Leonard "Bud" Clayton Merta: 1929-2021

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Bud Merta passed peacefully at home in Indian Wells, Calif., April 22, 2021, surrounded by loved ones. He was 92 years old. Bud was born on March 12, 1929, in Chicago, Ill., to Max and Gladys (Clayton) Merta.
He relocated to St. Petersburg, Fla., as a teenager and joined the USCG at 19 years old. Bud loved his four years in the Coast Guard, being on the water, piloting vessels and traveling to distant lands. He had many adventures and stories to tell.
Always a visionary and dedicated worker, he seized the opportunity to purchase a factory and moved to Chehalis, Wash., in 1968. He was in the Manufactured Housing Industry for over 40 years. With an astute and savvy business sense, Bud established 13 Moduline International manufacturing plants across the U.S. and Canada, as well as numerous Lamplighter Sales Centers. He was a well-respected leader in the industry and was awarded Small Businessman of the Year in 1971, having the great pleasure of meeting President Gerald Ford in Washington, D. C. to accept this honor.
Bud was preceded in death by his daughter, Laurie Merta of University Place, Wash.; and sister, Maxine Clayton of Hudson, Fla.
He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Sharon (Ask) Merta, of Gig Harbor, Wash.; daughter, Leslie Merta (Timothy Guilfoyle) of Gig Harbor; and many long-time, cherished friends, including Jerry and Gerlinde Conover of Gig Harbor.
Dad loved fine dining, good cigars, traveling, fishing, his amazing vegetable garden and sharing wonderful, and at times, hilarious stories. We will be forever grateful for your guidance, wisdom, generosity and love. God Bless you, Dad. We shall miss you deeply. The family would like to thank Reliance Hospice and staff for their great care for Bud. A donation in Bud’s memory may be made to Reliance Hospice of Palm Desert 74130 Country Club Drive #103 Palm Desert, CA 92260. A private celebration for Bud will be held during the summer in Washington.

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