Obituary: Bodman, Alan E. “Buddy”
BODMAN, Alan E. “Buddy”
Referees on earth can now rest easy. However, those wearing stripes, and former on-ice adversaries in the Great Beyond take notice; Buddy Bodman is coming to visit.
Alan E. (Buddy) Bodman, skated off earthly ice one final time, August 1 at age 76 surrounded by family. Buddy was born October 1, 1935 to his parents, Liz and Ernest in Elsto, Sask. He was just six years old when his father passed away and the family of nine children, two brothers and six sisters, moved to Saskatoon.
Family members say the name Buddy came from Bodman’s father who used call his youngest child “his little Buddy.”
Like most Canadian boys, hockey was part of Buddy’s life from an early age and he excelled to the point where he was able to play junior hockey with Prince Albert, Sask. He attended the New York Rangers’ training camp in 1956. It was there he met Spokane Flyers’ coach Roy McBride who asked if he would rather come to Spokane or play for a Rangers’ farm team, the New York Rovers.
He chose to come to Spokane and it changed both his life, and the lives of countless hockey players who were both teammates, and those who became his students as their coach. Buddy coached 11 years at the senior amateur and junior levels, plus other years for youth teams.
Buddy was never a huge goal scorer, but he did score some notable goals. Among them the game-winner in the deciding game of the 1957 Savage Cup where the rookie forward helped his Flyers beat Vernon, the defending Allan Cup champs.
While that 1957 team would eventually lose to Whitby in the Allan Cup finals in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, Bodman would be part of the 1969-70 Spokane Jets who became the first U.S. team to win the Allan Cup the North American senior hockey champions.
Buddy, nicknamed “Bullets,” was, however, best known for his scrappy play in the corners and in front of the net. That was not lost on teammate and Hockey Hall-of-Fame member Emile “The Cat” Francis. “I always liked Buddy because he always had guts. He really worked in the corners. He’d take on anyone.”?
Ironically, Buddy played 14 seasons in Spokane for various teams both at the senior and professional level. Bodman’s jersey number was of course, 14.
Buddy is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judy, and five children: Patrick, Joe (wife Gwen), Buddy (wife Shannon), Misty (husband Jeff) and Peggy (fiancÄ‚Ĺ Matt), 13 grand children and four great grandchildren. Buddy worked for Tubbs Electric for many years.
Services for Buddy will by held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Family of Faith Community Church, 708 W. Nora in Spokane. Former player, the Rev. Danny Green, will officiate. A celebration of Buddy’s life and his many contributions to the Spokane hockey community will follow from 4-8 p.m. at the Son’s of Norway, 6710 North Country Homes Boulevard in Spokane.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations in Buddy’s honor be made to either the Spokane Braves Hockey Team (c/o: 1022 North Normandie St., Spokane, WA 99201) or to Hospice.