Tony Bube, founding member of the Inside the Outdoors Foundation, dies at 98

Tony Bube, a founding member of the foundation that supports the Orange County Department of Education’s environmental education program, has died. He was 98.

Bube, a longtime educator and resident of Orange, served actively for more than a decade on what was then known as the Outdoor Science and Environmental Field Study Foundation. Today, it’s known as the Inside the Outdoors Foundation.

“His enthusiasm for learning and willingness to work tirelessly were two qualities that made him a wonderful board member,” said former Inside the Outdoors administrator Pam Johnson. “Tony supported efforts to expand fundraising so that more students could experience the outdoors. Most importantly, he encouraged program staff and board members alike with kind words.”

Tony Bube and his wife, Marion
Tony Bube and wife Marion

“I was honored to serve on the board with him,” Johnson said. “He was truly a great learner, mentor and board member.”

OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program was established in 1974 to nurture student knowledge and promote stewardship of the natural environment. Today’s award-winning program aligns with the state’s instructional standards — including the Next Generation Science Standards — and offers more than a dozen field trip sites throughout Orange County, along with one in Los Angeles County. 

Inside the Outdoors also dispatches Traveling Scientists to schools to promote the awareness and appreciation of science. The Inside the Outdoors Foundation provides financial, educational and advisory support.

Anthony Bube was born Oct. 14, 1922, in Athens, Wisconsin as the oldest of 10 children. He left school after the eighth grade to work on the family farm and later joined the U.S. Marines, serving in both World War II and the Korean War. 

Bube would ultimately complete his education — and then some. He earned his high school diploma in the Marines before pursuing his bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a doctorate from USC, enabling him to become a teacher and a principal.

He is said to have loved his time in elementary education. He even wrote a daily column for grade-school parents, according to an obituary posted online.

After he retired, he continued teaching and mentoring aspiring educators at Chapman University in Orange. Bube also became a deacon for the Diocese of Orange, where he served the parish for many years. He died on Aug. 15.

Bube was preceded in death by his wife Marion, his son Michael, brothers Peter and Ronald, and sisters Edna, Ursula, Dorothy and Agnes. He is survived by daughters Cecelia and Mary, sons Terrence and John, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Funeral services were held at La Purisima Catholic Church on Aug. 28.