Bud Bakewell

Home 5 Class of 2023 5 Bud Bakewell

In today’s world of advanced youth hockey programs, with the state-of-the-art facilities across the region, it’s hard to imagine that a backyard rink became the foundation of the Western New York youth hockey community.

Reuben P. “Bud” Bakewell was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved as a youngster to Canada, where he learned to play hockey. He moved to Buffalo as a teenager, and with it came his love of hockey.

Bakewell served in the Marines during World War II and the Korean War, and following his military service, he worked at the Chevy plant on River Road for more than 40 years, but it was his involvement in youth sports, and particularly hockey, that left an indelible mark in Western New York.
In 1958, Bakewell signed his son up to play hockey, and from then on, he was a mainstay at the local rink. He would also assemble an ice rink in his backyard each year, complete with lights and music, to allow the neighborhood kids a place to play.
Bakewell worked tirelessly to build a hockey program that promotes and encourages athleticism, physical fitness, sportsmanship, and develops the moral character of young boys and girls throughout WNY. His work did not go unnoticed. In 1960, he received the GM Award for Excellence in Community Activities, and the Dewitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service.

In 1987, he became the second recipient of the William Thayer Tutt Award, presented by USA Hockey in Colorado Springs in recognition of his efforts to promote hockey at the grass roots level. Bakewell was also the first American named to the Old Timers Hockey News Hall of Fame in Canada.
Bud Bakewell passed away in 2003 at the age of 83.