Francis “Bud” E. Gaumer

By on May 12, 2010

Francis “Bud” E. Gaumer, 90, of Kaneville, passed away at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

He was born Aug. 1, 1919, in Annawan, Ill., the son of Hobart and Bertha (Cryer) Gaumer.

Bud spent his early years in Annawan on the family farm but moved to Geneseo at age 13 when his father passed away. Typical of his time, Bud only attended school until the eighth grade but possessed a mind as quick as a calculator and as sharp as a two-edged sword.

Bud found work at the age of 16 in the local coal mines. His time spent in the dangerous depths helped to forge his hardened work ethic and steel determination to not only survive but to succeed despite his hardships.

Bud enlisted in the United States Army and faithfully served his country during WWII, becoming one of the thousands to arrive on the second day of the Normandy invasion. Later, he braved the Battle of the Bulge and came home a man who had seen the worst of humanity. Following his discharge, Bud came home to a new day and with the hope of a new love.

He met Martha Kirchman in 1943 and by the time he came home in 1945, their relationship blossomed into marriage on Oct. 19 of that same year.

For a time, they made their home in Bellwood, Melrose Park and Maywood, Ill., until 1951, when they moved back to Bud’s hometown of Geneseo, Ill. In 1956, they moved to Kaneville, where except for a brief period in West Chicago, they made their home for 25 years.

Bud worked at John Deere in Moline, Ill., for five years before beginning at Western Electric in Montgomery, now Lucent Technologies, and retired after 25 years in 1981. No matter where he worked in a full-time basis, he always helped on neighboring farms, giving release to his love of the land.

He was a member of the VFW in Batavia, as well as a faithful member of St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn.

Bud was a farmer at heart, but when he couldn’t tend the fields, he tended his garden with a passion. The other passions that shared space in his heart including the Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox and NASCAR, especially No. 5, Mark Martin. Bud also loved to play the odds by scratching his instant lotto tickets and waiting for a big win.

In his younger years, he worked as a pin setter at the local bowling alley, and booming crashes echoed long after he stopped setting and began bowling himself on local leagues. The biggest loves of his life were his three great-grandchildren, affectionately known as “Ugly,” “Knucklehead,” and “Squirty.”

He is survived by one daughter, Joan (Tom) Roberts of Maple Park; one grandson, Tim (Michaeline) Roberts of Bartlet, Ill., three great-grandchildren, Trisha Roberts of Maple Park, Denise Roberts of Bartlett, Ill., and Jason Roberts of Bartlet; several cousins, including Arden Hoowerfer of Geneseo, and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Martha; and one son, Frank Gaumer.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 14, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will be held Saturday, May 15, also at the funeral home, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at S.S. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Virgil.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Bud Gaumer Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at