Hailing from a hard-working farming family in Freehold, N.J., Budge prepared at Admiral Farragut Academy in Pine Beach, N.J., before coming to Princeton, where he majored in chemical engineering, rowed crew, and was on the wrestling team.
He left Princeton at the end of junior year to enlist in the Army, though he did later secure his Princeton degree. During World War II, Budge won a Bronze Star as an Air Force captain.
In 1945 Budge married Marilyn Morshead in Berkeley, Calif., and the two went on to have three children. They also adopted a nephew after Marilyn’s sister died.
Budge earned a master’s degree at Stanford in 1947 and a Ph.D. at the University of California in 1954. While in California Budge alternated between his interests in studying/teaching and farming from 1946 through 1954. In 1954 he finally accepted a job offer with the department of chemical engineering at the University of Colorado as a professor. After 10 years there, where he and his family fully enjoyed the vastness and natural beauty of the Colorado Rockies and the healthy lifestyle it afforded them, John accepted a job with a corporation back in California. The family bought and ran a historic farm for many years, bringing Budge back to his roots, working the land.
Marilyn predeceased Budge in 2016. He is survived by his children.