Bud Lewey

Wood River | Thursday, December 1 2022 |

Bud Lewey passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on the evening of December 1st, 2022, at the age of 70. He was born in Wood River, IL, on March 21, 1952. His given name was George Lewey, but if you called him George you didn’t know him or you were messing with him. If you’re under 40, you probably called him Uncle Bud. After graduating from high school in 1970, Bud joined the U.S. Navy where he served on the S.S. John S. McCain as a Radarman ‘A’ during the Vietnam War. He loved his country and served proudly. After he returned home, he met his soulmate, Debra Bertrand. They were married on June 25, 1977, and remained married until her passing on July 11, 2021. Bud missed his Deb terribly. He joined the Boy Scouts at the age of 11. Bud loved Scouting, and because of the positive influence it had on his life, the Boy Scouts became one of his lifelong passions. He served on the Boy Scout camp staff at Camp Warren Levis teaching merit badges, most notably Auto Mechanics and Fishing. He was also the creator of the most loved campfire skit character in Trails West Council history, Skippy Scout. Bud was a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow (OA), his vigil name was Jocular Buffalo, because as Bud said, ‘you always have to smile.'  Bud also had a passion for history, especially of the early American West and the fur trade. To celebrate this he participated in historical re-enactments called Rendezvous with his club, the Ded Squirrels. These events took him across the country, from the local Boy Scout camp, Camp Warren Levis, to national events in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming. He was famous at these events for the “Candy Cannon”, a regular highlight for the children in attendance. He was a Scoutmaster, a teacher and friend to hundreds of young men. Uncle Bud was a hero to many and always knew how to lift spirits and create laughter. He was a humble man who never understood why he received so many awards and accommodations for simply doing what he knew was right. Spending time with family and friends was Bud’s favorite thing to do. He was a master storyteller and most of his stories were true. In addition to his love for antiques, he enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting and everything outdoors.  After he retired, Bud combined his fondness of guns and working with his hands to form Uncle Buds Leatherworks. He was a master leatherman and worked out of Piasa Armory in Alton where he created beautiful and unique holsters, bags and other leather items. He leaves behind his son, Josh, many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and a multitude of wonderful friends and extended family. His passing has left a hole in many hearts. Mr. Lewey will always be loved by all who knew him. In addition to his wife, Debbie, Bud was preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Mary Ann Landreth, and his birth father, Paul Lewey. There will be a memorial visitation on Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Gent Funeral Home, 2409 State St, Alton, IL. Please come to share stories and memories of our beloved Bud.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to Camp Warren Levis, 5500 Boy Scout Lane, Godfrey, IL 62035. Online guestbook and information may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Gent Funeral Home

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