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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Beware of Bud

Beware of Bud

By Lindsay Starr Platt, Harker Heights Evening Star

If you stop in at Heights Lumber & Supply on Friday and happen to to see a birthday party, complete with birthday cake at the store, it is because one of their employees will be turning 88 years old.  D.W. (Bud) Kieff is the oldest employee at the store and has been working at Heights Lumber since he “retired” in 1994.

“I run circles around these guys all day,” said Bud. “I enjoy working and helping people. I would not still be here, if I didn’t enjoy it.”

Bud retired from the Army after 20 years and then retired again after working 27 years in the lumber business in Washington state.  He now resides in Harker Heights and still works five and a half days a week at Heights Lumber.

“He doesn’t stop,” said Al Talamentez, employee, Heights Lumber & Supply. “He can still pick up fifty pound boxes, though we don’t want him to.”

In addition to still going to work everyday of the week, Bud is active in his church ministry and his wife Linda is Chairman of the Child Welfare Board and a member of J.A.I.L Ministries.
“Bud and I have been here together since I was in high school. When I first started here he taught me many thing about the lumber business,” said Kelly Eakin, part-owner, Heights Lumber & Supply. “He is a tried and true employee and a mentor. He gets here in the morning before everybody and works harder also. He puts in a full days work every single day. And our regular customers, they wouldn’t be the same without Bud. It makes my day, everyday I get to see Bud.”

When owner Randy Curtis hired Bud, he thought he was just going to be a part-time employee and work a couple of years and “retire” again. And, Bud said he plans on working until he drops dead.

“Twenty years ago when I hired Bud, I thought this is a man that is too old to be working. But, his eagerness to work and the willingness to please customers and the fact that he is a good Christian man proved me all wrong and that was twenty years ago,” said Curtis. “He keeps these ‘whippersnappers’ in line, as he calls them. And, he has a wealth of knowledge that he shares with everyone he meets.”

Bud said his favorite food is cornbread and he loves to drink cold Yoo-hoo. And his fellow employees said, they broke the mold when they made Bud.

“When you quit working, you become a couch potato, and then you wither away and die,” said Bud. “I have survived prostrate cancer and skin cancer, and I am still here.”

Walter Smith, co-worker said, “I tell him he needs to go home and rest, but he sticks it through everyday.”


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