YANKTON, S.D. — Marvin Leroy “Bud” LaCroix, 94, Yankton, S.D., formerly of Crofton, died Jan. 21, 2019, at his residence in Yankton,.
Visitation was Jan. 25 at the Wintz Funeral Home, Crofton, and continued Saturday, one hour prior to services.
Funeral services were Jan. 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Crofton, with the Rev. Amanda Talley officiating.
Burial was at the Crofton City Cemetery, Crofton, with military rites by the Crofton American Legion Post #128
Pallbearers were Dawn Auch, Amanda LaCroix, Raquel Konecky, Brooke Konecky, Stacy Luetkenhaus, Morgan Luetkenhaus, Megan Luetkenhaus, Payton Pickworth, Rylee Pickworth and Addyson Pickworth,
Honorary Pallbearers were Bud’s remaining grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Bud was born Sept. 2, 1924, in Lindy, to Harry LaCroix and Amanda (Berner) LaCroix. He grew up in Lindy, which was founded in 1928 by his Father. He was baptized and confirmed in the Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lindy. High school was 14 miles away in Bloomfield, so he ended school after the eighth grade. As a farmhand in 1938, he earned $0.50 a day. Bud was drafted in the Army in the fall of 1942. He served in World War II from April 1943-December 1945. He served throughout the Pacific Islands and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze star for bravery. Training for the 242nd Engineers was at Ft. Ord, Calif. Arriving at Guam while the action was still hot, he delivered ammunition to the frontlines. He later drove a truck as part of the erection of the Guam runways, later used by American B-29s. When Gen. MacArthur returned to Leyte, Bud was with him. Bridges were guarded day and night, and Bud drove guards back and forth. One day he was hauling 16 sentry guards when his vehicle was ambushed. He saw tracers come directly at the vehicle from both sides of the road. He sped up and swerved to the left, which likely confused the Japanese. One bullet struck an officer, but he kept going. It was so chaotic and his adrenaline was pumping so fast that Bud did not even notice that he had shrapnel in his arms. “The truck looked like a flour sieve. The windshield had holes in it.” Bud was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions that day. He later saw Hiroshima, which looked like a huge pasture fire. After the war he worked in the trucking business with his father, Harry, and his brother, Merlin, in Lindy.
He married Darlene Ellen Tweedy Aug. 19, 1946, in Lindy.
He then took a job with a construction company in Pierre, S.D., as a construction worker during the building of the Oahe Dam. He worked there from 1957-1960. He then moved to Weston, and worked for an alfalfa mill for 10 years. In 1971, he moved to Crofton, and formed a trucking company with his brother, Merlin LaCroix.
He loved hunting, fishing, dancing and playing bingo.
Survivors include his children, Leroy (Betty) LaCroix, Yankton S.D.; Larry (Helen) LaCroix, Mead; Lonnie (Laurie) LaCroix, Yankton, S.D.; Lois (Craig) Padgett, Omaha; and Lyle (Connie) LaCroix, Aripeka Fla.; 16 grandchildren and many more great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Amanda; his wife of 62 years, Darlene; his brother, Merlin; his sister, Mary Colter; his daughter, Linda; his grandson, Ricky LaCroix; and his granddaughter, Leah LaCroix.