Friday, November 16, 2018
 Obituary - Earl John “Bud” Gilmartin, Jr.  

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of the Commercial Creamery Co. chairman, Earl “Bud” Gilmartin, Jr. Bud was born February 24, 1930 in Great Falls, Montana to Earl and Ethel Gilmartin. The family moved to Missoula in 1933 when Earl bought Gold Medal Dairies from Kraft. Bud lived in Missoula through high school.

In 1948, Earl purchased Commercial Creamery Company and the family moved to Spokane. Bud moved several times during his college years, attending Washington State University, Gonzaga University, the University of Montana, and then back to Gonzaga University.  He graduated from Gonzaga in 1952 with a business degree, and joined his father in the family business.

Earl and Bud worked together until Earl died in 1968. Bud then became president of the company. Under Bud’s talented leadership the business expanded dramatically. Bud added manufacturing plants in Afton, Wyoming (1973); Jerome, Idaho (1977); and Louisville, Kentucky (1986). Bud was a colorful entrepreneur, and loved to travel. Part of his success came from his love of challenges. He did not like to be told that something could not be done. He also loved food and wine and loved being in the food business. He was a generous man and was fond of taking large groups of friends to dinners. He enjoyed trying new dishes, new restaurants, and an occasional cigar.

As well as building Commercial Creamery, Bud started several other companies with partners, including an egg business headquartered in Hong Kong and a flavor business headquartered in New York. He served on many boards having to do with the food industry and on the Gonzaga University Board of Regents.

Bud loved skiing and golf and was a member of several country clubs. He also loved to play cards and to watch sports on TV or attend in person if possible. He was known to place a bet now and again to make the game even more interesting. He attended Superbowls, World Series, and NCAA Basketball tournaments. He especially liked going to the Winter Olympics, and the Kentucky Derby.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents and his three sisters, Bette, Dorothy, and Jeanine. He is survived by his wife Judy, two stepchildren, Randy (Martha) and Laura Inman (Todd), and four grand stepchildren.  Bud is also survived by his former wife Sue, six children, Grady, Michael (Lupe), Earl III (Barbara), Peter (Cindy), Marc, Megan Boell (Gary), 16 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Four of Bud’s children and three of his grandchildren now work at Commercial Creamery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bud Gilmartin Fund at Gonzaga University, Attn: University Relations, 502 E. Boone Ave. Spokane WA 99258.

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 (Archive on Tuesday, July 05, 2011)
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