Life Sketch of Marian Underwood Budge
By Marian Budge, Jennie Garner, and Jeanie Budge
Marian Underwood Budge, 89, slipped away quietly on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, surrounded by her family in her home.
She was born on May 17, 1934, in Salt Lake City, the oldest of three children of James Thomas Underwood and Constance Mary Shaw. Her siblings, Joyce and Glen, were her best friends growing up.
One of her early recollections was that her father paid her a nickel to learn to play “Chopsticks” on the piano at age 5. She dutifully took piano lessons for eight years, including piano theory lessons from Ed Berry, a local lounge pianist who smelled of cigarette smoke and played “popular piano – ragtime, jazz, boogie woogie, etc.” She was always glad her mother “forced” her to a take lessons. All that torture was worth it because music and the piano were an enjoyable and important part of her life.
As a little girl, she endured ballet lessons for a year. She loved her teacher, Sophie Reed, but was so painfully thin that she hated to wear the leotard and tights. Ten years later she was the Excelsior fraternity sweetheart at Weber College, chosen by movie star Jimmy Stewart from her swimsuit photo.
Marian attended Ogden City Schools, where she excelled. School was always easy for her and she had lots of friends. She went to Quincy School and Lewis Junior High School, then to beautiful, art deco Ogden High School. At Ogden High she was on the yearbook staff and Literary Harvest committee and was an officer in the pep club. She graduated with honors and won scholarships to Weber College, Utah State University and Brigham Young University. She chose Weber because it was close to home and was where most of her friends decided to go. She worked as a secretary for the boss at the W.S. Butler Company to pay expenses.
After two years, she graduated with an associate of arts degree from Weber College and enrolled at Utah State, living in the Alpha Chi Omega house in Logan. In 1953, while attending Utah State, she met Arthur Farr Budge on a double date where each of them was with another date. Arthur was smitten, and the day after Marian’s boyfriend left on his LDS mission, he asked her out.
At her father’s insistence, Marian continued her education at Utah State University. It was important to him – and to Arthur – that she obtain a degree before she got married. Arthur and Marian dated long distance until Marian graduated, seeing each other on weekends when they came home to visit their parents. Each week, Dexter Farr, Arthur’s cousin, dutifully drove Marian from Logan to Ogden and back through Sardine Canyon – a terrifying drive in the winter. She ultimately graduated from Utah State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, English, and journalism.
After her graduation, Marian took a job teaching English to 8th graders at Wahlquist Jr. High School in Weber County – a job she loved and spoke of often. But she decided there was a happier future in marrying Arthur, who was by then a promising University of Utah medical student. They were married for time and all eternity on August 9, 1956, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, and made their first home in Salt Lake City.
After her marriage, Marian taught English at Glendale Jr. High School in Salt Lake City but was asked to leave when she became visibly pregnant with her first child. When Jennie was born, Arthur was in the middle of his medical school boards, but somehow made it through.
For his internship, Arthur took a position with the United States Public Health Service in Seattle, Washington. Arthur had to spend the first month of his internship in Ft. Defiance, Arizona, leaving Marian and baby Jennie with Grandma in Ogden. Marian was happy to be reunited with Arthur and to get settled in her new home in Seattle. Seattle was beautiful, but it rained too much. She loved popular music of the day, so she and Jennie started watching American Bandstand with Dick Clark, a ritual that continued until Jennie went to kindergarten.
After a year, Arthur was transferred to an obscure Indian hospital in Talihina, Oklahoma, where Holly was born. Holly was the odd baby out in a nursery full of Choctaw babies. Marian made friends with the locals and other doctors’ wives, creating a pleasant social circle for herself and her daughters.
After another year, Arthur was transferred to Baltimore, Maryland, for his residency in radiology. They first lived in an old rowhouse on Evesham Avenue, where Marian started her traditions of Fizzie parties and “unbirthday” parties for her kids and the neighbor kids. She was everybody’s favorite mom. Sally was born during the time on Evesham.
