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Obituary: Homer T. “Bud” McCrary

General News

Innovative, creative, passionate and committed barely begin to describe Big Creek’s co-founder, Homer T. “Bud” McCrary. To some he has long been known as a pioneer of sustainable forestry. To others, a champion of community trails, an instigator of epic trail-building adventures and a cultivator of inventive mechanical solutions. His employees considered him a mentor and a friend. Four generations have been fortunate to call him brother, father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather. All of us are deeply saddened to share that on June 1, 2020, Bud peacefully passed away at his beloved home in the redwoods of Santa Cruz County at the age of 93. We will remember him as a loving father and family man, a passionate leader in our community and a tireless advocate for sound forest management and for his treasured employees.

Homer T. “Bud” McCrary
(1927 – 2020)

Bud led an extraordinary yet humble life. Born in Santa Cruz in 1927, he served in the Navy during World War II. Bud came home in 1946 to start Big Creek Lumber with his brother Frank “Lud” McCrary, uncle Homer Trumbo, and father Frank McCrary Sr. What started as a modest endeavor with crosscut saws and war bonds grew, with Bud’s determination, into the thriving Big Creek Lumber of today that Bud has always been proud to call his team.

One of Bud’s greatest legacies was his contribution to forestry in the state of California, especially its Central Coast. Bud was influential in pioneering a style of selective forest thinning during a time when clearcutting was the prevailing practice. Nearly two decades after Big Creek Lumber instituted Bud’s single-tree selection harvesting methods, the counties of San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara adopted this method of forestry as special county rules under state law. We witness Bud’s legacy when we look at the vibrant forestlands of the Central Coast – forestlands that continue to contribute to the well-being of all.

Bud would ask us not to be sad, but to continue to drive forward with his hard-working spirit, creativity, and ingenuity in our hearts. Thank you, Bud, for your enduring love for your family and your generous contributions to our community. You will be dearly missed.

Source: Big Creek Lumber Company