William George Tegtmeyer II, “Bud,” was the first-born son of his immigrant father, William George Tegtmeyer I, and the second child of his mother, Faith Hope (Lahman) Marshall Tegtmeyer. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday, 13 February 1920, and always said that Friday the 13th was his lucky day. Besides his older half-sister, William had five younger siblings, two brothers and three sisters.

Despite many hardships during his younger years, he always maintained a positive attitude. His family was poor and had to move many times but mostly lived in the area south of Fairgrounds Park. Bud had to leave Beaumont High School after his sophomore year to help support his family. His first job was at General Service Stations, 7300 S. Broadway, making $20 a week.

At age eighteen, Bud went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He was assigned to work in Babler State Park cutting and carving stone. He helped build the sign at the park’s front entrance—he was very proud of his work there. He made $30 a month, kept $5 for himself and sent the rest home. While in the CCC, his family lived at five different residences. During that time, when Bud was nineteen, his father died.

After being discharged from the CCC, 29 March 1940, he was hired by Frank Adam Electric Company where he met Charlotte Kenow, his future wife. World War II didn’t keep them from dating. Bud was inducted into the Navy as a Seabee (Unit 599) in July 1943. Charlotte followed wherever he was stationed in the United States. While on leave, Bud married Charlotte on 13 January 1943. After their marriage, he was transferred to Pearl Harbor. His unit was scheduled to engage in the war when peace was declared. Bud was honorably discharged 1 December 1945.

Together, Bud and Charlotte had three children. They built their own home with help of their family in an undeveloped area of North St. Louis County near Ferguson. Bud continued his work at Frank Adam Electric Company but always wanted to own his own business. He had that opportunity in 1960 when he bought an existing hardware store near St. Louis Avenue and Marcus Avenue—Tegtmeyer Hardware and Paint. Bud thrived during this time of his life and enjoyed working with his customers to solve home-owner problems. Later, crime became too prevalent, and in March of 1986, Bud and Charlotte decided to sell the hardware store.

William George Tegtmeyer II.
William George Tegtmeyer II
Photo in the collection of Karen (Tegtmeyer) Goode
Used with permission

Retirement years allowed for many good times for Bud and Charlotte, including travel, family and friends. During his life, Bud was involved with a lot of volunteer work, with his church and with his family. He was always ready to help anyone in need. Bud became afflicted with ALS in the mid 1990s. During this time, he always looked on the bright side, never complained and was always concerned about others. He even planned his own wake after his funeral. He wanted to make sure there was plenty of beer and wine for everyone who attended. Bud died on the 23rd of November 1999 and was buried at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri.

Written by Karen Tegtmeyer Goode
December 2022

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Last Modified: 17-Aug-2023 12:22