Kathryn “Kitty” Hale Hudson

Kathryn “Kitty” Hale Hudson of Stuart, Virginia, passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, surrounded by people that loved her. Kitty was born May 25, 1924, in Richmond, Virginia, to Benjamin and Ruth Revere Hale, who preceded her in death. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond and attended Mary Washington College. She worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Richmond and was a secretary for Douglas Southall Freeman, the author of the extensive biography on Robert E. Lee. She married Richard D. “Dick” Hudson in 1950 and they lived in Roanoke, Floyd and Martinsville for brief periods before settling in Stuart where he took over the family business, Hudson’s Drug Store.

Patrick County was not her domicile of choice and when she was introduced to someone new, she was quick to point out that she was from Richmond. Though it became apparent after a conversation with her that she was not from “these parts” she came to love the people of Patrick County and developed many long-lasting friendships. A self-described “drugstore widow” due to her husband’s long hours at the drug store, she kept herself busy in the community. In the 1960s she had a regular spot on WHEO radio known as Ladies Listeners and wrote a household hints column for the Enterprise called Kitty’s Corner. And though she said she hated cooking, her Pecan Pie and Christmas cookies are still talked about today. She led a girl scout and a cub scout troop when her children were young and was active in the Stuart United Methodist Church where she was a long-time member. When word got out that she had been a fashion model at Richmond’s Miller & Rhodes department store, she was frequently called on to organize beauty pageants and weddings. She taught many a young lady in Stuart how to walk and carry oneself properly, so it was not unusual to see girls walking around in her home with books balanced on their heads. With a special eye for color and decorating she opened a home business in the 1970s, providing interior design services that kept her busy. Later in life she became involved in civic causes, serving on the Piedmont Regional Community Services Board and the Patrick Henry Drug & Alcohol Council; however, her most impassioned cause was Hospice of Patrick County, and for years she organized the Christmas tour of homes to benefit that group.

Affectionately known to many as Miss Kitty – a name she professed to dislike – she was a warm and caring person who had a way of making people, even strangers, feel comfortable and at ease in her company. Her door was always open, and parties and conversation around the kitchen table provided a welcome outlet for friends, family and neighbors. She was considered a second mom to a number of young women in the community whom she provided honest and frank insights, rarely sugar coating the truth. She was a good listener, and people found her compassionate, empathetic, and genuine. Kitty loved life, travel and being around people, and with a contagious  laugh and love of a good joke, was usually the life of the party. She was a true Southern lady, always well-dressed, and was both charming and gracious when facing life’s challenges. There was little that she couldn’t face with a strong cup of coffee and a fresh application of lipstick. Perhaps her most enduring quality was her inner strength and resiliency. She was irrepressible and despite enduring personal heartbreaks and family losses, her spirit remained unbreakable.

In addition to her parents, Kitty was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Richard “Dick” Hudson, and her daughter, Kathryn Hudson Walker. She is survived by her son, Richard “Rick” Hudson, Jr. of Fort Worth, Texas, a niece Jane Hudson Richardson of Bridgewater, Virginia, and two very special, long-time caregivers and surrogate daughters, Tammi Edwards and Lisa Smyers, both of whom called her Mom.

Funeral services for Mrs. Hudson will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Moody Funeral Home Chapel in Stuart with Pastor Tommy Shepherd officiating. Burial will immediately follow in the Stuart Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.moodyfuneralservices.com

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