Ottis D. Hudson, 86, wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great grandfather, and brother, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 2, 2020. We know that he is dancing and rejoicing in heaven with those who went before him, free of the wheelchair that he had been confined to for so long.
He was born on March 14, 1934, in Sampson County, North Carolina, the sixth of nine children born to the late Laudie and Lizzie Hudson of Clinton. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Joe Hudson, Celestial Butler, Vernease Hudson, Laudie Hudson, Pellon Hudson, Evelyn Blackburn, and Gerald Hudson. He was also preceded in death by his infant son, Ricky.
Ottis was a farm boy, raised to get up before dawn, work hard at everything, and to never quit until the job was done. He never lost these traits. He often talked of life on the farm, and the mischief he would get into. As a boy, he always had a little knife and a small aluminum foil packet of salt and pepper in his pocket. He loved to pick a fresh tomato from the garden, slice it open, pour that salt and pepper on it, and eat it like an apple. Throughout his adult life, he loved his backyard garden, and would hang bags of fresh corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and cucumbers over the fence posts to share with the neighbors.
Daddy spent his working years as a career bread man, first with ITT Continental/Wonder Bread, and later with Sunbeam Baking Company. After retirement, he planted an even bigger garden and started a small lawn care business. The grounds of LaFayette Baptist Church never looked better than they did when he and Momma took care of them. He was also one of the founding members of the Wendemere Homeowner’s Association after retiring.
Daddy was a true man of God. He loved the Lord and would share his beliefs with anyone who would listen, and probably some who didn’t want to listen. He was a gifted Sunday School teacher, deacon, choir member, and much more. He especially loved the fellowship with the Keenagers Senior Adults group at church, whether it was eating, singing, meeting, or traveling, but especially eating. For many years, he pulled a pig cooker down to Singletary Lake and cooked during the church’s annual Kidz Kamp week. If any job needed to be done, he was always ready to help.
His life changed on July 31, 2012, when he had a stroke during surgery. He would never walk again on his own, and had limited use of the right side of his body. Through it all, and after a couple of difficult times early on, he maintained a smile and always had a good word to say. Each time we saw him, he would flash that bright smile of his, raise his hand up in a wave, and ask if we had had a good day. He loved to laugh, and to watch old westerns and M*A*S*H*, and surprise people with his bone-crushing grip when he would shake hands.
Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 67 years, Janie Pope Hudson; his children, Debbie Bailey (Mike) and Keith Hudson (Janet); four grandchildren, Sarah Bailey Alexander (Jordan), Michael Bailey, Ricky Hudson, David Hudson (Kamisha); and his great granddaughters, Katie and Alli Alexander and Sky Hudson. He is also survived by his most caring, loving, and dedicated sister, Jean Wray, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to the Coronavirus, a small family graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at Cumberland Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lafayette Baptist Church, PO Box 43935, Fayetteville, NC 28309.
The family would like to express our deep gratitude to the staff of St. Joseph of the Pines, who cared for Daddy during the day for years so that he could remain at home with Momma. For almost three years now, he and Momma have been lovingly cared for by the wonderful staff of Carillon Assisted Living/The Addison SLC.