Elias (Bud) Ubaldo Manzanares

AURORA — Elias (Bud) Ubaldo Manzanares died July 29, 2019 from complications due to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at the State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons in Aurora.

Bud Manzanares was born in Alamosa, in 1944, the only son of four. He wasn’t much for school, and preferred to fish, hunt and play his guitar.

He was drafted into the Air Force as an airplane mechanic in Vietnam (1965-1966). While stationed at Biggs AFB in El Paso, Texas, he met his pretty blonde Jeanie, who would become his wife in 1967. After his military service, Bud and Jean moved to Denver, where he worked days for a trucking company and played gigs with his rock band, The Latin Sound, nights and weekends. On sunny days, he rode his Honda motorcycle with his first daughter, Theresa, happily sharing the seat.

Buddy always remained a true San Luis Valley boy at heart, so in 1976, after the birth of his second daughter, Jeanie Marie, he packed up his little family and returned to work his parents’ cattle farm in Alamosa. He farmed with his dad on weekends while working full time with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Refuge in Monte Vista, and still managed to form another band, Pegasus. Tammy, his third daughter, arrived in 1978 and he often joked about his home of too many girls and too few bathrooms. When his father passed, he took over the family farm, while continuing to work full time as the manager of Paperwork, Inc., Alamosa branch.

After his retirement, Bud and Jean adopted and raised their granddaughter, Theresa Jean, as their own, so he never did get to have a bathroom to himself. He encouraged all of his daughters to be self-sufficient and taught them to change tires, shoot straight, and hold up their end of an argument. Oh boy, did Bud love an argument, almost as much as he loved a crude idiom.

Bud went big in everything from his appetite, to his teasing jokes, to his lamb-chop sideburns. He loved to cook and share huge family meals, which he’d always end by saying, “That was damn good, even if I do say so myself!” Besides being legendary with a fry pan, Bud had many other hobbies: like going out to his “wood-shop” to have a smoke in peace, play his guitar, and occasionally build things; eXtreme Marathon BBQ (bare-chested, sub-zero temperature, multi-hour, meat grilling); winning at cards (didn’t matter which game because he was a great player and also a super sneaky cheater); gambling trips to Vegas and Pojoaque with Jean (don’t ask her); power Piñoning (packing the entire family out to glean the God-given nuts from the ground, brining and slow roasting in his home oven, then popping entire fistfuls of perfect piñon into his mouth and methodically expelling only the shells). And, when he wasn’t doing any of those things, or adventuring in his beloved Colorado outdoors, or attending every single game/meet/tournament/play/concert his daughters were in, or giving his grandchildren guitar lessons, he chopped wood. Any hour of the day or night. So much wood. Bud never, ever let his family’s fire burn out.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Elias and Frances Manzanares, and his beloved sister Pauline Vigil.

He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Jean Manzanares; his daughters Theresa and husband Petter, Jeanie Colmenares and husband Jimmy, Tammy, Theresa Jean Frances; his grandchildren Mitch Scanga, Aurora, Teresa Colmenares; his sisters, Julia Trujillo and Betty Fitzpatrick; and his sisters-in-law Toni Gilman of Las Cruces, N.M., and Jackie Gilman of Monte Vista.

Please join us in a Celebration of Life: Sept. 8, at 1:30 p.m. at Renovate Church, 7399 S. Tucson Way, Suite B3, Centennial. Cafe reception will follow.