Chesterton Tribune

Porter Park Board launches park group 'Bud's Buddies'

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The Porter Park Board has announced the formation of Bud’s Buddies, named for longtime resident and well-known citizen of Porter, the late William E. Tilden—known as “Bud” to nearly everyone. Porter citizens are encouraged to apply to serve on the planned non-profit advisory board.

Bud will be remembered for his civic-mindedness and his devotion to the town and its park system.

Bud was born December 1, 1931 in Gary, and passed away on February 26, 2011. In his 79 years he founded a local business, Tilden Enterprises, now owned by his nephew, in the Sixties he owned and operated Tilden Feed and Supply in Merrillville and later was owner of Tilden’s Village Tavern.

He is best remembered, however, for his service to the community on numerous municipal bodies and in local civic organizations. Over the years he served as president of the Porter Town Council, the Advisory Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Park Board.

On July 5, 2008, he reigned as King of Porter in the town’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. In 1988, he was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Fourth of July Committee and, in 2003, was again named Citizen of the Year by the Taste of Porter Festival.

Bud also volunteered in other organizations, including the American Legion Post 503 of Porter.

On his death last year, Bud willed $5,000 to the Town of Porter, specifically Porter Parks Department for beautification, in honor of his parents, William G. and Margaret E. Tilden.

Bud also served as a member of the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

He was a family man and on one wall of his bedroom he displayed his “Wall of Fame”-- photographs of his family as well as plaques of recognition with which he’d been honored, including honors from Indiana Senator Dick Lugar and the Library of Congress.

Many remember him as the friendly man who walked downtown Porter nearly every day, always with a smile, a wave, or a tidbit of wisdom to share.

Bud also enjoyed fishing, traveling, gardening, bird watching and politics. Fellow members of the Park Board remember Bud as a great champion of bats.

His survivors include his son, Craig Tilden; two granddaughters, Christina Brizendine and Corinne Peffers and five great-grandchildren, Haleigh Sutton, Skylar and Owen Peffers, and William and Izabella Brizendine.

His legacy of commitment to his community and its parks has inspired the creation of Bud’s Buddies.

Apply to be Bud’s Buddy

The park board is establishing Bud’s Buddies as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization this year. Bud’s Buddies members will serve as an appointed advisory committee to the Porter Park Board and as ambassadors and stewards for the Porter Parks Department.

The committee will be charged with helping create new programs and events for the residents of Porter and the Duneland community.

Applications are available at Porter Town Hall, or the Porter Parks Department Office located at 500 Ackerman Drive, in the Community Building in Hawthorne Park.

Inaugural group membership will be from seven to 12 people, appointed by the park board. There will be no dues or fees for participation. Applicants must be a resident of Porter and will serve for one or two year terms, or by the event, depending on availability. Each applicant will receive follow-up correspondence regarding the status of their application.

The Tilden Family and the Porter Park Board encourage Porter residents to become a part of Bud’s legacy by serving as one of Bud’s Buddies.

To receive an electronic copy e-mail a request to

 or for additional information please call Rondi Wightman, Porter Park Board President, at 219-617-1136.



Posted 1/17/2012