Budd Mellichamp

Mellichamp,_Stiles_Bud10th Reunion
Budd Mellichamp              Married: Jeri
1023 Meadow Avenue        Children: Stephen 4, Stiles
Lakeland, Florida              Occupation: Photographer
Since “CHS”:
Goofed Off and had a Blast, Met Jeri – Got Married on Pearl Harbor Day. Presented two boys to the world. Began to work like the Devil.



Stiles Augustus “Budd” Mellichamp
1 Jan 1942 – 29 Nov 2008

Stiles “Budd” Augustus Mellichamp Jr., of Tallahassee, Fla., passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 29, at the age of 66 after a lengthy illness.

Budd was born on New Year’s Day, 1942, in New York. As a young boy, he lived in Charleston, S.C. and Florence, S.C. In 1959 he moved with his family to Lake City, Fla., where he graduated from Columbia High School in 1960. During high school, he was one of the youngest disc jockeys for WGRO radio. After graduation, he attended the University of Florida before moving to Tallahassee with his family. He worked for the Tallahassee Democrat as a photographer, then moved to Panama City where he worked for the local TV station. He then moved to Lakeland where he worked as an advertising and portrait photographer, illustrator, sign maker, and designer. His work was published in various newspapers and magazines throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. One of the advertising jobs that he remembered most fondly was for Piper Aircraft. He loved to talk about flying in small planes and how he used to lean out to shoot photos of other planes flying beside the one he was riding in.

In 1983 he returned to Tallahassee. During this time, Budd became fascinated by raising orchids. He designed and built several greenhouses and decks for family members and members of the Tallahassee Orchid Society to showcase these lovely plants. Budd at one time had a collection of over 750 perfectly cared for orchids, representing all the major species. He took many beautiful photographs of their flowers and these images are a lasting tribute to his love for them. He met his wife, Fae, at a meeting of the Tallahassee Orchid Society in 1989.

In 1993, Budd and Fae formed Chimera Glass Works and began doing art shows, selling stained glass works. In 1994, Budd was introduced to the art of lampworking. He had an amazing affinity for this medium and rapidly became known as a talented glass bead artist whose work was widely published and exhibited. He was the recipient of many awards at bead shows. He also enjoyed teaching and sharing his art with others.

Budd’s development of “Gizmos,” tiny glass cabochons resembling jellyfish, lead to the creation of his signature Sea Form beads. These exquisite art pieces capture the essence of the world beneath the seas. A high point for Budd was meeting noted paperweight artist, Paul Stankard at Penland School in N.C. in 1996. Paul commented that Budd’s Gizmos were a completely new development; unlike anything else he had seen in lampworking. Budd was an active member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, where he presented a demonstration on the making of Gizmos and Sea Form Beads at the 2001 Gathering in Alexandria, Va. Budd also was very involved with the Florida Society of Goldsmiths, Northwest Chapter.

Budd was a key player in the development of the FSG NW Studio who contributed many hours to helping with classes, maintaining the equipment and the space. He hated to see a rusty tool and his willingness to show students how to maintain and properly care for their tools will long be remembered. He especially enjoyed forging, finding great satisfaction in moving metal with precise hammer blows.

Budd was a highly intelligent, gentle person with a soft heart, although he much preferred to be viewed as a curmudgeon. He would maintain a crusty, gruff demeanor until getting to know people. His close friends all understood that beneath this rough exterior lay a tender hearted man who loved deeply.

In addition to his family, he was deeply devoted to his cat, Casper. Casper and Budd were great buddies, spending many hours companionably seated on the sofa. Wherever Budd went, Casper would follow. Casper’s personality in many ways mirrored Budd’s. He was a big, grey cat with a tough demeanor until you got to know him. When Budd wasn’t feeling well, Casper could always be found at his side, keeping his buddy company and offering comfort.

Budd will be remembered for his many talents, the beautiful objects and photographs that he created, and for being a loving member of his family.

Budd was predeceased by his father, Stiles Augustus Mellichamp Sr., of Atlanta, Ga., and his stepfather, Ray Starr, of Tallahassee.

He is survived by his wife, Fae Mellichamp, of Tallahassee; his sons, Stephen Mikal and Stiles Christopher Mellichamp (wife, Diana) and his grandson Damien Mitchell Mellichamp, all of Auburndale, Fla.; his mother, Eugenia Fripp Starr, his brother, Joseph Capers Mellichamp (wife, Barbara), of Tallahassee, his nieces Michelle Plourde (husband, Marc) and Amanda Harmon; his half-sister, Susan Starr Coleman (husband, Michael) of Havana, Fla.; his sister-in-law, Freddie Ann Mellichamp, of Panama City; and many other relatives and friends.

Budd and his family would like to thank the staff at Capital Health Care Center and Covenant Hospice for their kind and compassionate care during the last few months of his life.

A memorial service will be held at the Bevis Funeral Home, 2710 North Monroe St., Tallahassee, Fla., on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Memorial contributions should be made to the Florida Society of Goldsmiths, NW Chapter. Checks should be mailed to Marcia Jenson, 245 Dolphin Ct, Tallahassee, FL 32312.

Published in Tallahassee Democrat on December 1, 2008


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