Kent Grimmett Budge passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 10, at the age of 60 due to complications from a car crash. Although he died far from his home in Los Alamos, New Mexico, he was fortunate to be surrounded by family when he passed. We appreciate the wonderful care that he received from the highly skilled doctors and nurses at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.
Kent was born on March 31, 1962, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Ezra Charles Budge and Janet Grimmett Budge. He had an unusually keen intellect and unbounded curiosity. As a child, he read encyclopedias for fun, enjoyed the worlds of classic Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, poured over Grey’s Anatomy, and built his own telescopes to fulfill his passion for stargazing.
As he grew older, Kent continued to demonstrate a ravenous hunger for knowledge. He earned his Bachelor in Science degree summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1985. Five years later, he graduated from CalTech with a PhD in Astronomy. He worked for a time at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque before taking a job in weapons defense at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he remained for almost 20 years.
In his free time, Kent created an online encyclopedia about the Pacific War theatre of WWII. More recently, his love of geology took him to weekly hikes in the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, during which he developed a blog about these rock formations, a massive collection of rock specimens, and a rough draft of a manuscript exploring local geology. His wry and pithy musings, with their dry humor, garnered appreciation from Internet readers and real-life friends and family. He was funny!
Kent served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Little Rock, Arkansas, and remained a faithful member of the Church his entire life, fulfilling callings as choir director, teacher, scoutmaster, and priesthood leader. He was much admired for his singing voice, which he also shared through the Los Alamos Choral Society.
Kent met his wife, Cindy Lou Thurgood, at a church activity. He had accurately predicted that he was going to marry a red-headed biochemist! They were sealed for time and all eternity on January 2, 1992, in the Denver, Colorado Temple. They had one daughter and two sons, who are now adults.
Kent was preceded in death by his father, Ezra, and all his grandparents. He is survived by his wife, Cindy; children Kira, Nathan, and Michael; mother, Janet; and siblings, Lori Raymond (Robert), Scott (Lisa), and Susan Jones (Lowell). He is also survived by five cats, a full tank of fish, and various unusual plants.
At Kent’s request, a private graveside service was held in Los Alamos. He will be greatly missed. Those wishing to express their condolences can leave messages on the Rivera Mortuary website: http://riverafamilyfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to your local animal shelter and/or to the New Mexico Geological Society: https://nmgs.nmt.edu/donations/home.cfml.