It is with deep sadness that we share with you the passing of S.L. “Bud” Bjorkman. Arthurdale gained another angel on February 10th. Bud will be greatly missed by our community having been life long residents of Arthurdale and friend to all.
Bud was born November 27, 1927 in Connersville (Dunn County), Wisconsin the son of Joseph & Olga (Hedlund) Bjorkman.
He graduated from Masontown High School in 1947, where he was a standout in baseball, basketball, and selected all county in football.
He married Helen Louise (Piggy) Sansalone in August of 1948.
He was a very hard worker. His family moved to WV when his father came to run one of the largest mining drag lines on the east coast. Bud followed in his father’s footsteps and began running drag lines as a teenager, working before going to school and then returning after to continue his shift. For several years, he and his brothers combined their experience to form the Bjorkman Mining Company. Bud ultimately worked for the Luzerne Coal Company in Brownsville, PA until he formally retired from mining. Bud’s work ethic however meant he was not satisfied to sit around, and he began mowing yards and volunteering. He was a godsend to multiple community organizations including Hospice thrift stores (which was a highlight of his work) and Valley Food Pantry, who he supported monetarily, but especially with his time and many talents. He and his wife, Piggy, were devoted supporters of Preston County schools attending sports and PHS theater productions year-round. He was well known in the Arthurdale Community as the “Ice Cream Man”.
Bud was known as much for his generosity as he was for his work ethic, he was honored as a Distinguished West Virginian in April 2000, by Governor Cecil Underwood, as well as receiving multiple honors and accommodations from the many community organizations he volunteered for.
Bud is survived by his two children, Mark Bjorkman & wife Bonnie of Manassas, VA, Kim Bjorkman Riley and husband Errol of Reedsville, WV; and one sister, Mary Jones, of Columbus, OH; 3 grandchildren, Brooke Bjorkman LeVecchi and husband Joe, of Lorton, VA, Betheny Bjorkman Schumacher and husband Mike of Warrenton, VA, Abby Riley Lawson & husband Chad of Bruceton Mills, WV; and 5 great grandchildren: Laci, Leighton & Levi LeVecchi, Gaaron & Adley Lawson. Sister-in-law Rose Ann Sansalone, Masontown. He is also survived my many nieces and nephews that adored “Uncle Bud”.
He was preceded in death by brothers Joe & Dick Bjorkman and spouses, sister and brother in law, John and Rose (Bootsie) Kovach, brother-in-laws Frank Sansalone, Jr., Alan Jones and Grandson, Aaron Lynn Riley.
At Bud’s request he will be cremated, and a celebration of his life will be held in the spring.