Christian 01

Alfred James Petrowske

January 26, 1923 ~ January 30, 2019 (age 96)

Alfred J. “Bud” Petrowske peacefully left his home on earth for his home in heaven on January 30, 2019, surrounded by his family.

Services will be held at 10:30 am on February 4, 2019, at Faith Baptist Church, Bemidji, with the Rev. Derek Claypool officiating.  Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will be at Fairview Cemetery, Kelliher, under the direction of the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji.

Bud was born on January 26, 1923, to Fred and Antonia Petrowske at the Prochaska homestead cabin, where his family lived at that time, on the North Shore of Upper Red Lake near Waskish, Minnesota. 

Bud attended grade school in Waskish and graduated from high school in Kelliher.  He spent many days as a boy roaming the length and breadth of the Big Bog with his father, a State Warden Trapper at the time.  In winter they traveled with a dog team and sled; in summer, on foot or by water.

One of their many experiences was surviving the Armistice Day Storm on November 11th, 1940, in a hastily built shelter miles from civilization.  They were fortunate to survive the storm that claimed so many lives.

After high school, Bud worked with his dad in the bait dealer business in summer, and in winter, logging cedar, spruce, and white pine with the two-man cross-cut saw and a team of horses. In April 1943, World War II and the U.S. Army requested Bud's presence at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland for training in Army Ordnance.  He spent the war years in the European Theater of Operations, serving with the 104th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company in England, France, Belgium, and Germany.  He returned to the States and civilian life in January 1946.

On May 2nd, 1948, Bud married Florence “Nickie” Soukup of Chicago, Illinois.  They made their home in Waskish where Bud worked at logging in the winter and carpentry in the summer.  Bud and Nickie raised six children:  Margaret, Jan, Karl, Fred, Ruth, and Carol Joy.In 1968, the family moved to Bemidji, and in the early 1970s, Bud formed Petes Construction Company with his sons.Early in their marriage, Bud and Nickie accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and throughout his life, Bud studied the Scriptures and mentored young people by teaching Sunday school and leading Royal Rangers youth activities.Bud's interests were wide and varied and included American and European literature, Civil War and World War history, bird watching, geology, photography, and gardening.He wrote two books.  On the Trail is a history of homestead life on the North Shore of Upper Red Lake.  Although originally written as a history and heritage for his children, it has been of interest to others who grew up in the north woods of Minnesota or who had relatives or acquaintances who homesteaded there.  My Private War relates Bud's wartime experience in Europe and includes his first-hand impressions of the events of the war.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Antonia Petrowske, his sisters Dorothy Johnson and Antoinette Leonhardt, his brother Adolph, his wife Nickie, and a son Karl.  He is survived by his brother Jim; his children Margaret, Jan (Chuck) Hendrickson, Fred (Char), Ruth (Dennis) Gladen, and Carol (Terry) Thoreson; his grandchildren Kris (Jon) Mallett, Kurt (Tessa) Petrowske, Kraig (Tonya) Petrowske, Anne (Andy) Hochmeyr, Rick (Erin) Petrowske, Kari (Matt) Webb,  Adam (Karissa) Gladen, Kate (Kyle) Nelson, Kelsey Gladen, Matthew Thoreson, and Amanda (Jordan) Grigg; and 16 great-grandchildren.

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