Ashford “Bud” Bruce Hire, age 87 of Montello, WI (formerly of Peoria, IL) passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Divine Savior Hospital in Portage, Wisconsin. Bud was born in Marion, Indiana on February 15, 1933 to Chester and Nola (Starkey) Hire. At a young age, he moved with his family to Peoria, IL where he would grow up to follow his dream of playing baseball. Right out of high school he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league affiliate, where for the next six years he would pitch for the team from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He traveled with the ball team from Wisconsin to California and through the southern states. When Bud’s playing days were over, he returned to Peoria where he would be employed by Pabst and later Budweiser. Although retired from his professional days as a pitcher he never gave up his passion for baseball. Bud became the Coach for the Pabst Sunday Morning Baseball Team in Peoria. Bud would coach for several years with the Sunday Morning Baseball League before moving to Oxford, Wisconsin in early 1990. Bud became employed with the Commission on Aging and would pick up and drive patients to their appointments. It was during this time that Bud once again became involved and would become a vital part with the Westfield High School Baseball program, where he coached pitchers and later became manager for the team. Bud would soon take his skills to the Montello High School Team where he would help many young athletes learn about the game.
Bud also enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Besides Bud’s love of baseball, he also enjoyed time hunting and fishing. He will be remembered for his easy-going attitude and the ability to make people laugh.
Bud leaves behind his special friend and companion of many years, Arlene Boetcher of Montello and three children: Douglas (Denice) Hire of Bartonville, IL, Debra (Keith) Krider of Chillicothe, IL and Dawna Hire of Peoria. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, along with two brothers: Charles (Linda) and Donald (Phyllis). Bud was preceded in death by his parents.
Due to the pandemic, Bud’s family will celebrate his life privately at this time. Public services are pending.
Crawford Funeral and Cremation Service of Montello and Oxford is honored to be serving the family. www.CrawfordFH.com
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