A few days ago my Grandma Merle Stout Budd was in heaven waiting for her best friend. My Grandma met her when they were only 13 years old and they stayed the best of friends their whole lives. Radine had a brother who was five years older and one day he was sitting in their living room on a chair reading the newspaper. Radine came in and introduced her friend Merle to her family. He wasn't paying attention, but at some point he looked up over his newspaper and wondered why an 18 year old beauty was with his sister. (Grandma was only 13, but looked older) As the family got to know Merle they all fell in love with my Grandma. Especially my Grandpa. 

Grandma loved having her best friend as her sister-in-law. I've heard so many stories about Radine and have gotten to know her through my Grandma and all of her pictures. From everything that I have gathered she was such a fun, happy, silly person. She was always smiling and laughing. She  and my Grandma would constantly talk on the phone and even giggled together into their 80's. 

Radine married Fred Ferre and when he was relocated during the war she moved with him. 

Radine wrote in my grandma's year book in 1942. My grandpa was away in WWII and Grandma was graduating and engaged to my grandpa. She would see him for another 3 1/2 years. 

"My Dearest Merle; Another year has now come to a close and this time my two very best friends are about to kiss their school days goo-bye. Merle, I shall never be thoroughly capable of expressing the love and friendliness that I hold in my heart for you. Of all the people I have met during my life. I have never found one who possesses so many qualifications for a real, true friend. You are so good, so pure and yet so full of fun.  The gates of life are now wide open giving you the opportunity to make your future the way you wish. You need never worry about finding a good job, because at this particular time there are many chances. Good luck to you Merle. 

Whomever I meet-wherever I roam; you be the best friend, I've ever known. 
I'm all that I think-in all that I do; When in need of a friend, I think first of you. 
You're thoughtful- your kind, you're good an sweet, And such a person shall ne'er know defeat. 
And when Jerry returns-you'll be the girl, who's not just a friend but my "dear sister Merle". 
Love forever, Radine Budd "

Radine was a poet and and my grandma's best friend. I will always love her for being that friend. 

I loved learning even more about her in her obituary