Renfrew County's largest paid circulation newspaper 
Renfrew County's largest paid circulation newspaper 

Former Palmer Postmistress

Celebrates 100th Birthday

By Terry Fleurie

Palmer Rapids -- A well-know member of the Palmer Rapids area celebrated a huge milestone in her life Sunday in the community where she and her husband served the public for over 40 years.
Cecelia Budarick celebrated her 100th birthday at an afternoon reception at the Palmer Rapids Arena where a steady stream of family and friends offered their best wishes.
Mrs. Budarick and her husband, Willard were well known in the area, having operated the Canada Post outlet from their home in the hamlet for 41 years, from 1937 to 1978.
The third eldest and only surviving member of 11 children of Richard and Augusta Gutz, she was born on November 18, 1913 at the family farm in Rosenthal. She attended Rosenthal Public School where she graduated from Grade 8. In her later teen years, she helped her mother raise the other children in the summer months and spent some winters in Ottawa where she worked as a domestic.
She married Willard Budarick in 1936 at age 23 and the newlyweds rented a small house on Burnt Bridge Road. A year later, they purchased their first home in the hamlet from Paul Lietdke, who was the postmaster at the time and operated the outlet in that home. Mr.  Lietdke retired when he sold the home and  Mr. Budarick, a trucker who also worked with the Ministry of Transportation, was appointed postmaster in Palmer Rapids in 1937, succeeding Mr. Liedtke. He continued his work with MTO and Mrs. Budarick essentially ran the post office. Several years later, the couple moved next door to newer home they had built where Mrs. Budarick still resides today.
"We were open Monday to Saturday," she recalled. " I'd really only lock the door when we were going to bed."
Mrs. Budarick said she enjoyed the social aspect of the job saying like many Canada Post outlets, it tended to be a sort of meeting place for those getting or sending mail. 
When her husband retired from the job in 1967, despite never applying she was appointed postmistress and continued the role she had been doing until her retirement in 1978. Mrs. Budarick enjoyed being able to work right from her home. She was succeeded by John and Linda Grosklag who operated the outlet in the Budarick home for several years afterwards. Mr. Budarick passed away in 1990 and Mrs. Budarick has remained in their home since.
The Budaricks were blessed with four children, Phyllis Yourth of Palmer Rapids; Melvin of Ottawa; Marilyn of Arnprior and the late Helen Dunn of Ottawa. Her son, Melvin said his mother has enjoyed good health for most of her 100 years and at the age of 100 does not require hearing aids or glasses.
"She had cataract surgery a few years ago and doesn't even wear glasses," he said.
Her daughter, Phyllis added her mind is sharp as a tack and she still has a very good appetite.
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Mrs. Budarick was hospitalized in Barry's Bay earlier in September for a week with some respiratory issues and has been on oxygen ever since. One of the three children now stay with her in her home on the main drag in Palmer Rapids on a rotating basis ."But she lived alone until September," Mrs. Yourth noted.Obviously having seen many changes over the course of her 100 years, she was quick to reply when asked what she felt the most significant ones were."Going from the horse and buggies and sleighs to cars," she said. "And getting electricity and the telephone."We didn't have telephones or television," she added. She said she was always taught to be honest to people, to always do your best and to never find fault with others.When asked the secret to her long life, she said it was the homemade cooking."Good old homemade cooking, that's the secret. We made our own bread, we made our own soup and we always had our own garden and syrup. We ate off the land."She said it was very nice to see her family and friends come out to celebrate the occasion with her."I enjoyed it very much," she said. "I didn't want to do too much talking, but I did alright."Mrs. Budarick has 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
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