They then moved to the USPHS Hospital Station in Baltimore. Marian continued her traditions of Fizzie parties and unbirthday parties, endearing herself to the neighborhood kids and making friends with the other doctors’ wives on the Station.
While living on the Station, Arthur bought her a full-size Hamilton studio piano, replacing a child-size piano she had been using to entertain herself and her girls. Marian played the piano by ear and could transpose any piece into another key. She would spend hours at the piano with her children, singing songs, taking requests, and composing little tunes unique to her children. She made sure all of her children took lessons, “forcing” them to practice as well. In her later years, she bought a grand piano, and for a time spent an hour each day practicing. She spent many hours at the piano with her grandchildren, and even her great-grandchildren.
While living in Baltimore, Marian once took her three girls to a children’s swimming pool at Ft. Holabird, Maryland, even though she didn’t swim. When a small child cried “Look at the funny baby,” Marian was horrified to see baby Sally in the middle of the pool – her plastic pants keeping her afloat. Marian’s friend waded into the knee-high water to rescue Sally while Marian could only watch, aghast. Marian’s composure was also tested when Jennie got hold of a pair of scissors and gave Holly an extreme pixie haircut. She liked to keep her girls’ hair long enough to put in ponytails or bing bongs, so the crude hack job was not appreciated.
In 1963, Marian started the Budge family tradition of Christmas Bingo. During the televised news of the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent funeral, she and Jennie cut out tiny pictures from old Christmas cards and glued them to felt sheets that Marian had marked with grids. For many years, Marian (and Arthur) bought and organized all the prizes for the game, even after her children were married with kids of their own. 60 years later, the Budges still have Christmas Bingo every year. The 2023 game is scheduled for December 23, with kids, grandkids and great-grandkids coming from all over the United States to participate.
Patti was born while they lived on the Baltimore Station. Shortly thereafter, Arthur was transferred to the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco, California. Marian carefully placed baby Patti on top of a cooler in the front seat of the brand-new station wagon for the coast-to-coast drive.
Marian enjoyed living in San Francisco. She loved the beautiful city, the temperate climate, and the lovely fresh flowers brought to her by “the government,” the name Sally gave to the gardener on the San Francisco Station. The Station was an idyllic environment for Marian and her girls, with lots of green space and friends. While living in San Francisco, Marian finally got her boy, Jim, who was born in an army barracks on the Presidio. She and Arthur were over the moon.
When Arthur’s commitment to the Public Health Service ended, they decided to move back to Utah to be near their parents. They first moved to Salt Lake City, then came to Ogden, Utah, when the brand-new McKay-Dee Hospital opened in 1969. They lived in three houses in the 73rd Ward before moving into their current home in 1973.
Marian flourished in Ogden. She displayed her amazing leadership talents through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she served in various presidencies within the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society, both at the ward and stake levels. She was devoted to serving in the Boy Scouts of America through the Church and enjoyed being a Cub Scout leader. She received the Mount Ogden District Award of Merit and her Silver Beaver award in scouting before Arthur got his.
Marian was also active in her community. She and Arthur were patrons of the Ogden Symphony Ballet Association and Weber State University. Marian was always involved in the PTA for her kids. She also devoted many years to serving women and children at Your Community Connection (the YCC) in Ogden, as well as the residents of nursing homes in her area.
She was an avid quilter, stitching together an amazing 1,088 quilts — baby quilts, wedding quilts, Christmas quilts, TV quilts, lap quilts for the nursing home. She told people that as long as her fingers and eyes held out, she would continue to make baby quilts for relatives and friends. And she did.
In the early 70’s, Marian and Arthur started “Our Friend, the Hospital” – a program for elementary school kids to teach them about the good things the hospital does. It started out as a field trip to Arthur’s radiology department at the McKay-Dee Hospital, and eventually evolved to include a visit to surgery, the ER, the lab, pediatrics and cardiology.
With her niece, Jayne Johnson, she co-founded the Heartbeats singing group with the women of the Weber County Medical Society, where she also served as the auxiliary president. The Heartbeats sang at special events and performed Christmas programs in local nursing homes. Marian enjoyed her time in the Heartbeats over the years and made many lasting friendships with the other members of the group.
