Bud Raithel, 92, a long-time resident of Prescott, died at his home on Saturday, December 29, 2012.
Bud was born December 2, 1920, in Cole County, MO, the eldest son of Martin and Kate Raithel, and his early years were spent on the family farm. During WWII, he moved to Cuero, TX, to work at an air field, and it was there that he met his future wife, Dorothy Mae Tschirhart. In 1942, Bud moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he worked as a mechanic at Falcon Field where the British Royal Air Force trained pilots for military service.
Dorothy joined Bud in Phoenix, and they were married on November 7, 1942. They recently celebrated their 70th anniversary.
After WWII, Bud worked at Sky Harbor Airport as a Mechanic for Trans World Airlines (TWA). He soloed in a Piper J3 on October 18, 1942, and later flew for Salt River Project and Isbell Construction before becoming a commercial airline pilot for Bonanza Airlines in May 1957. During his commercial flying career and as a result of a series of mergers, he flew for Air West, Hughes Airwest, and Republic Airlines. He retired from Republic Airlines on December 1, 1980.
Bud was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Quiet Birdmen, and he enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, gun collecting and genealogy. He thoroughly enjoyed visiting with his family and many friends, either in person or by telephone.
Bud is survived by his children, Jack (Annette) Raithel of Collierville, TN, and Ruth Dassen of Mesa, AZ; his three granddaughters, Jennifer (James) Newman of Brooklyn, NY, Sarah Baer and Laura (Eric Jacobson) Baer, both of Mesa, AZ; his three great-grandchildren, Lyla Grace Newman, Michael Gavin McInturff, and Harvey Baer Jacobson; his brother, Herb (Loretta) Raithel of Russellville, MO, and a number of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, on December 5, 2012; his parents; his sister, Edna Ann Poole, his son-in-law, Henricus Dassen; and his grandson, Adam Raithel.