Ernest Henry Melcher Jr. (Bud) was born on January 24, 1920 in Storm Lake, to Ernest Henry and Eleanor Melcher.
He graduated from Storm Lake High School and attended Grinnell College. In 1939 he married his life long partner, Charlotte Marie Tymeson. He and Charlotte had two children, John Gary Melcher (Patricia Kelleher) and Sherry Melcher Root (Richard Root). He was a veteran of World War II, having served proudly on the USS Zellars, a destroyer in the South Pacific. After returning from the war, he managed Melcher Furniture Store of Storm Lake and Pocahontas; Bruce Cobb Furniture of Des Moines and Superior Popcorn of Des Moines. In 1952, he moved to Phoenix and accepted a position as President of Phoenix Life Insurance Company. Within two years, he began a career as a real estate broker. He was President of Bud Melcher and Associates and very active in volunteer positions in his industry and community. During his stint as President of the Phoenix Board of Realtors, he began a holiday tradition that came to be known as "Toys for Tots".
Until recently, he enjoyed his favorite hobby - golf at Moon Valley Country Club. He also enjoyed his grandchildren, Kerry Melcher (Steffan Prokopchak), John Gary Melcher, Jr. (Francine Neeley), Todd Patrick Melcher, Amy Melcher Graham (Barry Graham), Jill Root Washer (Todd Washer), Nicole Root Duckworth (Thomas Duckworth) and his four great-grandchildren, Samantha Duckworth, Grant Washer, Hunter Washer and Elias Neeley Leverett. He died peacefully in his sleep on June 4, 2002.
A sister, Mary Helen Conley and a brother John preceded him in death.
His wife Charlotte, two Children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren survive him.