She believed in the importance of history and was a meticulous recordkeeper. She loved genealogy and was very proud of her ancestry. She was very excited when Sally helped her successfully apply for membership in the Mayflower Society—an organization for descendants of the Pilgrims. She kept a journal faithfully from 1952 until she suffered a stroke in 2021. If anyone had a question about a date or an event, we could always refer back to Mom’s journals to get the facts. She made lists of everything—to-do lists, quilts made, wedding and baby gifts given, meals she prepared, and her “collections.” She even made lists of her lists.
She and Arthur traveled extensively throughout the United States and southern Canada. They enjoyed Americana and the cultures of the Amish, Native Americans, and Latin Americans. With children as far away as Connecticut and Maine, they made many cross-country trips for baby births and other special occasions. Or just because. One road trip took them over 9,000 miles and lasted for over a month.
After Marian’s children were married with children of their own, her home and the yard Arthur meticulously cared for became the gathering place for her family. It was magical. Boat races down the stream, beanie babies and state quarters, ice cream sandwiches and the downstairs soda fridge, the tree house and hunting for golf balls on the canal road, and of course, Christmas Bingo. Cousins became best friends there. Her family was her greatest joy, and she cherished every moment spent with them.
Marian’s life was a shining example of love, faith and service to her family, church and community. Above all, Marian's deep-rooted faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation sustained her through the final days of her earthly journey, providing her with profound comfort. Just a few days before her death, she renewed her temple recommend before it expired on November 30. It was important to her to have a current recommend.
Marian was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Joyce U. Morehead, her brother Glen S. Underwood, her son-in-law A. Joseph Arave, and two great-granddaughters, Kathryn Gunther and Poppy Bitner. What a glorious reunion Marian is enjoying with friends and loved ones who have passed before.
Marian is survived by her sweetheart of over 70 years, Dr. Arthur Farr Budge, her children Jennie B. Garner (Von), Holly K. Arave (Joe, deceased), Sally B. Bitner (Matt), Patti J. Burr (Dan), and James C. Budge (Jeanie), along with 24 grandchildren and 55 great-grandchildren.
Her memory will forever live on in the hearts of those she touched, and her impact will be felt for generations to come. A private gathering for close family was held to celebrate her life. All of her children and all but one grandchild attended the celebration.
In lieu of flowers, Arthur has asked that friends and family wanting to honor Marian make a gift to the Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/humanitarian-services, or any other charity of their choice.
Family services entrusted to Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary.
Things Our Mother Taught Us
By Sally Budge Bitner
with Memories from Marian’s Children
All five of Mom’s children agreed that her number one thing was:
* Mom taught us the importance of church service. For years she attended the temple weekly. Temple work was personal to her. She would come home and write the names and birthdates down in a book. She also played the organ once a week in the temple chapel and loved doing it. Can you imagine the reunion in Heaven when all those spirits will gather ‘round her and thank her for her service?!
* Mom spent her life fulfilling her church callings. As Primary President, she made a large display for the Relief Society Building in Salt Lake on “The ABCs of Primary.” She was ward and stake Relief Society President for many years. She loved the women under her stewardship. Jennie teased her about “gossiping” about all the sisters with her cohorts Marianna Sorenson and Joanne Passey, but she really did care for and serve the sisters and wanted to understand how best to serve them.
* She had a strong testimony of visiting teaching. She was once assigned to visit an inactive sister who did not want anything to do with the Church. Mom found out the sister worked in the ladies’ department of a local department store and she would shop in the store to visit the sister, sometimes buying a slip or other small item to disguise that she was doing her visiting teaching.
* She and Dad contributed to umpteen missionary funds, including their grandchildren’s.
* As a primary teacher, she made quilts with each of her girls for their birthdays.
* As a Cub Scout Leader she handled snakes and mice, spiders, and all kinds of creepy things. Boat races down our stream and hiking to waterfall were annual events.
