“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”
Ceremony to honor local military hero and community leader
On the eve of Veterans Day, a “Celebration of Life” will be held in honor of James L. “Bud,” Jeffery, a well-respected civic leader in Cripple Creek, who played a big role in the development of the Aspen Mine Center and other community nonprofits, along with having a remarkable military career.
Jeffery’s “Celebration of Life” will occur on November 10 at 3 p.m. at the Cripple Creek Baptist Church at 1st and Carr Avenue, Cripple Creek, with a reception following the ceremony.
Jeffery, who was an integral part of Cripple Creek for nearly 40 years, passed away on Oct. 24. He was 87. Jeffery’s community service has been lauded by local leaders, as he was strongly involved in local affairs and in providing assistance to those in need during both the pre and post-gaming eras of Cripple Creek.
Bud was born to Beatrice Murdoch and Loyd Jeffery in Sacramento, California. At the age of 17, he joined the Merchant Marines and at the age of 18 joined the Army. He served with the 76th Infantry Division under General Patton’s Third Army during World War II.
His division was responsible for saving the city of Bastogne and liberating the German concentration camp- Buchenwald. For this, he was awarded the special commemorative Bastogne medal by the exiled King of Belgium. After the war, Jeffery returned to Sacramento and met Laura, his future wife, in 1946. They were married on May 9, 1948.
They were married for 65 years and have 3 children: James, Judy, and Rick; two foster daughters, Donna and Linda Rutherford. Bud worked for McClellan AFB for 25 years and ended his career as foreman in the instrument repair shop. He and Laura worked for three years at the Mayoro Ranch School for at-risk kids.
They moved to Cripple Creek in October 1974 when their daughter, who had been living in the city, was injured in an auto accident. Bud and Laura felt that the city of Cripple Creek really took them in and made them feel welcome. In fact, people generously donated fire wood to the Jefferys while they took care of their injured daughter and her two small children. Bud went to work at the RoseBud Mine, working the night shift at the leach pad.
Bud also worked as a conductor of the tourist train in Cripple Creek. The Jefferys have become an integral part of the city of Cripple Creek for decades. The couple frequently attended city council and planning and historic preservation commission meetings. Bud, in fact, served on several local advisory boards during the early years of gaming.
Jeffery also was honored during the Salute to American Veterans Rally and Festival in 1999 for his service.
In addition, both Bud and Laura Jeffery provided the impetus for the “Aspen Mine Center” vision, serving the community with a food pantry and clothes closet for a number of years. In the last few years, with the remodeling of their home, they opened Jeffery House Ministries with a prayer ministry, soup kitchen, a hostel, and an outreach program. Bud is predeceased by his foster daughter, Donna. He is survived by his wife, Laura; 3 children; foster daughter; and numerous grand and great grandchildren.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8