Charles "Bud" Groft, a retired Westminster auto mechanic who had been battling back from a double-lung transplant last August, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital from an infection he developed following ulcer surgery.
Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at St. John's Lutheran Church, 961 Leister's Church Road in Westminster.
Mr. Groft, 51, was born in Westminster. He left high school to begin working as a mechanic at automotive shops. He worked for 17 years as yard manager of Condon's Auto Parts in Westminster and often spent his spare time tinkering with cars.
Mr. Groft loved horses and enjoyed riding Echo, his albino horse who died in 1989 at the age of 23. In the last few months of Mr. Groft's life, even while he struggled with health problems, he was hoping to find another horse to replace Echo.
In his 40s, Mr. Groft developed an enzyme deficiency in his lungs. His respiratory problems persisted, and in March 1990, he went to a St. Louis hospital for lung transplants.
After Mr. Groft waited four months for a suitable donor, doctors replaced his lungs during a 10-hour operation. In the following months, he never complained of lung problems again and even took up wood-carving in order to get his mind off cigarette smoking.
Despite the success of the lung operation, Mr. Groft developed ulcers from medication he took to fight organ rejection.
He is survived by his wife Anna Sullivan Groft; three sons, Charles Groft III of Westminster, Dennis Groft of Taneytown and Michael Groft of Manchester; and a daughter, Brenda Groft of Manchester.