PICABO, Idaho -- Longtime Idaho rancher Leonard Bud Purdy passed away Monday night in his home at age 96.
Purdy first came to Blaine County in 1928 as a 10-year-old from California, told to work on his uncle's ranch, the K-Bar-K Ranch. By 1943, at the age of 25, he became foreman, and just 12 years later, he bought the business.
Gov. Butch Otter described Purdy as the very embodiment of the Code of the West. Someone whose life was a lesson in cowboy ethics, common sense, stewardship and the value of hard work and perseverance.
In the years that Purdy worked the land in Picabo, he hunted ducks with Ernest Hemingway, learned to fly a plane, ran the Picabo Store, Picabo Elevator, and Silver Creek Supply, grew barley for beer and farmed about 2,500 acres of hay and grain.
Bud's son, Nick, described him as generous with both time and money. Known for paying his employees top wages. Bud worked hard establishing the Cattle Association and served as president and on the board of directors for years. He served as Chairman of the Idaho Rangeland Committee for 17 years.
In 2012 KTVB featured Bud in an edition of Idaho Life. You can watch that story here.
Bud is survived by his sister, Margaret Struthers, his three sons, Nick, Mark, and Gordon and his daughter Kris Wenslaswki, 12 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
Bud's burial will be in a private cemetery for family and employees on his ranch. It will be under the arrangements of the Wood River Chapel. There will be a celebration of his life on May 4th at 3 p.m. in the Lime Light Room in the Challenger Inn at Sun Valley for his friends. In lieu of flowers Bud's family is asking for contributions to St. Luke's, the University of Idaho, or the College of Idaho foundations.