November 15, 2019

Ersten S. “Bud” Dunklau

Ersten Siegfried “Bud” Dunklau of Lincoln, passed away at his home on November 14, 2019, from lymphoma. At his side were his loving wife, Carol, and their beloved daughter Barbara. At age 11, Bud lost his father and best friend, to pneumonia. He worked during World War II to help support his mother and 2 siblings. He had a love of aviation and model aircraft from a young age. He attended Calvary Lutheran School through 8th grade and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1950. He joined the Nebraska Air National Guard in 1948 at age 16. The guard was activated during the Korean War in 1951 and deployed to Bangor, Maine. He attended aircraft and engine tech school in Texas and returned to Maine and then Alexandria AFB, Louisiana. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war. Bud continued as a full-time crew chief on the flight line, working on piston and jet aircraft. He spent 2 years with the Arizona Air National Guard from 1958-1960.

In 1955, Bud and 3 air national guard crew members were forced to bail out of a C47 over Casper, Wyoming, while on a training mission for a national gunnery meet. The four were presented with caterpillar pins and certificates from the Switlik Parachute Co. of Trenton, N.J. The symbol of the caterpillar related to silk and its use in early parachutes. The company was founded in 1920. The first person to test jump a Switlik parachute was aviator, Amelia Earhart.

Bud married Carol Shaffer in 1956. He loved to drive and during their 63 year marriage, they toured the United States and Canada from coast to coast. For many years they spent the month of September in Maine. In 1962, Bud opened Road and Track Motors, an import automobile shop specializing in Porsches. He had a lifetime passion for airplanes and Porsches, often referring to his work as “simple physics.” He retired in 2017. In 1976, Bud graduated from Bondurant Professional Road Racing Course in San Francisco and attended many national races over the years. Bud and Carol participated in national events sponsored by the Porsche Club of America, where he often served as the concourse judge, and was also able to drive on the Indy 500 track. The last event he attended was held in Calgary, Canada, where he and his daughter, Barb drove his 1958 356A coupe. Bud was a man of integrity who would always make time for a friend. He was a mentor to many young men with car and life issues, always willing to share his knowledge and advice.

In 1977, during the Nebraska Quilt Symposium at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Bud entered a competition to design the official Nebraska State quilt block. His entry won over 145 entries with his “Nebraska Windmill” design. It is now housed at the Nebraska State Historical Society. Bud was a lifetime member of “356 Registry”, Porsche Club of America, Caterpillar Club, NRA and First Plymouth Church.

Bud’s survivors include his wife, Carol, daughter Barbara of Denver, brother, Richard J. Dunklau of Springfield, Illinois. Half-sister, Charlotte Jans of Seward; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Butler and Jane Shaffer of Burbank, California; many nieces and nephews.

Bud’s wishes were to be cremated. There will be a private family service at Wyuka Cemetery.

Memorials may be sent to the Humane Society Pieloch Pet Adoption Center


  1. Thanks Bud, For all the help and advice over the years, from tuning my first MG in 1974,loaning me an original Lotus 7 shop manual, to helping me rebuild the engine on my 911, and everything in between. I wouldn’t know as much about cars as I do now without your willingness to pass on your wisdom. Sitting in the shop and talking cars and life with you was always a great way to spend a few minutes or a hours, you will be missed . When anyone asks you to borrow a tool or needs some help or advice, just think WWBD? What would Bud do? Smile with a twinkle in your eyes and help, that’s what Bud would do.

  2. Thanks Bud for all the help with the Porsches through the years. What a great mechanic and friend. RIP. God bless you and Carol.

  3. Another case of don’t put things off. For several years when I would drive by ROAD and TRACK motors I would say to self I need to stop and see Bud. It had been six or seven years. Never did it. What a great Guy. Met him in 70’s when playing with Sprites and Midgets and then lots of info and trick parts when I bought my Civic. He always had time to talk and teach you something.
    What a loss.
    Steve Jones

  4. I will always miss stopping just to talk to Bud. I haven’t had a car for him to work on since 1978, but I always kept in touch. He was a wonderful person and a wonderful friend.
    My best to Carol and Barbara, he obviously loved both of you very much.
    David Beggs

  5. “Another Lincoln High Job Well Done.”

  6. Our sincere condolences to you Carol and to all of the Shaffer family on the loss of your husband, brother-in-law and uncle.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. I was 15, it was 1970 and I bought a British car. Bud’s knowledge and help kept the car running for more years than it ever should have been on the road. Thanks Bud.

    Kelly Shields

  8. What a testimony to a life well lived! I am following the auction of the little red 356 A here in downtown Marbug, Germany and I can feel what a special man Mr. Dunklau must have been…certainly worthy of emulation. I feel very close to him and as a Registry member regret not having had a chance to meet him. All the more important to not put things off at 66! My heartfelt condolences to his widow Carol and daughter Barbara

  9. But was a beloved brother-in-law since 1957, and a beloved uncle to Butler’s and my 3 daughters all of their lives. A true man of integrity, a man who excelled at whatever he attempted, a mentor and example to many a young man in Lincoln, always a good friend and neighbor, and, most important, a wonderful husband and father. I haven’t been to Lincoln since Bud’s death, and I wonder if part of the reason is that when I do go, I will have to face the reality that he is not just down at Road & Track or running an errand. He is not coming back. But how fortunate for me to have known him. I thank Carol for making the choice that made that possible.


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