Travis Lynn Budlong was born in Gainesville, Texas onSeptember 9, 1922 and died following a brief illness on August 8, 2012. He is preceded in death by his wife, LornaJane Culp Budlong, who died December 5, 2011. Also preceding him in death were his parents, Irl and Annette Budlongand siblings Ralph, and Gerald Budlong. Survivors include his daughter Ann Schneider and her husband, Bill ofAustin,Texas , son, Travis JeffersonBudlong and his wife, Shirley of Spring Branch, Texas, sister, Anita Allen of ElCajon,California, sister in-law Sadie Budlong of Duncan, OK, grandchildrenAllison 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 visitingold friends throughout his life. It wasthere that he met the love of his life, Lorna Jane Culp, in the thirdgrade. He was a country boy and she livedin the city but it was definitely love at first sight, and they were bestfriends for 80 years and husband and wife for 68.
World War II brought Travis’s enlistment in the Army AirCorp 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 broughthim great pride and joy as well as acclaim. He traveled frequently to talk about his war experiences and wasinterviewed often by television and newspapers. Travis was a part of the first Honor Flight Austin which traveled toWashington DC to view the WWII Memorial in June of 2012. He loved the United States of America and frequently spoke to schoolclasses and groups about US History, politics, and the changes he hadwitnessed, as well as his experiences as a pilot.
A desire for married student housing sent Travis and Lornato the University of Oklahoma in 1945 where he earned a degree in chemicalengineering. His career centered oncompanies that emphasized edible food oils, including Anderson Clayton andArmor. He was very interested innutrition and the affect foods have on longevity and healthy lifestyle. This was evident in his disciplinedlifestyle. Entrepreneurial interestsmoved the family to San Antonio where he started a company called Whip Foods,where he was the only boutique margarine manufacturer in the SouthwesternUnited States.
Travis began a career in real estate after retiring from thefood industry. He sold real estate inHouston, the Woodlands, and Conroe before moving to Austin in 1995. He was active in several clubs, andorganizations, 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 ofQuerencia, Travis acted as self appointed Ambassador, meeting and greeting newresidents, holding court in the Bistro, discussing politics each morning at 6am, and working at the store. Hecontinued his passionate talks about his war experiences and had assembled apower 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 todeliver that speech and celebrate with a party in September to celebrate his90th birthday.
Please join the family for a Celebration of LifeMonday, August 13, at 10am, at the Riverbend Church, Smith Family Chapel inAustin, Texas. Funeral Services andBurial will be in Gainesville on Saturday, August 11 at the St. Paul EpiscopalChurch at 10 am with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers please send donation to Austin HonorFlight