Bernard Raymond Vidmar, “Bud”, age 93, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in Bozeman, MT at home surrounded by family. Bud’s belief in Jesus and fellowship within the Catholic Church made him into the person he became. Bud was kind and humble, always putting others before himself. Bud’s loving mentality, kind soul and sense of humor made him a true gentleman.
Bud was born August 18, 1925 in Joliet, Illinois. He was the youngest of five children. He attended Saint Joseph Catholic Grade School and Joliet Catholic High School. In 1943, Bud enlisted in the Army and served as an Aviation Cadet. He was honorably discharged when the war ended in November 1945. He then attended Saint Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota, played halfback for the Cardinals, and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Bud had an adventurous spirit. In 1948 he and his friend, Ralph Costello, drove a 1928 Chevy Sedan (running on used “drain oil”) from Minnesota to San Francisco and back. On this trip he traveled through and experienced Bozeman and West Yellowstone for the first time. Bud travelled to Alaska in the spring of 1950 to work as a truck-driver for the teamsters union. In the winter of 1951, his passion for skiing led him to his heritage on the slopes of Austria with his good friend Roy Magney. Unfortunately, Bud broke his leg and was forced to recover in a small village hospital for months. His buddy rounded up enough money to pay for his medical and boarding expenses and left him on his own. After recovering he traveled on crutches through Europe to Algiers Northern Africa to catch the only available boat back to the New York Harbor.
Once back in the United States, Bud attended the University of Colorado and earned a Masters degree in Education. He taught and coached in Seneca, Wisconsin, Hailey, Idaho, and Lovelock, Nevada. From there, in 1959, as head coach, he led the Bishop Manogue Catholic High School football team of Reno, Nevada to its first Northern Nevada AA Conference Championship.
Bud enjoyed outdoor activities including fishing, hunting, skiing, baseball, and football. He spent many summers in Sun Valley, Idaho building an A-frame home near the base of Warm Springs ski run. The house still stands today. Here he met Victoria Kleparchuk and they were married on November 26, 1960. Bud and Vicki had their first two sons, Greg and Jeff in Sun Valley. In 1965, they moved to Carson City, Nevada and had their third son, Bruce. As a father, Bud always gave the gift of “time” to his growing sons. Bud retired in Carson City in 1990 from the State of Nevada Traffic Safety Commission. Bud and Vicki followed their sons to Bozeman in 1992. Bud and Vicki spent their summers in Montana and their winters in Mesa, Arizona. Wherever he was, Bud volunteered his time to serve God and others around him. Whether it was in his family, church, as a CAP mentor in Bozeman Schools, or community service in Mesa, Bud gave of himself to better others.
We thank you Bud for blessing our lives. We thank you for being a wonderful husband, father and friend. Bud is survived by his beloved wife, Victoria Vidmar and three sons; Gregory (Shannon) Vidmar and two daughters Molly and Hailey of Bozeman, MT, Jeffery Vidmar of Challis, ID, and Bruce (Jennifer) Vidmar and two daughters Jessica and Rebekah of Belgrade, MT, a loving niece Judy Dehm of Joliet, IL, along with other nieces and nephews.
Bud is preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Catherine (Korevec) Vidmar; two sisters, Catherine Vancas and Lillian Babcock; two brothers, Frederick Vidmar and Anthony Vidmar.
Mass for Bernard R. Vidmar will be on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 10:00 am at the Resurrection University Catholic Parish. A Reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Resurrection University Catholic Parish.