In Duncan each June, a Founder’s Day Queen is chosen and crowned to represent the city for the annual celebration.
For 2013, the Founder’s Day Queen is Sadie Ruth Binford Budlong, who will be crowned at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Antique Marketplace and Tea Room. To be nominated for queen, a woman must have lived in Stephens County for at least 50 years and be 85 or older.
Budlong, 92, has resided in Duncan since 1946. She said she loves the city and was honored to be named Founder’s Day Queen.
“I’m humbled and feel like there were plenty more (women) more deserving,” said Budlong. “I love it here, it’s a wonderful place to live.”
Budlong said she is a little nervous about Saturday’s ceremony but is looking forward to it.
Born on Dec. 20, 1920, in Marysville, Texas, Budlong was the youngest of six children. Her mother died when she was 16-months-old and she was raised by her grandmother, father and older sisters. Two of her sisters are still living at the ages of 100 and 94.
Budlong attended school in Marysville until eighth grade and graduated from high school in Gainsville, Texas. She then went on to receive a degree in business administration from North Texas Teachers College in Denton, Texas.
She taught algebra, accounting and geometry for one year in Chandler, Texas and two years in Sequin, Texas. Budlong married the love of her life, Ralph Budlong, on Feb. 20, 1943, in Tyler, Texas.
After living with her sister in Chandler, Texas for one year, she joined Ralph, who was in the U.S. Air Force in Sequin, Texas. They then moved to Birmingham, Ala., while he was still in the military.
In 1946, the couple moved to Duncan, where they began working for Duncan Candy and Tobacco Company and became part owners in 1956. They were the manager/owners until 1978.
While the Budlongs were owners, the business grew from three employees to eight and they built a new building to house it. In 1978, they retired and sold their part of the business to their daughter and son-in-law.
Budlong and her husband have two children, Terry Budlong and Annette McEntire and husband Jiggs. Sadie and Ralph have six grandchildren: Darell Budlong and wife Vera, Shelly Ellege and husband Charles, Brant McEntire and wife Cherry, Blake McEntire and fiancé Rebecca Mitchel, Marcus McEntire and wife Leigh and Melea Thompson. All of their children and grandchildren live in Duncan.
Budlong also has 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
The Budlongs joined First United Methodist Church when they moved to Duncan and Sadie continues to be active in the church. She taught Sunday School for years and served on many committees. She is the president of her circle of Maranatha, which is a group of United Methodist Women. Sadie has also served her state and local UMW group.
Budlong is active in the Owl Club of Duncan and was a part of the Karios Prison Ministry in Oklahoma City. She helps deliver meals on wheels once a month through the Senior Citizens program.
Her hobbies include cooking for her family, playing Bridge, reading, sewing, knitting, crocheting and calling her church family regularly to see if they have any needs and to say happy birthday.
Other activities Saturday include a home tour to benefit the Stephens County Historical Museum and a Founder’s Day 5K Run. There is also the Water Garden Pond Tour.