Denzil Nelson “Bud” Staple
Denzil N. “Bud” Staple experienced what few deputy U.S. marshals have.
In his 20 years of service – November 1958 to December 1978 – he found
himself in unique and historical situations. On Sept. 30, 1962, in only
his fourth year on the job, he faced mobs during the riots of Ole Miss.
“They threw anything they had,” he remembered in 2002. “I was hit
with, probably, a brick. Other [deputies] were also hit. But we
prevailed in routing them and it felt good to fight back for a change.”
Bud did fight back, but only when he had to. His gentle nature often
prevailed. He loved family and possessed a religious base that earned
him the role of chaplain in the Retired U.S. Marshals Association (now
USMS Association) for many years. His kindness and quiet pragmatism were
invaluable to others.
Robert Christman, retired chief deputy U.S. marshal of the Western
District of Washington, recently noted, “He was a good guy and a good
deputy…always there when I needed him.”
Denzil N. Staple Jr. was born
near Sumner, Wash., July 20, 1928, to Denzil Sr. and Coralee Staple. He
joined the U.S. Marshals during a time of professionalization, and first
worked in Tacoma, Wash. He moved to the Southern District of California
and worked under Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Earle Baugher, an experienced
lawman who became a lifelong friend.
Bud was one of three deputies sent to the University of Mississippi from
the Southern District of California when James Meredith integrated the
college in 1962. An estimated 4,500 people opposed the approximately 700
deputy marshals, deputized border patrol officers and prison guards when
they encircled the registration building known as the Lyceum. Enduring
an evening of flying debris, buckshot, and Molotov cocktails, the
deputies held until relieved by the U.S. Army. Riot training became
necessary for young recruits with an increase in assignments to
desegregate educational institutions in the South.
Bud served as a Marshals Service spokesperson on the Ole Miss
assignment, and during the 40- and 50- year anniversary commemorations,
he gave his insights about the ordeal, including life at the Holly
Springs “fish camp” where the deputies stayed during the deployment. He
even made name tags for the retired deputies at each event.
Miss, he served in Seattle and at USMS headquarters in facilities
management under then-Chief Tommy Hudson. He served as an early member
of the Special Operations Group and participated in groundbreaking
strategic assignments, including the lengthy USMS encampment near
Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973. After his stint at HQ, Bud transferred to
the Western District of Missouri and lastly to Portland, Ore., as chief
deputy U.S. marshal.
After retirement, Bud and his wife Muriel resided
in Stanwood, Wash., where he worked in management for the local police
department. He remained active until diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in
early 2013. He passed away quietly Nov. 22, 2013. He is survived by
Muriel, son Dan and daughter-in-law Susan; and daughter Dixie and
son-in-law Bob Doyle.