June 24, 1926 – June 14, 2023
Coach Robert Earl “Bob” Budlove, of Petersburg, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Louise Lewis Budlove; two dedicated daughters, Debbie Jackson (Doug) and Linda Hamilton; granddaughters, Michelle Terry (Melvin), Sarah Millard (David), and Anna Millard-Marksberry (Chris); great-grandchildren, Alyssa Shorter (Brandon), Carissa Terry (C.J.), Brianna Terry, Rawson Terry, Aubree Millard, Jasper Marksberry, David Davis, and Michael Davis; and one great-great-grandchild, Joanna Shorter.
Bob was born June 24th, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois. He was very active in sports in high school. After proudly serving in the Navy, Bob earned his degree from RPI (now VCU) and then obtained his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University. He began his coaching and teaching career in 1952, at Blackstone High School, where he met his wife. Bob and Louise remained in Blackstone for a couple of years before moving to Petersburg, where Bob coached first at Bolling Junior High School and then, beginning in 1956, at Petersburg High School. He was instrumental in the construction and design of the first driving range in the Petersburg area for students to learn realistic driving scenarios in a controlled environment. Although he was involved with several sports at Petersburg High School, he was dedicated to the golf program. He coached the golf team to three Central District titles and several state team tournaments. He coached as he lived his life – guiding his players to realize how the fundamental principles of fairness and hard work would lead to success in life. His former students speak often of the guidance Bob provided and the positive impact he made on their lives.
Bob’s love for the game of golf inspired him to host an invitational golf tournament at Lee Park Golf Course (now known as Dogwood Trace). He and Louise dedicated themselves to make this weekend event special for participants for 30 years. The weekend always ended with the presentation of the green jacket to the winner.
In 2017, an annual scholarship tournament was developed in Bob’s honor to recognize a senior graduating from Petersburg High School and to provide financial support to the school’s Athletic Department. To date, seven student athletes have received this scholarship.
In 2018, Bob was recognized by the Petersburg Athletic Hall of Fame as an assistant coach of the 1966 Varsity Football Team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022 for his contributions as the Coach of the Golf Team. Several of his former students sent cards and letters to him after this recognition in order to share with him how he had influenced their lives. Bob was proud of his achievements and contributions to his “boys” and enjoyed his time shaping the lives of the young men he coached.
Bob also loved music, especially big band music, and video production. In his early years, he provided 8mm tapes of weddings for friends and progressed to VHS tapes for every family Christmas celebration. Music was almost as important in his life as coaching. While in Blackstone, he worked at the local radio station. Golfers at Dogwood Trace were always treated to stories or advice as Bob roamed the course in his golf cart. No doubt, they also would have heard him humming or whistling a favorite tune.
Bob loved life and was devoted to Louise who was always by his side. They were a great team and worked well together to take care of their daughters and their “boys.”
Coach Budlove was a special man with a kind heart and a generous spirit. All who knew him were fortunate to call him a friend – he will be sorely missed.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Coach Robert E. “Bob” Budlove Golf Scholarship at the John Randolph Foundation. Checks can be mailed to John Randolph Foundation, PO Box 1606, Hopewell, VA 23860 (on memo line, Budlove). Donations may also be made online at www.johnrandolphfoundation.org (click DONATE, then scroll to select the Coach Budlove Scholarship).
The family will receive visitors Friday evening, June 23, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home – Petersburg. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at 11:00 am, at Second Baptist Church, 3355 Johnson Road, Petersburg, 23805. Interment will follow at Southlawn Memorial Park, 1911 Birdsong Road, S. Prince George, 23805.
Online condolences may be conveyed to the family at www.jtmorriss.com.