Donald Ray (Bud) McAlister was born March 19, 1934 just a few minutes after his twin sister, Donna Mae, to Arthur and Marie (Reckard) McAlister in the Beaver County hospital, Beaver, Oklahoma. The twins had an older sister, Myrle and brother, Dean. He died Monday, June 3, 2019 in the Beaver County Nursing Home.
Being born during the dust bowl, Bud developed dust pneumonia so the entire family, including the Reckard grandparents, picked up stakes and moved to Ringwood, Oklahoma where the two older siblings graduated high school.
During World War II, the family had moved to some land situated east and north of Forgan where he, his sister, mother and grandparents lived while his father worked in California. He attended school for the first five years in Forgan, and then the family moved to Beaver where his dad had a feed store, bought and sold chickens, eggs and cream. His memories of those days were when his dad would send him in the pickup to deliver a live chicken to a home where the lady of the house would ask him to kill it. He was around 12 years old at that time, driving a vehicle.
In June of 1949, while helping his brother during wheat harvest, he was badly injured. He was subsequently taken to Oklahoma City where his leg was removed. He had many horror stories of the many different prosthetic legs he had during those 70 years.
After losing a whole semester of his sophomore year of high school, he was with the Class of 1953 when he graduated Beaver High School. Many fond memories were made of their senior trip to Missouri.
He attended business school in Oklahoma City where he met his first wife, Lillora Jane Winslow. From this marriage, they had two sons, James Calvin and Charles Kevin. They made their home in Denver, Colorado area where Bud was office manager for a large dairy corporation. After their divorce, Bud returned to Oklahoma where he started working for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
He later went to work as an accountant for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation where he worked his way up the ladder to Deputy Comptroller at the main office on state capitol grounds. During his time there, the DOT became computerized. He spent many long hours working to get the program going and training those in the outlet offices throughout the state. He retired in March of 1991 and went to California to help his older sister, Myrle, with some renovating of a rent house. Each morning, he would go pick up workers standing on the corner hoping to get some job or another.
He returned to Oklahoma where he decided to come back home to Beaver. That’s where he and his second wife, Cheley Lansden Cates Rodgers, became re-acquainted and later married July 9, 1993.
They spent many years travelling especially to Idaho where her youngest son lived.
During his adult lifetime, he would prepare income tax returns for other people, beginning in the 1950s. He continued that practice until around 2015 when he decided his “thinker” wasn’t working like it should.
Bud was known for his cheerful attitude, always had a smile and never met a stranger. He was baptized at an early age at the Forgan Baptist Church. After his marriage to Cheley, he joined the First Presbyterian Church where he served as treasurer. During that time, the church erected their fellowship hall. Bud spent many hours supervising the Work Center inmates as they were very involved in the interior construction.
Bud is preceded in death by his parents, older siblings, Myrle Richardson and Dean McAlister, twin sister, Donna Mae Baker, and a niece, Rita Gayle McAlister Norris. He is survived by his wife, Cheley of the home; two sons, Jim (Coleen) McAlister of Broken Arrow and Charley (Mandy) of Oklahoma City; four step-sons, Dennis (Dolores) Cates of Tyrone; Ronnie Cates of Liberal KS; Michael (Taryn) Cates of Idaho Falls ID; and Michael Dean (Jessica) Rodgers of Turpin; 15 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren; nephews, nieces, cousins and a host of friends.