Virgil "Bud" Emerson Zink Jr. died March 16, 2013 in Hutchinson, at the age of 90 surrounded by family and his loving little dog, Vivian.
Bud was born on the family farm west of Turon, to Virgil Sr. and Lena Cox Zink March 31st, 1922. He lived his young life as a farmer's son and then served in the Army Air Force as a Tech Sergeant waist gunner with a B17 crew in World War II.
He was stationed in England and flew 27 missions over Germany, mostly on the plane named "Sleepy Time Gal."
He was presented The Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf clusters and was credited for gunning down a German fighter aircraft. He also earned the rare and unofficial "Lucky Bastard" award after flying the first 25 successful missions.
Following World War II, Bud came back to Turon as a foreman for Chalmers and Borton, building grain elevators in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. He also made a career as a farmer and a rancher.
He spent his entire life in the Turon community and took extra pride in his 28 years of sobriety. He was a great supporter to many others in breaking the chains of addiction and sponsoring S.O.S (Swinging on Sobriety) gatherings at his home.
Bud was married to Ann Gorham Zink for 67 years until the time of her passing in 2011. He was proceeded in death by two children, infant Michael and infant daughter, and sister Irene Zink Pound.
Survivors include Suzan Zink Harding and her husband Dennis of Raymore, Mo., and Judy Zink Bradshaw of Turon. Bud currently has four grandchildren, Sarah Bradshaw Hudson, Zach Harding, Justin Bradshaw and Brandon Bradshaw, plus 14 great-grandchildren.
Bud's family describes him as caring, loyal, generous and strong-willed. He will be greatly missed and always loved.
Visitation will be March 19th at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. at Larrison Family Mortuary, 300 Country Club Road, Pratt. Burial will follow at the Turon Cemetery in Reno County.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Hospice and Home Care of Reno County, 1523 E 20th Ave, Hutchinson, KS 67502 or the City of Turon's EMT Dept., 501 Price St, Turon, KS 67583.