Bud Oughton: Filling a niche

Woodstock handyman doesn't mind pitching in when needed

Bud Oughton, 80, has served on the Adult and Child Therapy Services board of directors in Woodstock for 18 years. Oughton is also considered the handyman at the agency when it comes to repairs and building needs.
Bud Oughton, 80, has served on the Adult and Child Therapy Services board of directors in Woodstock for 18 years. Oughton is also considered the handyman at the agency when it comes to repairs and building needs.

Walk around the Adult and Child Therapy Services building in Woodstock and you’ll see examples of Bud Oughton’s handiwork.

He has installed a wooden cover over the radiator in the employee bathroom next to the break room, built cubbyholes for employees’ mail, built shelves, fixed and installed new thermostats, and even cleaned gutters.

“I’ve always been a handyman. I fill a niche for them, they often need something done, something fixed, something built, different things,” Oughton said. “I’ve done a lot of different work in the building, some outside the building.”

Oughton is a board member for Adult and Child Therapy Services, but also pitches in when the building needs some minor repair work.

Adult and Child Therapy Services provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services to help people achieve and maintain their independence and their quality of life.

Oughton, a retired quality and mechanical engineer, has built frames for a chalkboard and a magnetic board for a child speech language pathology room.

He visits the building once a week to check on things and see how the operation is running.

“Anything that any of the therapists or anybody came up with that needed fixing, or needed to be done, [the receptionist] will just write on the list,” Oughton said. “I just stop in, she will pull out her list, and she called it her honey-do list.”

“Sometimes their list got longer than the one at home,” Oughton added. “I didn’t forgo one list for the other, though.”

John Buckley, the executive director for Adult and Child Therapy Services, called Oughton’s work priceless.

“His work is in every room,” Buckley said. “If you need something, he’s there.”

Oughton has been an Adult and Child Therapy Services board member for 18 years. He joined the board after a friend invited him to.

“I thought it was a good idea. I wanted to do something ... in a service manner,” Oughton said. “I grew to like it, so I just stayed.”

For Oughton, fundraising is the most important role for the board of directors.

Oughton also helps organize the therapy center’s annual golf tournament, which raises $50,000 to $60,000 each July.

“We can’t do our good work unless we have enough money to do it,” Oughton said. “We are a nonprofit organization. We don’t turn away people because they can’t pay. But by the same token, you’re limited on how many of those you can do. Therapists, as nice as they are, they do like a paycheck.”

Oughton himself has been a patient at the center, after he suffered a few neck injuries and needed therapy. He had to do different exercises and work on bending his neck in different ways.

As a board member, he gets to hear about people who weren’t doing so well, but sees them later on and they’re doing better.

“I’ve been very happy to see all the things they do, all the kids that come in here and get therapy, and later on see how they turned out, and how they’re able to do things they weren’t able to do when they came in here,” Oughton said. “There have been some outstanding ... people that come in here that couldn’t walk ... and later on, were able to.

“To me, that’s great.”

The Ray “Bud” Oughton file

Age: 80

Town: Woodstock

Family: He and his wife, Barbara, have two grown children and three grandchildren

Favorite meal: Spaghetti and meatballs

Favorite TV show: “Masterpiece Theatre”

Favorite sports team: The Chicago Bears

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