BANGOR – Judson M. “Bud” Grant Jr., husband for 61 years to Bette (Philbrick) Grant, and one of Bangor’s foremost and most successful commercial developers and businessmen, died Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, surrounded by his family at his home. He was born May 31, 1927, the elder son of Judson M. Grant Sr. and Florence Hillman Grant. Bud Grant served his country and his community throughout his adult life. He served with the U.S. Army in France, Germany and Belgium, from 1945 to 1947, and then joined his father in the family business, Grant Trailer Sales. In addition to selling mobile homes, or “trailers” as they were called in the 1940s and 1950s, the Grants also held the franchise for Willys Jeeps, and Kaiser and Fraser automobiles. A used furniture store, “Judson M. Grant Furniture,” was also part of the family business, located in a quonset hut on Hammond Street. It was during one of his father’s winter vacations in Florida that Bud decided to sell new furniture rather than used, and to change the store’s name to Fairmount Furniture, a decision that his father knew nothing about until he returned from Florida! Bud enjoyed telling the story of his father’s reaction when he returned home to find the changes, which Bud had made. There was a definite, though short-term strain in their relationship! In 1959 Bud undertook the first business venture of his own with the construction of Fairmount Terrace Motel, Hammond Street, Bangor. At the grand opening in 1960, it was Bud’s father who cut the ribbon. Fairmount Terrace was the first of many business enterprises that Bud would undertake in his long career. Queen City Mobile Home Park, Stillwater Avenue, Bangor, was opened in the early 1960s, and remained open until the late 1990s. At the time of its closing there were more than 200 mobile homes in the park. In 1964 Bud opened Maine’s largest furniture store at 614 Broadway, giving it the name Broadway Furniture. Many of the leading lines of home furnishings were carried and the store’s customers extended to many communities in Eastern Maine. Broadway Furniture not only delivered to customers through eastern and northern Maine, but it also provided furniture repair service at the local level. Grant Trailer Sales was also moved to the Broadway location and continued to grow during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Bud sold the building at 614 Broadway in the 1990s and downsized to a smaller store, named Broadway Wholesale Furniture in the Judson Heights Plaza, one of two small shopping malls he developed, the other being Wilson Square, Brewer. Never content to rest on his accomplishments, Bud began the construction of Birch Hill Estates Mobile Home Park in the 1980s, with beautiful roads, immaculate landscaping and all the services of a small city. Bud’s own fleet of construction equipment, which was larger than many towns and small cities possess, provided snowplowing, street maintenance and trash collection from the very beginning. Today the number of mobile homes at Birch Hill Estates numbers nearly 400. He also developed 160 house lots at Judson Heights, which added to the impact his investments made on housing in the city of Bangor. Even during the final months of his life, Bud was thinking about plans for construction of a new apartment complex on Broadway. It is symbolic of his amazing foresight that Bud Grant was the first to see the potential for business development on outer Broadway. In the 1980s Bud decided to open a combination gas station, convenience store and restaurant on outer Broadway. The building was named Kev-Lan, for his two grandsons, Kevin and Landon, and is large enough to contain a 747 airplane! Bud Grant never did anything in a small way. Kev-Lan was where Bud spent his last active years in business and it became a popular gathering place for people from all walks of life. “Come out to Kev-Lan and I’ll give you a good feed” was Bud’s standing invitation to friends and business associates. When he was no longer physically able to get around on his own, Bud would “hold court” at his own special table at Kev-Lan, a table which had to be expanded many times to accommodate the number of friends and business associates who would show up for lunch with Bud on a regular basis. Everyone was welcome at Bud’s table and he enjoyed telling his endless number of stories to his lunch companions. Always in love with the restaurant business, Bud purchased the former Murphy’s Steak House, Wilson Street, Brewer, and remodeled it as a beautiful upscale restaurant named “The Cottage,” which was known far and wide for the quality of its menu and service. The Banquet Room was the largest of any restaurant in the Bangor area and hosted countless functions during Bud’s ownership, including Bette’s 60th birthday celebration. Bud didn’t let a day go by without spending time at The Cottage, making sure that everything was being done up to his standards. Another restaurant at Kev-Lan was opened and for a few years enjoyed an enviable reputation for its steaks and seafood specialties. On the wall just inside the entrance was a sign which read, “Bud’s Last Hurrah (Maybe!).” Furniture, mobile homes, restaurants, shopping malls and numerous other commercial developments made up Bud’s life, second only to his family, of which he was so very proud. Bud was one of the most active members of the YMCA’s Triangle Club and every year he would sell more tickets to the club’s annual baked bean supper than any other member. If you did business with Bud, you just couldn’t say “no” to buying a hundred dollars worth of tickets to this event – and Bud would usually buy up all the unsold tickets as well. For a number of years, Bud found his relaxation at Phillips Lake, Dedham, where the family cottage was always full of friends and neighbors, usually feasting on steaks, corn on the cob or lobsters prepared by his wife and lifelong partner, Bette. Bud insisted on feeding anyone who dropped in, including such famous personalities as golfer, Arnold Palmer. Bud could also frequently be seen roaring down the lake at high speed in his “cigarette” boat, or standing waist deep in the water working on his wharf. The summer years at Phillips Lake were golden times for Bud and his family. Many charitable organizations and institutions in Bangor received generous financial donations from Bud, but always with the stipulation that there be no publicity. “I give because I want to,” Bud would say, “not for any publicity.” It was difficult for Bud to say “no” to any request for money, whether from an organization or an individual in need. His quiet generosity to individuals throughout the years is impossible to measure. Among his contributions were scholarship funds for Husson College and the University of Maine, each which contained the provision that the scholarships would be awarded only to Maine students. When Husson College became Husson University, Bud was honored as the recipient of its first honorary degree. Bud was a member of St. Andrews’s Lodge No. 83 AF & AM, Maine Consistory 32nd degree and a member of Anah Shriners. He served on the board of directors of James A. Taylor Osteopathic Hospital and a corporate board member of Eastern Maine Medical Center. In recognition of his pioneering in the mobile home business and the quality of his product lines and service, Bud was honored by Maine Mobile Home Dealers Association as “Dealer of the Year.” As all business people do, Bud had his share of setbacks, but he could never be discouraged or depressed by them. His constant view of business was “No matter how bad anything seems, something good always comes out of it.” It is a well-known fact that Bud Grant never went more than 20 minutes without having a good laugh about something, especially if the laugh was on him. He enjoyed every minute of his life and his enthusiasm was infectious to everyone who knew him. Bud was a unique and unforgettable person whose memory will be an inspiration to his family and everyone who knew him. Surviving in addition to his wife, Bette, are two daughters, Cheryl Noyes and her husband, Freddy, and Gale Longo and her hus
band, Michael, all of Bangor; two grandsons, Kevin Longo and companion, Tori Commeau, and Landon Longo; a great-grandson, Easton; a brother, Forrest Grant and his wife, Anne, of Bangor; a sister, Mary Lee McIntosh and her husband, Terry, of Virginia; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Relatives and friends are invited to call 1-3 and 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, where funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, with Pastor Scott McPhedran, interim pastor of Columbia Street Baptist Church, and the Rev. Dr. Foster Williams officiating. Private interment will be at the Garden Mausoleum of Mount Hope Cemetery. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor, immediately after the service. Gifts in memory of Bud may be sent to Columbia Street Baptist Church, 63 Columbia St., Bangor, ME 04401 or Home Health and Hospice of St. Joseph, attention: Nicole Heanssler, P.O. Box 1638, Bangor, ME 04402-1638. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.