* Mom and Dad were involved in the scouting program for many years, donating their time and money. Both earned their Silver Beaver award.
* Mom also taught the importance of community service. She volunteered at the YCC, a shelter for battered women, for years.
* With her niece, Jayne Johnson, she was the founder of the Heartbeats, which is the Weber County Medical Auxiliary Women’s singing group. She sang and played the piano.
* In the early 70’s, Mom and Dad started “Our Friend, the Hospital” – a program for elementary school kids to teach them about the good things the hospital does. It started out as a field trip to Dad’s radiology department at the McKay-Dee Hospital, where Dad showed the children interesting x-rays – the chest of a girl who had swallowed a coin, the compound fracture of an arm, a mom’s abdomen with twins in utero, and a boy who swallowed a small frog. He also showed them “Fred,” a real (not plastic) skeleton with the skull attached that the children could actually touch. The field trip eventually evolved to include a visit to surgery, the ER, the lab, pediatrics and cardiology.
* PTA was part of our lives. We made posters, flyers and announcements galore. All of her children have benefited from those learning experiences. We didn’t have copiers in those days, so everything was written out long hand and fancy lettering was made with stencils. We were involved in fundraisers, ID bracelets, book sales, and so many other projects.
Mom truly took to heart words of King Benjamin, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)
2. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS & RECORD KEEPING
* Mom has books and books and books of records. If we forgot a date or event, Mom could look it up. Sometimes we poke fun at the dreaded red journals and have sworn that we’ll burn them one day, but we’ve referred to them many times.
* Mom has also been great at genealogy. She had so many stories of her ancestors, including Mayflower Pilgrims and LDS pioneers who settled the Salt Lake Valley. She had piles of family group sheets and pedigree sheets, making five copies of each of them to give to her children.
* Mom has records of her endowments, her quilts, her auxiliary members, trips, birth announcements, weddings, you name it, she’s got it. When she got a wedding announcement, she would record on the announcement the gift that she purchased and then clip the thank you note to it. She knew who sent thank you notes and who didn’t.
3. DEVELOPING TALENTS
* Mom knew the importance of developing our talents. She made sure we had a new glove, racquet, soccer ball, or whatever sport equipment we needed. We had swimming and diving lessons, gymnastics, dance, and piano lessons. Mom didn’t swim, and didn’t want us to be afraid of the water. She spent countless hours at Ogden High’s pool watching us jump off the diving board and waving to us. We got Hoppy Taws and jacks for birthdays.
* Mom loved music, especially piano music. She had the gift of playing by ear. She would make up silly songs by playing whatever keys were in our name. Jim had the best song because he had the most musical letters. We sat on her lap for hours singing nursery rhymes and children’s songs. “Jumbo Elephant,” “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie,” and “The Bear Went Over The Mountain” were just a few. She taught us the foot pedals on the big theatre organ Dad bought for her. We would sit underneath the bench and she would tell us what to push. Some of us have had the opportunity to play the organ in church.
* The piano was very important to Mom. She had an aunt who had no children and a decent amount of money. So, Mom asked her Aunt Norma if she would like to buy a grand piano, not for herself, but for the Relief Society. Norma said she would. Mom wanted the sisters to have a nice piano. The Relief Society enjoyed that piano for many years in the old 73rd Ward Building that has now been demolished. Later, Mom used money she received when Norma died to purchase her own grand piano, which she loved to play.
* Mom liked to have the kids draw. Her mother was a painter, and she wanted us to develop whatever artistic talents we had. All the grandkids had their own tablet in the cupboard, so when they came to grandma’s house, they could color and draw at the counter. We always had markers, crayons, paper and scissors to create. Many of her grandchildren have serious artistic talent – some of them are now professional artists and creators.
* We learned to cross-stitch and crochet and knit. Dad taught us now to knit, but Mom saw that we had the yarn, needles and hooks. She taught us to tie quilts in the late 1960s and the girls learned to hand quilt in 1978 on Jennie’s wedding quilt. We still make quilts for weddings and new babies.
