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Obituary for Bernard Dale Rhines

It is with great honor and extreme sadness to announce the passing of Bernard “Bud” Dale Rhines, age 80, of Twin Lake, Michigan. He was born July 6, 1941 in Eaton Rapids, Michigan to parents Bernard J. Rhines and Fern (Carpenter) Rhines. He lost his father at the young age of 13 and his mother at the age of 29, which had a huge impact on his life. Bud was also preceded in death by his sister Jackie Adams, along with his beloved Grandmother Margaret “Granny” (Hill) Rhines.

Bud was the second of seven children and leaves behind brothers Roger Rhines (Maryann) and Thomas Rhines (Stephanie); and sisters Ranae Hillard, Roxanne Rhines, and Patricia Commons.

Bud is survived by his four children: Bernard J. “B.J.” Rhines II (Marie), Erin Bierly (Jeff), Lance Rhines (Lee), and Kellie Lazusky (Mike); six grandchildren: Roger, Bernard D. II “Buddy”, Joshua, Tara, Brittany, and Dylan; sixteen great-grandchildren: Kylie, Thomas, Edward, Hunter, Graison, Dallas, Madalynn, Maci, Clover, Faith, Jaxx, Teegan, Brantley, Mark, Mazzi, and Linnea.

Bud graduated from Charlotte High School in 1959. After high school he attended Albion College where he jokingly said he majored in pinochle. Soon after starting college, he was strongly advised to volunteer his draft, and he enlisted in the Army from 1960-1962, stationed in Wheeler, Indiana. They put him to work as a clerk typist since he was the only serviceman who knew how to type. Bud was tested and chosen to attend West Point, which he declined. His discharge was delayed by several months due to pre-war unrest. Shortly after his military service ended, he went to work for the State of Michigan where he met his future wife, Bettylou Bandfield. They had four children together. Intrigued by the advent of the computer, he soon went to work for Michigan State University on their first computer system and was featured on the front page of the Lansing State Journal in 1963. Bud always envisioned owning his own business, and that dream came true in 1973 when he opened Datacenter Corporation in Muskegon, Michigan, a concierge computerized accounting/payroll company. He was a lifelong learner and remembered historical facts and figures that astounded those around him. His above average intellect served him well in the world of computers, as he was able to envision computers as the way of the future, and he taught himself computer programming and database creation from scratch. He created patents and drawings that will be analyzed posthumously.

At age 9, Bud started his first business processing maple syrup, which was featured in the Charlotte newspaper. His Mom invested in it by purchasing tree taps, buckets, and bottles, and he went to work collecting maple syrup. He employed, without payment, his siblings and cousins to assist with the harvest. He sold it door-to-door to neighbors and family members.

Bud had a great love of nature and the great outdoors, enjoying the feeling of freedom it provided. He spent as much time as possible on his boat and fishing, determined to teach his siblings, children, and grandchildren how to fish and water ski. He loved fishing with his Granny, although she refused to fish with anything but a cane pole, which amused him because it still yielded a mess o’ fish! He traveled countless miles off-road in his cherished dune buggy, making campfires, finding natural drinking springs, and sharing stories of old. His Uncle Nick taught him to hunt, and he spent many opening days of pheasant hunting on their Eaton Rapids family farm. In 1976 for the Bicentennial Celebration, the City of Roosevelt Park invited Bud and his family to drive his yellow dune buggy in the parade while decked out in Americana clothing.

Bud was an avid sports fan and loved the Detroit Tigers, and would recount a play-by-play of game 7 in the 1968 World Series with anyone who would listen. The AM radio was always tuned to baseball. He was proud to say he personally met his idol, Ernie Harwell.

Mostly though, Bud will be best remembered for his witty personality, hilarious storytelling, sense of humor, infectious laugh, and endearing eccentricities. He was one of a kind, that is for sure.

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