Clinton Thomas “Tom” Hudson, 87, passed on to his eternal home in heaven, July 19, 2019, 10:38 am at Prairie Mission Retirement Village (PMRV) in St. Paul, KS where he and his wife, Melva, resided since March 2017. Tom’s failing health took a sudden decline over the past few weeks.
Tom was born to Lucian and Theresa (Heck) Hudson on January 13, 1932 and was a lifelong resident of Erie and rural Erie. He was the middle of three children.
Tom attended a one-roomed classroom at the Shellenbarger School, 1st through 8th grades, which was just ¼ mile east of his home. He either walked or rode his horse Brownie to school. He graduated from Erie High School in 1949.
Upon graduation Tom worked at a couple different local grocery stores carrying out, delivering groceries, or doing whatever needed to be done. At 20 years of age, Tom began working for Mid America Dairy as a plant operator. For more than 40 years he worked at the creamery, making butter, bottling milk shakes, testing milk samples, loading and unloading transports, etc. Tom stayed with the company through all its transitions and when he retired in 1993 he was one of three remaining employees.
On April 1, 1955, he met Melva Irene Swaney. It was love at first sight for both. They married on August 16, 1955 at First Baptist Church in Chanute, KS. They have 3 married children: Tom Hudson (Carol), Charlotte Kephart (Jeff), and Susan Morris (Alan); 15 grandchildren: Pattie Brewer (AJ), Mary Hudson, Danny Hudson, Amanda Cavaness (Josh), Josiah Kephart (Mandy), Isaiah Kephart (Whitney), Clinton Morris (Kristen), Austin Morris (Kimber), and Rachel Lloyd; 17 great-grandchildren: Arianna, Nadia, Felicity, and Will Brewer; Audrey and Jefrey Cavaness, Jeremiah, Jackson, Jason, and Aurora Kephart; Emily and Lauren Kephart; Quinley Morris, Adalyn and Gracen Morris, Dylan Johnson; and Katie Rahe.
Tom lived a very full and rewarding life. He set endless great examples: church leadership (served as deacon), hard-working, dependable, loyal, law-abiding, on and on and on, His passion throughout life was his love for God, his family, farming, living on his Hudson Family Farm, which is identified as a Century Farm, his livestock, pets, and playing games with family members. He really enjoyed playing card games, board games, checkers and chess. He always modeled good sportsmanship whether he won or lost. Tom always played to win and was very tough to beat. He was quoted as saying, “The day you beat me – you beat me.”
Tom’s survivors include his wife, Melva Hudson, of PMRV, all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, one sister, Marie Long of PMRV, in-laws: Joyce Hudson, of Humboldt, KS, Bill and Cora Swaney of South Coffeyville, OK, Thelma Asher of Edmond, OK, Marlene Swaney of Chanute, KS, and numerous nieces and nephews. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Lucian and Theresa Hudson, a younger brother, Richard “ Norman” Hudson, in-laws: Kenneth and Hattie Swaney, John Kyle, Jack Spence, Earl Long, Ken Swaney, JoAnn Swaney, Orval Swaney, Irvin Asher, Harold Asher and two nephews, Rick Hudson, Larry Kyle and a niece Carol Swaney.
Tom was a man of high integrity who was respected by everyone he met and loved by those who knew him. He will be greatly missed. His family celebrates his life and rejoices that he is now living in heaven walking and running on streets of gold and enjoying perfect 20/20 vision.
A visitation will be Wednesday, July 24 at Pierce-Carson-Wall Funeral Home in Erie, KS from 6-8. The funeral and celebration of his life will be Thursday, July 25, Erie Baptist Church at 11. A procession to final resting place at East Hill Cemetery will immediately follow the service.
The family requests memorials to Erie Baptist Church. They may be left at the church, the funeral home or mailed to P. O. Box 182, Erie, KS 66733. Online messages can be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com