Dr. Walter P. Pidgeon, Jr., known to all as Bud, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2023 in Westerville, Ohio, at the age of 81. He was born in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania on October 23, 1942, the son of Walter, Sr. and Lucille (Robinson). He is survived by his wife of 54 years Susan (Wallace) originally of Buffalo, New York and their two sons, BJ (Alaina) of Sunbury, Ohio and Spencer (Bobby) of Forest Hill, Maryland.
Bud graduated from Salem College in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in human relations, working summers as the Rifle Range Director at the Boy Scout’s Camp Delmont in Pennsylvania. He went on to earn his doctorate degree in philanthropy from the Union Institute in 1991.
He served in the US Army from 1966 to 1969, attending Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning in Georgia. Bud was assigned to Psychological Operations (PSYOP) and deployed to Vietnam, which kick started his career in philanthropic pursuits. With an eye towards leaving the Vietnamese people with a good feeling about Americans, he led various youth-serving missions including setting up Boy Scout councils throughout Vietnam. He earned the Bronze Star Medal for his achievements.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Bud married his wife Sue in June of 1969.
Bud’s not-for-profit career took Sue and the family on a whirlwind tour of the country with stops in California, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio. As an Eagle Scout, Bud’s love of scouting saw him quickly rise through the executive ranks with the Boy Scouts of America. Bud became a Kentucky Colonel in the 1980’s after his Boy Scout friend and mentor, Frank Fultz, lobbied the governor of Kentucky for the commission.
Bud landed his first CEO position with the Combined Health Appeal in 1981 and, in 1985, he accepted his first national CEO position with the American Council on Alcoholism. He went on to the Executive Director role at the National Rural Health Association in the early 1990’s.
Bud’s career capstone began in 1997 when he became the CEO of the US Sportsman’s Alliance in Columbus, Ohio. This organization and its mission was particularly dear to his heart, combining his passion for outdoor conservation, marksmanship and not-for-profit administration. In this role, he represented and protected the rights of hunters and fishermen in all 50 state legislatures and the US Congress. He served in this role until he retired in 2013.
Throughout his career, Bud worked on key issues with several US Presidents and their administrations including Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and, particularly, George W. Bush. One of his proudest achievements was participating in a summit at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas. An image of Bud at the summit was featured in the 2005 Republican National Committee Calendar for month of March.
Bud was a published author with four books to his credit—The Universal Benefits of Volunteering (1997), The Legislative Labyrinth (2001), The Not-for-Profit CEO (2004) and The Not-for-Profit CEO Workbook (2004). In addition, he was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Editor for US Association Executive, as well as a regular contributor to various other trade publications and industry books.
Bud enjoyed working in the same way many people enjoy a passionate hobby or pastime. In this way, he was always having fun. He filled in the gaps with outdoor activities ranging from fishing to hanging out with his beloved golden retriever, Hobson. Often, he could be seen roaming the streets in one of his yellow convertibles. In particular, Bud and Susan enjoyed spending time with the immediate and extended family.
In addition to his wife, Sue, and his sons and their spouses, Bud is survived by his sister Pat Smith, Susan’s sister Jane Weber, Jane’s husband, Clayton, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Pat’s husband John Paul, Susan’s sisters Mabel Deacon and Nancy Wallace and his brother-in-law Richard Deacon.
Bud would like to be remembered with fun stories, a smile and great conversation among friends and family, particularly if the occasion involves a nice glass of scotch or merlot.
A visitation for Bud will be held on Thursday January 4th, 2023 from 5-7pm at Dietrich Funeral Home, 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst, NY
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday January 5th, 2023 at 10:30am at Christ the King Church, 30 Lamarck Dr., Amherst, NY
Please Assemble at church
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Bud’s name can be made to https://www.lbda.org/ (Lewy Body Dementia Association, Inc. 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047)