Michael P. Budney

Published on Thursday, 5 December 2019 19:12


Michael P. Budney, 108, died peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Born while his parents were visiting Poland, Budney returned with them to the U.S. when he was six months old. Educated in the public schools in New Britain, he went to work as a machinist at age 16. In 1940, together with his siblings, he rented a garage and began manufacturing tool holders under the name Atlantic Machine Tool Works. After three years, the business proved successful enough for them to construct their own building in Newington, with their major customer being Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. When it became difficult for the company to fill orders due to the scarcity of fine precision equipment in the 1950s, Budney, as president of the company, purchased a metal casting foundry in Southington to create their own machine tools, and by the early 1960s, the U.S. government was sponsoring their worldwide distribution at machine trade shows in Europe and Africa. By the 1960s, Atlantic Machine, as it was commonly known, employed 2600 skilled engineers, machinists, tool makers, and inspectors. Over the years, Budney’s company provided employment, housing, and transportation for thousands of Polish immigrants. It was, in itself, a microcosmic “Polish community” with in-house Polish-speaking medical staff, housing, and transportation assistance. Atlantic Machine had a “personal recruiter” working in conjunction with the Polish Immigration Committee of New York, who traveled regularly to New York City to assist Polish immigrants arriving in search of employment, a home, and a future. In addition, Budney personally signed “Affidavits of Support” to guarantee employment and housing to hundreds of Poles, permitting them to migrate from Poland and Western Europe to the United States. Budney ventured into other projects ranging from dairy farming to motel construction and management in the central Connecticut area and along its shoreline. The first was aptly named Atlantic, which was followed by the Siesta, White Swan, Towne House and Niantic Motor Lodge. The workforce was an integral part of Atlantic’s success. Atlantic machine was sold in 1969 to Ex-Cell-O Corporation, an international manufacturer. Budney continued as president for one year, and, in 1971, he departed after 28 years. From the original small garage, it had grown to a 350,000 square foot “small city” that employed thousands. At the time, most of the founding family members chose to retire, but Budney, at age 59, went on to create several other manufacturing businesses. With his son, Hank and his brother Henry, Budney founded “ Berlin Manufacturing”, employing a predominantly Polish workforce, employing about 80 people through the mid-1970s. In 1983, Michael, his daughter and two sons formed “The Budney Company” which grew to employ about 100 Polish-speaking, skilled personnel. In 2008, at age 97, Budney was president and CEO of Budney Industries in Berlin. You could find Mike at work every day until the week of his passing. A member of Holy Cross Church, New Britain, he attended both Holy Cross and Sacred Heart Church over the years. He was a championship golfer and a member of Indian Hill Country Club, Newington, for over five decades. Mike loved the outdoors. He enjoyed spending time on his farms and was an avid skier. His survivors include two sons, Henry “Hank” Budney of Berlin, Wayne Budney and Susan Davis of Lebanon; his daughter, Lori Budney of Berlin, with whom he shared his home; grandchildren, Michael Budney and his wife Elizabeth, the late Jeffrey Budney and his wife Terri, Kevin Budney and his wife Lisa, Skye Budney and Elliot Budney; great grandchildren, Jenna, Blake, Morgan, and Taylor; and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves his devoted caregivers, Iwona Castro, Margaret Hernas, and Lucja Krzyk. He was pre-deceased by brothers Thaddeus and Henry Budney; and sisters Adweja Budney and Sophie Krzyczynski. His funeral service will begin on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. at Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, New Britain. He will be laid to rest in Sacred Heart Cemetery, New Britain. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at Newington Memorial. Memorial donations may be made to Hero Boxes, 9 Streamside Lane, Berlin, CT 06037, to provide care packages to American soldiers. To share a memory, please visit us at www.duksa.net .

Posted in New Britain Herald, on Thursday, 5 December 2019 19:12. Updated: Thursday, 5 December 2019 19:15.