William E. “Bill” Bugg, 93, died Nov. 12, 2022, peacefully of natural causes.
Bill was born in Hennessey on May 18, 1929, to Newton and Pearl Craun Bugg.
He attended a one-room rural school through eighth grade and then graduated from Hennessey High School in 1947.
Bill married Patsy Jean “Pat” Berard in Hennessey on Aug. 16, 1949, and they celebrated 71 years of marriage together until her death in 2021.
The couple made their home southwest of Hennessey, one mile from where Bill’s grandfather homesteaded in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889.
Initially, they moved into a tiny four-room house with no indoor plumbing. Upon Pat’s insistence, an indoor bathroom was soon added. While the house was remodeled and expanded, they lived their entire married lives in the same house.
Bill and Pat owned and operated Bugg’s Dairy Farm.
What began as a small herd of grade cows to put food on the table and pay the bills became, through hard work and many blessings, one of the premier registered Holstein herds in the state of Oklahoma and the Southwest.
In addition to being husband and wife, Bill and Pat were business partners in the dairy. They started acquiring registered Holsteins in 1961 and were early adopters of the latest techniques to improve the herd, including classification, individual testing of production and embryo transfer.
Individual cows or the entire herd won over 25 awards and set state records for production of milk or butterfat.
Through their kids and 4-H, they regularly showed their cows at the dairy shows in Oklahoma and Texas.
In 1975, their cow Katie was named grand champion of the Southwest Regional Holstein Show at the Texas State Fair and was the highest producing cow at the show.
Katie was nominated for All-American 3-year-old and was the first of five generations that were classified “Excellent” and earned the Gold Medal Dam and Dam of Merit Awards.
In 1996, Buffy, the fifth-generation daughter of Katie, was named All-American 4-year-old and was the best Holstein cow in America that year.
Bill and Pat advertised the dairy with the motto: “You’re always welcome at the Bugg House.”
It was not just a slogan, but a way of life. Everyone really was welcome. They dearly loved their dairy friends.
Bill was a leader in organizations marketing milk and promoting the dairy industry.
In 1958, he was named the Outstanding Young Farmer from Kingfisher County.
By 1959, he was serving on the executive committee of the Young Cooperators of the National Milk Producers Federation.
Bill became a national leader in promoting the dairy industry. He served many years on the national board of directors of Associated Milk Producers, Inc., and on the Southwest Region board of directors of AMPI.
Bill also served on the National Dairy Board, an organization of the Agricultural Department dedicated to promoting milk consumption.
Bill was an avid hunter, particularly of quail.
Many great memories were made while following Dixie, Sandy or the other bird dogs with his sons, sons-in-law, brother, nephews and friends.
Bill’s favorite meal was fried quail, biscuits and gravy topped off by one of Pat’s famous pies.
Bill and Pat invested greatly in the lives of their kids and other kids. They put all five kids through college.
They were leaders in 4-H and helped members develop leadership and citizenship skills.
They enjoyed sports, especially watching their kids play baseball and perform in the band.
Bill coached Little League baseball and Pat ran the concession stand. They loved the kids on the teams and treated them as their own.
Later, Bill and Pat loved to watch the grandkids in their activities, including 4-H, baseball, dance, gymnastics and many others.
They also enjoyed the card parties and other activities with their Hennessey friends.
Bill and Pat were longtime members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and their faith was central to their lives.
Bill greatly missed Pat and longed to join her in God’s presence.
Bill is survived by two daughters, Kay Fulkerson and husband Jerry of Hennessey, Jana Howell and husband Ken of Perry; three sons, David Bugg and wife Debbie of Norman, Steven Bugg and wife Cathey of Edmond, and Kenneth Bugg from California; 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Pat, his parents and one sister, Dorothy Lawrence.
Mass of Christian Burial was 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church officiated by Rev. Ed Menasco and under the care of Cordry Gritz Funeral Home. Burial followed at Hennessey Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in Bill’s name to the Hennessey Educational Foundation or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with the funeral home serving as custodian of the funds.