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Travis Lynn Budlong

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Travis Lynn Budlong Travis Lynn Budlong was born in Gainesville, Texas on September 9, 1922 and died following a brief illness on August 8, 2012. He is preceded in death by his wife, Lorna Jane Culp Budlong, who died December 5, 2011. Also preceding him in death were his parents, Irl and Annette Budlong and siblings Ralph, and Gerald Budlong. Survivors include his daughter Ann Schneider and her husband, Bill of Austin,Texas , son, Travis Jefferson Budlong and his wife, Shirley of Spring Branch, Texas, sister, Anita Allen of El Cajon,California, sister in-law Sadie Budlong of Duncan, OK, grandchildren Allison Angellillo, Robert Kreiner, Teresa Labate , Meloni Murray, Dawn Robinson, Travis Blane Budlong, Tamra Budlong, Trisha Budlong, and 8 great grandchildren. Gainesville was more than a birthplace for Travis. He loved his hometown and enjoyed visiting old friends throughout his life. It was there that he met the love of his life, Lorna Jane Culp, in the third grade. He was a country boy and she lived in the city but it was definitely love at first sight, and they were best friends for 80 years and husband and wife for 68. World War II brought Travis's enlistment in the Army Air Corp where he became a B29 pilot and a leader among his fellow airmen. He and his 330th bomb group, stationed in Guam, are credited for dropping the last bombs over Japan.. Talking about the experiences in WWII brought him great pride and joy as well as acclaim. He traveled frequently to talk about his war experiences and was interviewed often by television and newspapers. Travis was a part of the first Honor Flight Austin which traveled to Washington DC to view the WWII Memorial in June of 2012. He loved the United States of America and frequently spoke to school classes and groups about US History, politics, and the changes he had witnessed, as well as his experiences as a pilot. A desire for married student housing sent Travis and Lorna to the University of Oklahoma in 1945 where he earned a degree in chemical engineering. His career centered on companies that emphasized edible food oils, including Anderson Clayton and Armor. He was very interested in nutrition and the affect foods have on longevity and healthy lifestyle. This was evident in his disciplined lifestyle. Entrepreneurial interests moved the family to San Antonio where he started a company called Whip Foods, where he was the only boutique margarine manufacturer in the Southwestern United States. Travis began a career in real estate after retiring from the food industry. He sold real estate in Houston, the Woodlands, and Conroe before moving to Austin in 1995. He was active in several clubs, and organizations, many of which he started or ran. He and Lorna continued a very active life, spending time connecting with old friends and making new ones in Central Texas. The Budlongs embraced life wherever it took them. During their four years as residents of Querencia, Travis acted as self appointed Ambassador, meeting and greeting new residents, holding court in the Bistro, discussing politics each morning at 6 am, and working at the store. He continued his passionate talks about his war experiences and had assembled a power point presentation and speech that he was to deliver on Monday, July 30th. , 2012 when he was admitted to the hospital. His zest for life continued through his hospital stay as he planned to deliver that speech and celebrate with a party in September to celebrate his 90th birthday. Please join the family for a Celebration of Life Monday, August 13, at 10am, at the Riverbend Church, Smith Family Chapel in Austin, Texas. Funeral Services and Burial will be in Gainesville on Saturday, August 11 at the St. Paul Episcopal Church at 10 am with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers please send donation to Austin Honor Flight www.honorflightaustin.org
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Aug. 10, 2012
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