Roland “Bud” H. Poyns

Our country has lost another member of “the Greatest Generation”. Roland “Bud” H. Poyns passed away Oct. 2, 2019, after a short illness and just days after his 96th birthday. Bud was born in Chehalis, Wash., Sept. 29, 1923, to Roy and Bernice Poyns.

He was raised in the local area and in parts of Oregon during his childhood, later settling in Centralia where he attended and graduated from Centralia High School. In April of 1942, of his senior year he joined the United States Marine Corps and served during World War II in the Pacific theater in Guam until 1946. He was a sergeant in the Marine Corp, and was a Marine through and through. Upon returning home from military service in 1947, he met a beautiful young woman who worked at a soda fountain. After dating Judith Witt for three months, they were married Jan. 31, 1948. It was then, Bud started his career as a United States Postal employee. He began as a letter carrier and worked many years as a window clerk, retiring in 1978.

In 1949, they gave birth to their first child, Marylu, followed by Joseph, Barbara, Kimberly and Roland Jr (Rocky). Bud was a hard-working man who provided for his family. He took his family to church every Sunday and was involved with his sons in Boy Scouts. He taught all of the children how to drive. Bud enjoyed taking his family camping in true Northwest style, often under a lean-to in the pouring rain and serving up foil dinners cooked in the campfire. On occasion, at home he loved to cook a gourmet meal of fried bologna sandwiches  or fruit cocktail pancakes for us kids. Providing a great Christmas for his children was a high priority. Celebrations included touring neighborhoods to enjoy outdoor displays after attending Christmas Eve services.  Santa never arrived at the Poyns house until all of the kids were asleep on Christmas Eve.  

In his retirement years, Bud and Judy became avid rose growers belonging to the Lewis County Rose Society and grew many award winning roses. They entered their roses in many shows both locally and regionally. Bud also was a certified Rose Society Judge traveling to many regional and statewide shows. After 42 years of marriage his wife, Judith, passed away. He later married Mary Barlow and was married to her for 10 years. They enjoyed traveling and going on cruises.

Following Mary’s death, he later married Lillian Becker. They enjoyed 19 years of marriage. Lillian and Bud enjoyed many family events and holidays.  At any event that involved gifts Bud had to be watched very closely as he would attempt to prematurely begin unwrapping his gifts.  He enjoyed the exercise as his kids and grandchildren would catch him in the act to his obvious delight.  Everyone enjoyed what became a fun family game.  

Bud was a Christian all of his life belonging to the First Christian Church in Centralia and later the Harrison Square Presbyterian Church, where he regularly attended and was a member of the Men’s Bible Study Group. He was also very active in the American Legion Post 17, the VFW and the Marine Corp. League.  Bud volunteered as a tour guide at the Veterans Museum in Chehalis for many years. During his working years, he was a member of the Centralia Kiwanis Club.  

A highlight of Bud’s life was an Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. accompanied by his oldest son, Joe. Bud also enjoyed his weekly trips to Judy’s Country Kitchen with his son, Joe. He loved all the special attention the waitresses gave him there.

Bud will be lovingly missed by his wife, Lillian; sons, Joseph Poyns of Centralia and Rocky (Patsy) Poyns of Centralia; daughters, Marylu (Jerry) Cunning of Chehalis, Barbara (Marty) Spence of Arlington, Wash., and Kimberly (Daniel) Spahr of Olympia, Wash. He is also survived by a dear cousin, Geraldine Staats of Beaverton, Ore.; and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; as well as nine grandchildren; and 13 great grandchildren.

Bud lived a rich, full 96 years. In the past few years when he was no longer able to drive, a dear, loving friend provided him with the help he needed to make his life easier. That “Angel” was April Fagerness and we all appreciate her very much. Another wonderful man from the church, Paul Mills, picked them up to take them to services on Sundays. Then there were the wonderful neighbors, Rolly and Buddy always helping them any way they could. And I know there were many other “Angels” out there too and we’re sorry if we left you out. We are so grateful to each of you.

A graveside inurnment will be held at 11 a.m., Oct. 12, 2019, at Mountain View Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at Harrison Square Presbyterian Church at 12 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bud’s name to: American Legion Grant Hodge Post 17, 111 W. Main St., Centralia, WA 98531. Veterans Memorial Museum, 100 SW Veterans Way, Chehalis, WA 98532.

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(1) comment


The family should get the Patriot Guard Riders to do a flag line at his memorial.

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