Walter A. "Bud" Ludka

Jan. 25, 2016

Walter A. “Bud” Ludka (BS CHEM EGR ’57), Traverse City, Mich., died Jan. 17. He was 81.

He was born May 13, 1934 (the first National Mother’s Day) in Traverse City, the eldest of Francis and Lillian (Antony) Ludka’s eight children. 

He graduated from St. Francis Catholic School in 1952 and earned a scholarship to Michigan State University. 

He graduated from MSU in 1957 with a degree in chemical engineering. 

He married Julia M. Endres on Dec. 28, 1954. 

Ludka worked and travelled the world with Judy and their six children, living outside of the U.S. in Japan, France and Belgium. He was the former owner of the Gordon-Gill Company from 1968 to 2005.

He is survived by his children: Karen A. Ludka of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; Walter A. (Hilde) Ludka Jr. of Antwerp, Belgium; Steven R. Ludka of Traverse City; Marianne E. (Jeffrey) Cowl of Liberty, Texas; Matthew A. (Ina) Ludka of Lake Worth, Fla.; and Rosemarie A. (Mark) Cummings of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and five step-grandchildren, as well as 10 great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Lillian Ludka, and his beloved wife, Julia.

Funeral services were Jan. 23 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Traverse City.

Memorials may be made to the Michigan State University Endowment Fund created in the name of Walter A. Ludka Endowed Fund of Excellence in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, Traverse City, assisted the family.