Elden Thomas "Bud" Boothe
Longtime Santa Barbara County local activist Elden Thomas (Bud) Boothe passed away peacefully in his sleep in Southport, North Carolina at the age of 92 from complications associated with congestive heart failure.
Bud was born in Stow, Ohio on March 8, 1925 the only son of James Lloyd and Blanche (Decoursey) Boothe. He grew up during the depression in Ravenna, Ohio and served overseas in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II stationed out of England as a radio operator on B-17s flying 15 missions over Germany until the end of the war. On his return from the war and after earning a B.S. degree in electrical engineering utilizing the G.I. Bill of Rights, Bud took a job with the federal government in Anchorage, Alaska working on the early development and operation of the White Alice Communication System. It was in Alaska that Bud met and married his wife Alice (Repman) and they started their family. In 1962 Bud moved the family to Fairfax, Virginia after taking a job with the Defense Communications Agency. Bud later worked with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. until his retirement in 1974.
In 1976 Bud and Alice moved to California settling in the small town of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley where they built their home, Casa Del Sol, and Bud continued his life-long love of organic gardening. Through the years in Los Olivos, Bud and Alice shared the bounty of their produce harvests with local food banks and other organizations.
Bud’s passion for peace grew from his service during WWII. After the war, reflecting on the human tragedy, he described an awakening of his moral conscious that led to a lifetime of political and social activism. Throughout his life he supported various organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, and as a member of the Green Party later in life. Bud actively supported civil rights issues during the 1960s and early on opposed the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. After moving to California, Bud worked with Mothers for Peace for a nuclear-free future, including opposition to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant beginning in the 1970s. Bud actively supported efforts opposed to nuclear weapons and the militarization of space, including decades–long participation in peaceful protests and arrests at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the site of United States nuclear missile testing program.
For several years Bud hosted the local Santa Barbara cable access program, "The Next Step", which covered subjects relevant to the environment, disarmament, anti-nuclear struggles, military excess and the Military-Industrial-Complex.
Bud was preceded in death by Alice, his wife of 37 years. Bud is survived by his three children, James (Marin, California), Karen Wall (Southport, North Carolina), and Robert (Orange County, California) and three grandchildren, Christopher Wall, Morgan Boothe, and Taylor Boothe. He is also survived by his second wife Dorothy Boothe, daughter-in-laws Tracy Boothe and Tamara Boothe, son-in-law Dick Wall and granddaughter-in-law Stephanie Wall.
When asked what advice he would give a young person today Bud said, “Appreciate and accept differences in people, the differences in viewpoint and in cultural backgrounds. Appreciate and accept these differences without animosity, as long as they don’t interfere with you and your own choices. After all, there are so very many people in the world with different views and beliefs. And we each, always, have a lot to learn.” Bud will be remembered by friends and family for his courage, honor and living a principled life.