March 8, 1920 - July 10, 2017
Russell Jay Hudson, 97, passed away peacefully and went to be with the Lord, his Savior Monday, July 10, 2017.
Russell was born March 8, 1920 to Floyd and Agness Hudson in Glasston, North Dakota. He joined the Navy at the age of 19 and went on to serve on several aircraft carriers during WWII including the USS Ticonderoga, USS Valley Forge, USS Shangri La, USS Hancock andthe Navy battleship, USS Colorado.
From 1943 to 1945, Russell was stationed in Lakehurst, New Jersey at the Naval Blimp station patrolling for enemy submarines from the New Jersey coast to Brazil. The blimps dropped depth charges on the submarines, keeping merchant ships, the oceans, and our country safe. In 1946, he was transferred to the west coast and continued his service with the blimp squadron at the Naval Air Station in Tillamook, Oregon.
In 1951, as Catapult Chief on the USS Valley Forge, Russell received a Bronze Star for designing and producing a highly successful tail tow-bar that greatly enhanced the handling of jet aircraft on the flight and hangar decks. In addition, he designed and developed an improved bridal/pendant arresting system for the C-11 steam catapults. He also simplified a design for the Jet Blast Deflector Hydraulic System.
Russell received many commendations and service decorations during his 20 years with the Navy before he was honorably discharged in August, 1959.
Upon discharge, Russell was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer. He went on to another 10 years of service for the U.S. Naval Fleet Reserve, working as a technician and inspector in San Diego.
During his years in the Navy, Russell met and fell in love with Hazel Mae Stearman. They were married July 27, 1946. They had three sons and were married 61 years before Hazel passed in October 2007.
In 1972, Russell and Hazel left San Diego and bought the Wonder Store in Wonder, Ore. With the joys of the store came many unexpected responsibilities. They decided to try retirement in 1975 and many years of fishing, gardening, square dancing, dominoes, and church activities followed. Russ and Hazel moved to Medford in 1992, where they attended the First Baptist Church.
Russell is survived by his three sons, John Hudson of southern California, David Hudson (Judy) of Grants Pass, and Doye Hudson (Chris) of Gold Hill, as well as a niece, Rohena Bressler of Irvine, Calif. He enjoyed all of his 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and his one great-great-granddaughter.
Russell was a true American hero, a blessing to all who loved him and served as an unwavering cornerstone of his family. He will be greatly missed. His kindness, patriotism, and love for the Lord, Jesus Christ, will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. He lived his 97 years to the fullest.
The Hudson family wishes to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the incredible, dedicated caregivers who helped Russell through the last year.
Russell's family and friends will gather for a celebration of his life Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Eagle Point National Cemetery.