Elvis R. (Bud) Harvey passed away peacefully on November 20,2017 in Solvang at age 92. After his family arrived from Arkansas he was born in Colton, CA in May of 1925 (parents Arthur & Molly). He married his first wife, Kathryn (Siler) in 1949. Bud remarried Patty (Mondon Smith) in 1975, and lived in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until 1979 when they moved to the Santa Ynez Valley with her two children. Bud is survived by his wife Patricia; his children: Neal, Sharon, Carol, Nancy, Jim and spouses; step-children: Todd and Adrianne; and grandchildren: Michelle, Justin, Nathan, Cameron, Clarissa, Molly, Betsy, Susie, Lexi, and Jesse.
Bud embraced life and never tired. His self-initiative and uninhibited traits were demonstrated as he re-told stories of: bike riding weekly to the library for his book selections and participating in Boy Scouts, including assisting other scout members to achieve their goals for an Eagle Scout. He would recall how his self-discipline in academics propelled him to skip grades in elementary school; how he was acknowledged by his church leaders to read a passage from the scriptures for the congregation; and as a child he played the violin and earned a spot to perform at the Shrine Auditorium. His keen sense for problem solving and work ethics were developed early in life by: working at the local dairy and deliveries before school, learning to drive a tractor, hitching a team of horses, and plowing the fields at home and for the neighbors. Particularly, his father taught and cultivated his passion with building homes, with the philosophy of 'I'm only going to tell you once' when tackling a project or task.
He built his first house on the family's property as a rental that provided funds for him while in college. He loved nature, he would describe exploring the nearby mountains in his youth, climbing trees, going barefoot to school, target shooting with his .22 rifle, and riding his horse 'Dolly' on an old Civil War saddle in the nearby sand hills. He expanded his love for the outdoors at his vacation homes in Lakeport, CA and the secluded Upper Klamath Lake, OR. When their children and friends visited Bud continued his teaching of natural history. Later in life, he enjoyed spending half the year with his family, horses, and dogs among the tall trees, deer and other forest critters.
Bud joined the Navy at age 17 and said his proudest moment was becoming a Navy aviator. He served in the Korean War and continued in the Reserves, retiring as a Naval Commander in 1985. After returning from the war, he attended Redlands College earning his Bachelor of Arts in 1949. He began teaching mathematics at both the high school and college levels, eventually obtaining a Master's degree in Science and Education from USC. During his tenure, he co-authored self-paced math textbooks - an accomplishment at this time, decades ahead of the internet; and he also became a high school guidance counselor and was president of the teacher's association of Centinela Valley Union High School Dist. comprised of four high schools. He was instrumental in implementing the GATE program (Gifted and Talented Education) for these schools. Bud retired from the public-school system and became a commercial real estate broker.
After settling in the Santa Ynez Valley, Bud and Patty were capital investors in establishing the Valley Oaks National Bank. In addition, Bud was crucial in brokering the property for the purchase of The Friendship House and was president of the board for many years. He was a member of the SYV Riders Club and often reflected upon memories of these wonderful group rides with his friends. His thirst to learn continued with his remodeling projects in SYV, vacation, and income properties. He filled his mind and library with books on subjects from the dynamics of world economics to the advancements in medicine and space exploration.
Bud often said he was born in the wrong era, as he thoroughly enjoyed digging holes for fence posts, maintaining the corrals and blazing trails around their properties. He was concerned and considerate of others right up to his last hours, Bud's humor sustained him, he remained happy, engaged, and grateful to be alive. He particularly cherished Patty's help and with his declining health would often put her needs before his. Bud did not need to win the game of life, he was thankful he could enjoy playing it. He won after all.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Beckmen and his nurse, Casey, for their compassionate care. A private celebration of life will be held in spring of 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Wounded Warriors or Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society.
Loper Funeral Chapel, Directors.