SHARON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – James Hudson of Sharon passed away Wednesday afternoon, September 1, 2021, in his home, with his family by his side after a long and beautiful life. He was 91.
Mr. Hudson was born January 15, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a son of the late John and Mary (Yankura) Hudson.
Jim’s mom died when he was six years old and he was raised in foster care from the age of 8 to 14 in Walkertown, North Carolina. Apparently, he’d had enough of the farm where he was living and in 1944 at 14 years-old he embarked on a cross country odyssey of the United States by means of hitch hiking where he met many interesting characters and got into a lot of interesting situations. As you can imagine he never shared these stories with his own children until they were grown.
In 1946 he returned to North Wilkes-Barre, North Carolina and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force at the young age of 16. Jim was stationed in the Artic as a radio operator and Frankfurt, Germany participating in the Berlin Air Lift. He was honorably discharged, reaching the rank of Sergeant, in 1949 and moved to Sharon, Pennsylvania where he ultimately met his wife, the former Mary Kathleen “Kitti” O’Brien. On their first date, he said to Kitti, “someday we’ll tell our grandchildren about this”. And they have!
Jim began his career at the former Sharon Transformer Division of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation before becoming an educator in the computer technology field throughout the country. During this time, he was employed by IBM, MAI, Philco and NASA.
Giving his own children what he didn’t have growing up, Jim and Kitti moved their five children back to Sharon in 1965 for them to be close to his wife’s large family.
He then worked for various electrical contractors until he began his own business, Vanguard Electric. He provided the electrical services at Sharon Regional Health System for more than 25 years and retired in 1995.
Jim was an avid bike rider and along with his wife, participated in multiple RAGBRAIS (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) and other bike touring events. He also enjoyed riding motorcycles, which he did into his late 80s. Jim was a ham radio operator, a history buff and researched his own genealogy as a hobby. Most of all, he loved “family time,” particularly the time he shared with his grandchildren, who affectionately called him Poppy.
Jim accomplished so much during his lifetime, both professionally and most of all personally. It was all on account of his work ethic and ability to make what he wanted of himself; he made certain that his children lived by those same standards. He came into this world with very little and left with so very much. He leaves three living children, 20 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren with three more on the way!
Surviving are his wife of 66 years, Kitti, whom he married on August 6, 1955; two sons, John Michael Hudson and his wife, Mariangela, of Hermitage and Mark S. Hudson and his wife, Pamela, of Transfer; a daughter, Susan D. Hunter and her husband, Eric, of Hermitage; a son-in-law, Shawn Hardesty, Sr. of Carolina Beach, North Carolina; a daughter-in-law, Lynda Hudson of Brookfield; grandchildren, Jamie Lynn Fargo (Scott), Lauren Van Tassel (Brad), Paul Hudson (Carla), Justin Simeon (Chelsea), Alainna “Laney” Knight (Randy ), James M. Hudson, Eric Hudson, Tyler Hudson (Kaitlin), Hallie Gargano (Tyler), Jonathan Hudson (Lindsey), Alexandra Hudson, Maxx Hudson, Julian Hudson, Shawn Hardesty, Jr. (Autumn), Patrick Hardesty, Kristen Hardesty, Luke Hudson (Jacquelyn), Blase Hudson, Erin Hunter and Kellan Hunter and great-grandchildren, Owen, Ella Kate, Addi, Cash, Keegan, Willow Mae, Parker, Reagan and Isla Grace.
Besides his parents, Jim was preceded in death by a son, James R. Hudson; a daughter, MaryLynn Hardesty and a sister, Mary Brown.
The family suggests memorial contributions be directed to The MaryLynn Hardesty Foundation, (supporting the awareness and continued treatment of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer), 700 Carolina Beach Avenue, N. Carolina Beach, NC 28428.
There are no calling hours.
Arrangements handled by J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. Friends may email condolences to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Charles D’Auria for his care and SRHS Hospice for their care and guidance.
A private Funeral Mass will be held for the family in the Church of Notre Dame, Hermitage, with the Very Rev. Richard J. Allen, E.V., pastor, as celebrant.
Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hermitage, with military honors.
A television tribute will air Sunday, September 5, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on FOX and 9:58 p.m. on MyYTV.