It is our sad duty to report the passing on Friday, December 18 of Charles Stephen Roudebush, 76, of Westfield, Indiana. Mr. Roudebush was the NTPA's first-ever Grand National champion in the 10,000-lb. Pro Stock class with his Massey Ferguson 1150, "M-F Express."
A graduate of Purdue University, Mr. Roudebush honorably served his nation in the United States Navy. He built his family's business, Roudebush Equipment of Westfield, into a successful farm equipment dealership and held memberships in the Elks, Masons, and National Rifle Association.
Mr. Roudebush campaigned "M-F Express" for 18 years beginning in 1981. His first title came in that rookie season, when the Pro Stock circuit consisted of only two hooks in Ohio: Bowling Green's National Tractor Pulling Championships and Columbus' State Fair. In part by scoring a double full pull to outlast 27 entries in the Pros' first-ever GN hook, Mr. Roudebush's 1150 (two wins) edged Don Flowers' 1155 (two seconds) by two points for the title.
By the time "M-F Express" returned to the top of the GN 10 PS standings in 1985, the circuit had doubled in length, and Mr. Roudebush won it by 28 points over the Linder Brothers, this time taking the finale in Meadville, Pennsylvania. That same year, he finished second to the Linders at the 12,000-lb. break.
In between those top titles, he was the Region III champ of both the 10 and the 12 in 1983 and was victorious at both the National Farm Machinery Show (10 PS, 1983 and 1985) and the Indy Super Pull (12 PS, 1984). After the turn of the decade, his brother Jeff assumed most of the driving duties in regional and Hoosier State competition.
Mr. Roudebush is survived by his wife Sharon; brothers Jeff and Marty; children Bob (Christie) Lugenbeal, Barry Lugenbeal, Ritchie (Missy) Lugenbeal, Dawn Roudebush, and Brad (Shannon) Roudebush; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. His full obituary may be found here.
WPI/NTPA mourns with Sharon, Jeff, and the Roudebush family.