Henry Terrance Hudson was born on February 3, 1923 in Salt Lake City Utah, the eldest son of Owen Merton Hudson and Mary Opal (Boggs) Hudson. He passed away on Monday February 25, 2013 at his home in Eugene, Oregon.
Hank received his education in Butte, Montana graduating in 1940. During high school he worked as a Western Union bicycle messenger and occasionally had magazine and newspaper routes standing on the frigid street corners of Butte shouting “Butte Daily Post” or “Montana Standard”.
After high school he spent a year in the Civilian Conservation Corps or the “CCC’s” in northeastern Montana, where in earned $30.00 per month of which $22.00 was sent home. His mother saved $20.00 for him of the pay he sent home and Hank bought his first “store bought suit” with a vest and two pair of pants from J.C.Penneys for $19.95. He was very proud of that suit. After returning to Butte he worked at the Finlan Hotel, Buttes finest as a bellhop for $40.00 per month with tips he averaged $200.00 a month and wore a flashy red brass buttoned uniform besides!
In 1942 the Hudson family moved to Oregon where Hank and his father found work in the shipyards in Portland. He worked there until he went into the military in January 1944. He was assigned to an Army medical corps unit at Fort Lewis, Washington as a medical lab technician. After 30 months he was discharged at the rank of technical sergeant which was next to a master sergeant in those days. In his off hours he worked in a steel foundry in Tacoma, Washington. Before he was discharged the family moved to Vernonia, Oregon and purchased a small farm (that is now Cedar Ridge) where they raised strawberries for market, as well as pigs and chickens and of course, the inevitable cow to milk.
After moving to Vernonia he met and married Polly Henrietta Bell Lynch on September 26, 1947. They were married for 45 years before she preceded him in death in April 1993.
During that time he worked in the garage and service station business. In his spare time he assisted is father-in-law George Bell in his insurance business. Helped with the running and purchases of Polly’s Variety store. He also worked in the woods as a truck driver, choker setter, power sawyer and a dynamite handler on road construction. He was also a weigh master on the Columbia River for Crown Zellerbach and then became the company’s pole and pile inspector.
Somewhere along the way they decided that they didn’t have enough to do, and their family was not yet complete. They were told of a young lady that was expecting a child that she would be putting up for adoption and wanted the child to be raised in a LDS home. So on November 7, 1957 4 days after the birth of “Baby Girl Davis”, they brought me home. They never felt like they could thank her enough for the gift she had given them.
In 1964 at age 43 he changed professions and became a property appraiser for Columbia County. 1964 was off to a rather rough start, when he had to take time out for a emergency appendectomy in February, then a longer layoff in the fall of ‘64 when his newly purchased tractor tipped upside down pinning him between the machine and the harrow attached so tightly he had a hard time breathing. Much to our amazement he survived that adventure without a single broken bone.
After 11 years as a appraiser he was elected County Assessor in 1975 and served 12 years as Assessor, during which time he was elected President of the Western Oregon Assessors Association, and in his words “I am continually amazed that a hick from the sticks as I am, find myself addressing state legislatures, the governor of the state, judges, lawyers and many other learned men and women of important civic groups regarding matters of assessment and taxation that are of concern to them or the association or my fellow Columbia Countians”. He retired from Columbia County in 1987 after 23 years of service.
Henry was a long standing member of the LDS Church holding various positions including the Vernonia Branch President 4 times. He and Polly worked hard in raising money for the Vernonia building fund and in time sold the property to the church and donated that money back to the building fund to start the building of this very church.
In March 1994 he informed me that he had found me a “wicked step mother with children”, which has turned out to be a good deal. Thanks for being there for him. After a short re-acquaintance he married Eunice Mae Martin in Brigham City Utah. They made their home in Magna, Utah until returning to Oregon to live in Eugene in the fall of 2008.
While in Utah he volunteered in the cafeteria at the Salt Lake City temple until his health would no longer allow him to. During this time it was highly suggested that he should shave of his “trade mark” handle bar moustache while working in the cafeteria, not due to food safety, but it had become temple policy to be clean shaven while working in the temple. After much deliberation he chose to do so but was not very happy about it.
He enjoyed gardening and would usually plant a big enough garden to feed half of the town. He was very interested in his family and their history and enjoyed their visits. In later years he and Eunice made a couple or trips to Branson, Missouri and to Florida.
Even though I know this, I continue to be amazed at how many lives my Father touched. I repeatedly hear and read descriptions of him as; a great man, an amazing man, one of a kind, wonderful, kind and caring, a gentle spirit, his ability to make people feel at ease, his silly jokes, his “trade mark” handle bar moustache and as a friend put it best “his quality of being just Hank”.
Dad you leave behind a large and loving family filled with children, grandchildren and friends that know we are all better off for having known you and for you being a very big part of our lives. You will be forever missed but never forgotten.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers William, Ronald and Owen Hudson, sisters Edith Hudson and Alleene Bechtold.
He is survived by his wife Eunice M. Hudson of Eugene. Daughter and Son-in-law Deborah O. and Phillip D. Meyer, grandson Michael T. Meyer of Aloha, Oregon. Step children David Gillett of Paradise, CA, Drusilla (James) Carter of Eugene, Naomi (Bob) Johnson of Brigham City, Utah, Paul (Amy) Martin of Salt Lake City, Utah. Brother and sister-in-law Charles “Lindy” & Bernice Hudson of Butte, Montana, Sister-in-law Jean Hudson of Boise, Idaho. 18 grand children and 27 great grand children.
Also surviving are many nieces and nephews.