* Mom was an amazing typist – typing up to 140 words a minute with no autocorrect or backspacing. She had learned to type when she was about 12 years old and was the only person in her class at Ogden High that could type. She loved the green ribbon she loaded into her typewriter. She taught her girls to type on an old black Underwood manual typewriter. Dad later got her an IBM Selectric with an italic font ball that had a correction ribbon, but she didn’t need it. For many years she preferred typing on her Selectric to word processing on the computer.
4. VACATION/FAMILY TRIPS
* Mom and Dad loved to travel. If you can get there in a car, they’ve probably been there. They have enjoyed the beauties from the red beaches of Rustico in Prince Edward Island to the Whites Sands in New Mexico. They’ve driven the meandering highway up the beaches of California and the Oregon Coast and the jagged shores dotted with lighthouses in Maine. They’ve enjoyed the cultures of the Amish, Hispanics, Colonials, and the Navajo.
* Every summer we took a family vacation. We saw Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Cody Wyoming, Dinosaur Monument, Arches, and Bryce Canyon just to name a few. Dad was the great sight planner, but Mom was in charge of meals and entertainment in the car. We had car Bingo, sang songs, and played license plate and alphabet games. The goal was to beat Dad. Mom always had little incentives along the way. We would be given points and if there was any arguing we would lose points, which meant less money for souvenirs. We were also given little toys along the way. It was way cool.
* Mom had the handy dandy electric skillet to fix our dinner in the hotel room. We had the old metal Coleman cooler full of food. The top was used as a table to prepare our sandwiches. Sometimes Mom splurged and got small boxes of cereal so we could eat right out of them. There were few fast food restaurants and 5 little kids didn’t eat much food.
* Mom grew up in a home that stressed education. Both of her parents graduated from Utah State Agricultural College during the depression. Grandpa Underwood didn’t want Mom to get married until she graduated from college. We all knew the importance of an education. Every one of her children and their spouses have received a degree from Associates, Bachelors, and Masters, to JD, MD, MBA, and PhD. Most of her grandchildren have now received college degrees, and many have postgraduate degrees.
* Mom was an English teacher. She would diagram sentences with us for fun when we were young. Holly once had a run-in with a high school teacher about sentence diagramming. Jennie backed her up. Mom had taught us well, and we were right.
* Mom has always tried to stimulate her mind – Crossword puzzles and reading the paper were a daily routine.
* Mom also felt a great responsibility to be educated about elected government officials. She knew that voting is not just a right or privilege but a duty. She voted in the most recent election.
* Mom loved to read. When the grandkids were small and lived away from Utah, she would always bring along her Gma books for the kids to read. She has spent countless hours reading to the little ones.
6. FAMILY GATHERINGS and TRADITIONS
* Birthdays were always celebrated at Mom’s. Everyone was always invited.
* Christmas Bingo has been our favorite tradition. We’ve gone through a few sets of homemade cards. The family has done it every year for 60 years. The prizes have changed from year to year. Over the years, she also created Baby Bingo, Birthday Bingo, Halloween Bingo, and Thanksgiving Bingo for parties.
* At Christmas time Mom must have had a direct connection to Santa’s elves. She made sure that our gifts appealed to our five senses.
* We received gifts on Valentines Day, and we always had an Easter hunt on Easter morning. We got candy and notepads, and fun little things hidden around the house by the Easter Bunny.
* Mom was big on games. We played Rack-O, Rook, Uno, Clue, Sorry, Tripoly, Scrabble, Checkers and Chess just to name a few. Sally got in a patch of poison ivy at age 9 and was covered head to toe with a rash. Mom sat on the back patio and played Rook with her.
* Mom loved necklaces. Jennie brought her fun necklaces from exotic vacation destinations like Korea, China, and Peru. She especially loved her Native American fetishes - Dad would splurge on those.
