NAPOLEON - Bud William Rohda, 74, an area roofing contractor who operated a carryout in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, during the 1970s, died Tuesday of apparent congestive heart failure in the Northcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Mr. Rohda operated Bud Rohda Roofing & Spouting Co. for more than 30 years, installing and repairing residential and commercial roofs throughout Henry and Fulton counties and the Defiance area, his son, John, said.
His father learned the trade from an uncle, then worked for a Napoleon roofing firm for about five years before striking out on his own in 1958.
"He had a very good reputation," his son said. "He came out to your place and did the work in a timely fashion. If anything went wrong within a year, he could come back and fix it for free."
Employing a small crew, the company repaired or replaced the roofs of nearly all of Napoleon's downtown commercial buildings at one time or another, his son said.
The business was based in Ridgeville Corners alongside Bud's Mini Market, which he began in 1969 at a time when the town had no carryout.
"He started it from scratch," Kandy Guilliam, his daughter, said. "My mother helped. She did all the book work. She worked third shift and came in and worked during the daytime."
The store became a popular place to buy pop, candy, beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. It offered a small line of canned goods, bread, and hamburger buns.
"He had a big candy counter," his daughter said. "It was one of the old-fashioned wooden ones with big glass."
The store, located on U.S. 6, was a spot where truck drivers liked to stop.
Customers passed the time talking on the front porch, she said. Working evenings at the store, Mr. Rohda talked on his ham radio set up in a back room when business was slow. He conversed with people around the country.
Mr. Rohda sold the store in 1979 when it and the roofing company got to be too much, and retired from the roofing business in 1991.
Born in Napoleon, Mr. Rohda was an Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of VFW Wars Post 8218 and AMVETS Post 1313.
His wife, Marilyn, died in 2003.
Surviving are his son, John; daughters, Kandy Guilliam and Jenny VonDeylen; three grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today in the Walker Mortuary. The family suggests tributes to the Henry County War Memorial.