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Palmetto Mayor Marx Allen “Sonny” Budden has died

Posted at 1:00 PM, Jan 04, 2021

PALMETTO, La. — Palmetto Mayor Marx Allen “Sonny” Budden, 86, passed away at his residence on Monday.

Budden was serving as the mayor of Palmetto upon his death and has held office since 2015, and previously from 1973 to 1981.

Budden was also a retired educator who served on what was then called the St. Landry Police Jury and the St. Landry Parish School Board.

Funeral arrangements are set to begin on Wednesday January 6, 2021 from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm at Lafonds in Opelousas. Viewing of the body will be from 9am-11 am at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Palmetto on Thursday January 7. The funeral is at 11:00 am .

According to his obituary, Budden was born on Oct. 19, 1934 to Patrick Allen “Chuck” Budden and Rita (née Boudreaux) Budden. He was the second child born to Chuck and Rita.

He was preceded in death by both of his parents and one sibling, Edith Mae Budden Wartelle, and a brother-in-law L.W. Allegood (Johnny Wright).

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Eldine (né Savoie) Budden; two sons and their wives; Shawn (Jaime), Casey (Tisha); five grandchildren Shelby Avila, Hunter Budden, Mya Budden, Reagan Budden, and Aja Budden; three great-grandchildren Ethan Caballero, Karson Caballero, and Lori-Anne Avila.

Survivors also include his two sisters Laura Budden Allegood, Bertha Budden Reed, brother-in-law Kenny Reed, a brother, Guyton Budden, sister-in-law, Vernita Budden, a brother-in-law Phil Wartelle, and a host of nieces and nephews.

A lifelong resident of Palmetto, he was a graduate of Palmetto High. After graduation, he attended, Southwestern Louisiana Institute (present day University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education.

After completing his studies, he returned to Palmetto as a teacher at Palmetto High and Elementary for the next 22 years.

After retiring from the St. Landry Parish School System, he worked for several years alongside his parents, wife and brother in his parent’s business Budden’s Store in Palmetto.

A desire to return to the classroom led him to teach several more years at Amy Bradford Ware and Acadiana Preparatory School.

Throughout his life he had an interest in politics and public service.

In addition to being a volunteer fireman and fire chief he also served two separate stints as Mayor of Palmetto. His first administration ran from 1973 to 1981. The second from 2015 to the present.

He ran for a position on the St. Landry Parish Police Jury in 1982 to fill a position vacated by James “Jimmy” Savage upon his death. He served on the parish police jury until 1987.

He was elected to the St. Landry Parish School Board to serve as the district five representative in 1999. His tenure on the board included a term a board president. He served until 2010.

During his life, he was a member of several hunting clubs. For most of his adult life, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Most Rev. Jules B. Jeanmard Assembly, where he achieved the rank of fourth degree.

He was always an active parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church in Palmetto, he served as lecturer, usher, groundskeeper, and just about anything else short of pastor.

Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas is in charge of all arrangements.

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