7. HOMEMAKING SKILLS
* Mom made our Easter dresses every year. She made roadshow costumes and costumes for school plays. She made each of our baptism dresses. Jennie loved her dress with the pretty pearl buttons and lace on the bodice, but the dress was heavy and pulled Jennie, who didn’t swim, down into the font. Mom overcompensated with Holly’s dress, that was so light that it wouldn’t sink in the font. So, Sally’s dress was again made out of heavy material and it almost drowned her. We all survived.
* Mom was creative with Halloween costumes. In Baltimore, she made matching “Indian” costumes for herself and her family, adorning them with ric rac. She even made wigs with black yarn. She made puppets with Styrofoam heads and we put on puppets shows from behind the kitchen counter. She taught us to love classical music and made us matching circle dresses out of quilted fabric that we could twirl in circles and dance in.
* One of Mom’s crowning jewels would be her quilts. She made and gave away close to 1100 tied or hand quilted quilts. We spent summers tying quilts for the rest home. She came up with lap quilts, which had sashes on one end to tie around the waist so they wouldn’t slip off their laps.
* Mom was not a great cook, but she made great cupcakes. The frosting was piped on top in a swirl and adorned with sprinkles. Patti and Sally still decorate their cupcakes like that. She took a Wilton cake-decorating class while she lived in San Francisco and created amazing cakes for our birthdays. There were carousels and tiered cakes, Barbie cakes, and cakes with columns. One famous birthday cake went up in flames when the chiffon butterflies on top of the cake caught fire from the candles. Tragedy was averted when she doused the cake in the kitchen sink. Of course, while she decorated the cakes and cupcakes, she also decorated our noses and fingers and cheeks.
* When hosting a gathering, her presentation of food and table was always very creative and themed. Mom always treated the table as a work of art. Once before a festive occasion, she excused herself to change her blouse. When asked why, she responded that her blouse did not match the tablecloth. The motto “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” fits Mom to a tee.
* We all remember her Relief Society parties: themed dinners, sometimes with an Oriental touch, and Relief Society Birthday parties,. We once grated Styrofoam into parfait cups to make table decorations that looked like ice cream floats. If Mom did not have the right tablecloths or centerpieces, she could always rely on her mother to have just the right thing. She knew how to decorate and host a party.
8. WORK AND FRUGALITY
* Mom had the “Point book.” Not everything we wanted was just given to us. We had to earn it, so she kept track. We got a penny a page for reading books, and a designated number of points for household chores. When we earned enough points, we could choose a prize or redeem the points for cash to buy things we wanted. We learned the value of money and hard work.
* She also taught us the value of writing thank you notes. She had us start writing our own notes when we lived on the Station in Baltimore. She always said that if someone takes the time to buy you a gift, you can take the time to write a thank you note. She was very aware of whether recipients of her gifts had written a thank you note to her.
* Mom was very careful with finances. She sewed a lot of her kids’ clothes and modified some of Dad’s old shirts to fit her – she wore two of them the week before she died. The one thing she would splurge on was shoes. She was very careful with her fanciest shoes and kept a log of the dates and hours that she wore them. She had a pair of crocodile pumps that she bought in 1962 – still in pristine condition.
9. BEING A DAUGHTER, MOTHER, AND GRANDMOTHER
* When we moved back to Ogden in 1969, we visited Grandma and Grandpa Budge every Sunday night. Mom was very attentive. She was always very respectful and kind. As a daughter she called her mother every morning at 9:00 a.m. just to say hello and touch base. After Grandma Underwood died, Grandpa Underwood came to live with them and she took great care of him.
* As a grandmother she played an important role in our family structure. She was involved in weddings, blessings and baptisms, eagle projects, school projects, graduations, and family gatherings.
* Jennie and Ian came to live with Mom and Dad in 1984. Sean was born in 1985. When Jennie’s boys were little, Mom would spend hours reading to them at the top of the stairs, after their bath. When Jennie moved to Kaysville in 1994, Mom and Dad would drive to their new home every day so that the boys wouldn’t come home from school to an empty house while Jennie was at work.
*Mom helped all the granddaughters with quilts and sewing. She’s sat through recitals and ball games. She has always supported her grandkids.