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Columbia Missourian

Rhonda Hudson was passionate about family, floral design

By Allison Wrabel
June 10, 2013 | 4:01 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Gentle, kind and humble are words Rhonda Kay Hudson's son, David Hudson, used to describe his mother.

"There was nothing more important to her than family," he said.  "It's hard to describe someone who was so much."

Mrs. Hudson died Saturday, June 8, 2013.  She was 62.

She was born on June 22, 1950, to Robert Farrell Hulen and Alice Jean Bickel. She was raised by her great–grandmother Helen Carter and grandmother Helen Hulen.  

In 1969, while working at a hotel, Mrs. Hudson was approached by a modeling agency for a position.

"She told them no," her son said. "She said she was saving money for her family because she wanted to be a homemaker. She really wanted to be married to that man."

She met her husband in the eighth grade. She had trouble with math, and he was great at it, so the teacher let them help each other, David Hudson said. They were the only two allowed to talk during study hall.  

"Their grandmothers knew each other, and that was the only reason they could date," her son said.  

She married Lee Hudson on Aug. 22, 1969.

In the 1980s, Mrs. Hudson started designing floral arrangements and was asked to join the women at The Classic Touch florist in Fulton. When it closed, she wanted to keep working with arrangements and began to operate booths at Artichoke Annie's Antique Mall and Ice Chalet Antique Mall.

"She loved going after furniture and any antiques," her son said. "She would bring home china dishes and butter churners, stuff like that."

Mrs. Hudson was also heavily involved in her church, Grandview Baptist Church in Centralia. Both Mrs. Hudson and her husband taught the teen Sunday school class. She also organized holiday parties and the after-Mass Sunday dinners.

"You could call her the hospitality coordinator," David Hudson said. "Any event, she would do it."

Mrs. Hudson is survived by her husband, Lee Hudson; her three sons, Steve Hudson and his wife, Jessica, of Columbia, Mark Hudson of Centralia and David Hudson and his wife, Julie, of Columbia; a brother, Kenny Hulen, and his wife, Belinda, of Columbia; and four grandchildren, Cook Hudson, Beau Hudson, Arely Hudson and Zana Hudson, all of Columbia. 

Her daughter-in-law, Rachel House Hudson, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.  Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Grandview Baptist Church, 8300 N. Route Z, Centralia. Burial will follow at Grandview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Grandview Cemetery.

Condolences can be posted at

 Supervising editor is Katie Moritz.