” Smith was born Apr. 13, 1934 in Orchard, ID to Thomas McCarry and Margurite Fay (Harder) Smith.

Bud discovered his love of fishing and the outdoors while living in an old homestead in the Danskin Mountain drainage with his mother, brothers Tom and Bobby and sister Delores

Once the family moved to Mountain Home, Bud quenched his first thirst for entrepreneurship at age 7 by selling potatoes, tomatoes and firewood out of a wagon during the Depression.

He attended Mountain Home schools until age 16 when he joined the Navy. As a Seaman on the USS Stembel during the Korean War, Bud was introduced to what would be the passion of his life, the engine. The bigger the better.

When he returned to Mountain Home in 1954, he met Kathleen Anne Yarnell. They married on July 3, 1955 and were soon joined by twins Jim and Sandy, and daughter Georgia.

As a young man, Bud was known for his generosity with a wrench, continuing his career as a “fixer” “master mechanic” and “straight-shooting friend.” He drove freight and oil trucks to Duck Valley and beyond, with side jobs that included printing the Mountain Home News.

In the late 1950s he opened Bud’s Richfield at Highway 30 and the Airbase Road. It became a social hub and Bud could fix anything.

Bud’s children remember him as someone who loaded kids, dogs and all into the back of a pick-up and drove to their cabin in Pine, camping on the Boise River or fishing at exotic Idaho spots located in the middle of nowhere.

In the mid-1960s Bud sold the gas station and moved his family to Seattle, where Boeing Inc., put his mechanical skills to work on a prototype airplane that eventually became the 747.

Homesick, he and his family returned to Mountain Home in 1967 when Bud took a job as the city maintenance mechanic, served on the Mountain Home Air Force Appreciation Day Committee and was a Mountain Home Volunteer Firefighter.

In 1974, Bud and international power station contractor Cooper Industries found each other and he traveled the world and the Middle East, making lifelong friends as a service engineer, leading maintenance crews, troubleshooting, and fixing large-scale diesel generators.

When he retired from Cooper Industries in 1990, Bud and Kathleen returned to Mountain Home where he opened a successful Overhead Door franchise before retiring once more in 1996.

Seeking machines in need, he worked as a part time maintenance mechanic for Bruneau Dunes State Park. In his spare time, Bud restored a car and several tractors to showroom condition, and started other ventures including a worm farm and lawn mowing repair business. To keep busy, he drove water truck for local farmers.

On Sept. 28, 2002, he lost Kathleen to cancer.

On Mar. 6, 2004, he married Virginia “Gin” Prouty and embarked on a second chapter of adventure, touring Idaho, laughing with good friends and getting to know Gin’s children – Quinn, Mitch, Kiely and her nine grandchildren.

In 2006, Bud entered the battle of his life with cancer and swore he would not let it kill him. With the love and support of Gin, his children and many friends, he won.

Some of Gin’s fondest memories of Bud include his time as a camp host in the Trinity Mountains, touring the backroads - whether to the dump or Minnesota - morning coffee with the newspaper, and dining at the Manhattan or Kurly’s.

During his remaining years, Bud was surrounded and cared for by many of his dearest friends – some of whom refer to him as “Mr. Bud.”

On Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 after 83 years of living life to its fullest, Bud’s heart stopped.

He was proceeded in death by his wife Kathleen (Yarnell), Bobby Smith, father Tom M. Smith; Fay (Harder) Fields, stepfather Beanie Fields and Delores Vink.

Bud is survived by wife, Virginia “Gin” Smith; brother Tom (Barbara) Smith, son Jim (Teri) Smith, daughters Sandra Smith and Georgia Smith (Mowbray Brown); grandchildren Jesse Smith, Cami (Issac) Smith, and Rebecca (Matt) Arnone; great grandchildren Bentleigh and Delilah, Gin’s children Kiley (Jenna) Prouty, Mitch (Kristina) Prouty, Quinn Prouty and the Prouty grandchildren Quinn II, Vincent, Danielle, Marcus, Anastasiya, Alexandra, Emerson, Samson and Foster.

A Celebration of Bud’s Life will be held at Kurly’s on the Green in Mountain Home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.

The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at St. Luke’s, the Elmore County EMTs and the people of Mountain Home for their love and support during his final years.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are encouraged to the Elmore County Historical Society, the Mountain Home Fireman’s Burnout Fund, the Idaho Youth Ranch or St. Vincent DePaul.