Stories from My Life, #13: A Tribute to my Stepbrother, Bud Lancaster

May 31, 2020 9:39 pm Published by 11 Comments

We remember things differently, you and I. What stands out to one person from the distant past means nothing to another. This is often true for siblings. And so it happens that one will say to the other, “Don’t you remember when Dad did this or Dad did that?” “No,” the other says. “But surely you remember this.”

And so it is with my stepbrother, Bud Lancaster, who passed away about a week ago. I won’t embellish the accolades that family and friends have given him. They’ve emphasized how he was patriotic, how he and his wife, Therese, raised three wonderful daughters, and how much fun he was to be around. All of these statements are true.

To understand what it is that I remember about Bud, and to set the stage, I need to take you back some sixty-two years, to 1958 (I was thirteen). That was when my mother, Ottilie, remarried. She became Ottilie Tag, and her new husband, Herbert Tag, adopted me. He was my new father.

During one Christmas period around that time, I remember Dad putting together a package that he was mailing to California. I don’t remember when it was that I figured out that he had a son from a previous marriage to whom he was mailing presents. That son was Bud Lancaster.

Let’s now move ahead in time another two decades. In the late 1970’s, Bud made the decision to reach out to his original father and, in so doing, he met me. Coincidentally, through circumstances tied to my job, I moved to California in 1972. I lived just a two hours’ drive from Bud and Therese, who lived near San Francisco at the time. That marked the beginning of a friendship between me and the Lancaster family, which then evolved to include Becky (we married in August of 1984). That relationship continues to this day.

What happened shortly after Becky and I married is the point of this story. In December of 1984, Mom and Dad went for a vacation in Hawaii. As fate would have it, only a couple days into their vacation, it happened: Dad had a significant heart attack. He would not be going home anytime soon.

While Becky and I were coming to grips with the situation, Bud took immediate charge. My recollection tells me that he was on an airplane to Hawaii the next day. Long story short, he found an apartment for them, where they stayed for about a month before Dad was allowed to fly. Bud did not leave until he made sure that everything was in order and that Mom and Dad’s needs were taken care of. I arrived a week or so later.

Over the history of time, few will recall what happened back then. But to the people involved, it was a significant and thoughtful contribution. I am proud to remember Bud Lancaster as the unselfish person who knew what to do and made things right in that singular moment. I thank him, Therese, and his three daughters, Jenny, Kelly, and Andrea, for allowing me to become a part of such a generous and kind family. And knowing Bud and Therese as well as I do, I can report that the apples have not fallen far from the tree.


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This post was written by paulmarktag


  • Jennifer Perrine says:

    Uncle Paul, this is amazing! I remember when dad went to HI to help Papa Tag! ♥️
    Big hugs to you and Becky! We are proud to call you family!
    We love you!

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for your comment. Good to hear from you. That makes sense. You would have been old enough to remember the Hawaii trip.

  • Brenda Guy says:

    A beautiful tribute to Bud. May the memories you have created with Bud and his family bring you peace and joy!


  • Ed says:

    Your stepbrother Bud obviously was a great person. You tribute to him is well written, as is usual for you.

  • Mary Ogburn says:

    Paul that is so Beautiful what you wrote .. you and I have met over the years.. Brother Bud was an awesome Brother in law..He provided my Sister Therese and the girls a fantastic life.. Truly a terrific man!!! He will be missed.. .. Mary Ogburn

    • Paul says:

      Good to hear from you, Mary. Thank you for writing. We won’t make it up to this month’s remembrance, but hope to make the next get-together. Take care.

  • Kelly McKinley says:

    This is beautiful Uncle Paul! I was too young to remember this story, but I have found memories of getting to know you and Aunt Becky!! We are truly blessed you and dads path crossed again decades ago. Family meant everything to my dad.

  • Paul says:

    Thanks, Kelly. We will all miss him. One of my earliest memories of you is at the houseboat lake. Either your dad or mom sent you to retrieve Becky and me when we arrived.

  • Mike says:

    This is beautiful, Paul. I enjoyed the times Brenda and I got to see Bud and Therese when they would visit you and Becky in Monterey. (Thanks for including us!) Your tribute confirms my warm feelings for Bud. You and he were lucky to be in each other’s family.