Honoring their father

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Bud McGinley’s children decided to create a scholarship fund honoring their father.

Bud McGinley had a nickname for each of his six kids.

Mike, the oldest, was Mike the Pike.

Then came Patty Watty, Kelly the Belly, Queen Erin, Kevin the Brain and Dugan Donegal (County Donegal is the McGinley clan’s ancestral home in Ireland).

Bud grew up in Lincoln. The oldest of 12, he entered the Marines at the end of World War II and sent his money home to his family. He attended the University of Nebraska for a few years, but didn’t graduate. In 1953, he married Mary Hoffman.

Then came all those kids.

Bud McGinley worked hard over the years. He drove a delivery truck for a dry-cleaning company. He worked for Orkin Pest Control. He worked a lot of jobs. In his 40s, after moving the family to Colorado, he landed a good one at a bank. He started in the car repossession section and rose to management.

People at the bank gravitated to him. They knew him for his charismatic personality and the Marine crew cut he kept. He fell in love with banking.

Says Mike: “I was in college, trying to figure out the major I should pursue and what to do and he goes, ‘You ought to think about the banking industry. People always have to have a place to put their money.'”

Bud McGinley was a huge Husker football fan. One time in the ’60s, he won a Husker trivia contest sponsored by a Lincoln radio station. But he didn’t use his own name.

He used Mike’s.

“I remember that I’m at the house and they’re all yelling at me that my name is on the radio, and I come running,” Mike says. “I won a book about Nebraska.”

Bud McGinley loved the University of Nebraska even after moving to Colorado. He valued education, insisting each of his kids graduate from college, even though he never was able to.

He also never was able to persuade his boys, back in the ’70s, to cut their long hair.

“He was big on that hair thing.”

Mike chuckles.

“But we lived through that.”

The other day, at his home in Texas, Mike happened to glance up at a shelf and saw a small card, one from his father’s funeral. On the card were the words of a famous old Irish blessing.

May the roads rise up to meet you …

And these words, too:

In loving memory of Bud McGinley

July 31, 1927

April 28, 2001

In that moment, Mike realized it was coming up on a decade since the death of his dad. He prayed for a way to honor him.

Then a thought came to Mike.

He went to his computer and found the University of Nebraska Foundation website. He left a simple message:

My family and I would like to establish a scholarship in honor of my dad …

The scholarships would go to deserving banking students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The McGinley kids felt their dad would be excited to help students. They know he’d urge them to stick with it.

And then Mike the Pike, Patty Watty, Kelly the Belly, Queen Erin, Kevin the Brain and Dugan Donegal honored their dad through a fund in his name:

The Bud McGinley Student Award Fund.

Postscript: On April 28, 2011 –10 years to the day since their father’s death – the McGinley kids surprised their 82-year-old mother, Mary, at her home in Fort Collins, Colo. With Mike on speakerphone to hear it all, they handed Mary a red envelope, one prepared by people at the foundation.

Inside was a document establishing the Bud McGinley scholarship fund.

“It says in the Commandments, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,'” Mike says. “I felt that includes even after they’ve passed away.”

Scholarship support for students is a priority of the Campaign for Nebraska, and a scholarship fund is a great way to honor a loved one. If you’d like to learn how to set one up, call the foundation toll-free at 800-432-3216. If you’d like to help with the Bud McGinley fund for banking students, contact Jane Heany at 402-458-1177.

The McGinley family plans to raise funds over the next five years to create an endowment of $25,000, which would keep the fund for their father alive “as long as there is a University of Nebraska,” Mike McGinley says.

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