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Wreatha Nell Hudson, 92, a former longtime Baker City resident, died Sept. 6, 2006, at her daughter’s home in Wilder, Idaho.
There will be a celebration of life service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 42171 Chico Road. Pastor Tony Brandon of the church will officiate.
The oldest of three children born to Charles Fred and Ethel Cole, Wreatha was born on Nov. 14, 1913, at Camp Crook, S.D. Being the daughter of an evangelist meant Wreatha called many places home during her childhood, a fact she did not look back on with fondness.
Many childhood pictures show the big evangelistic tent in the back ground as she stands soberly beside her dark-suited preacher dad. One of the family’s moves brought the disappearance of a much-loved teddy bear and a rocking chair. Her sorrow as a small child stayed fresh in Wreatha’s mind for many years.
She lived in the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and California. Perhaps her childhood travels are why she so treasured the 50-plus years she was able to spend in the big old white house on Valley Avenue with its kitchen and dining room windows framing her beloved Blue Mountains, her family said.
Some of Wreatha’s grade-school years and her high-school years were spent at Yakima, Wash. She was a graduate of Yakima Valley Academy and went on to major in English at Walla Walla College.
The college was a conservative Christian school where dancing was prohibited. Wreatha was delighted when a couple of her much-adored male cousins sneaked her out and taught her the Charleston.
In 1935, a chance stop in Baker for car repairs led Wreatha’s family to accept an invitation to the Hudson ranch for dinner. There she met the family’s son, Albert, who was home from college for the weekend. An afternoon hike in the Pine Creek area ended with Wreatha commenting, “Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a place like this!” As fate would have it, she became Mrs. Al Hudson on June 4, 1938.
Wreatha taught shorthand when she and her new husband answered a call to Enterprise Academy in Kansas. She worked as an assistant postmaster while Albert attended Walla Walla College. And around 1950, she greatly enjoyed a stint as city editor of the Baker Democrat-Herald (today’s Baker City Herald). She assisted Albert in running Hudson Printing Co. as long as they owned the business.
Writing, working in her yard and being involved with her church family were Wreatha’s greatest joys. She shared her writing talents with many by compiling creative biographies, family and local history, memorial folders and holiday plays.
She authored a devotional book, “Psalm 23, The Sheepherder, You and Me!” and a book on Baker County history, “Baker County with Sheep on a Thousand Hills.” She loved planning and decorating for any special occasion at the church: weddings, showers, birthday celebrations or just potlucks.
Wreatha was a lifelong member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and had a special love for working with the church’s young people. She was renowned among that group for her school plays, Sabbath school programs, teaching the books of the Bible and conniving creative outings to her favorite Baker County sites.
Her family said that as her life’s final chapter has reached its end, she joins Paul in saying, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
Survivors include her son, Larry Hudson of College Place, Wash.; her daughter and son-in-law, LaVelle and Dick Ernest of Wilder, Idaho; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; her brother and sisters-in-law, Duane and Lucile Cole of Sequim, Wash.; and her sisters and brother-in-law, Charlotte and Carl Loewen of Merced, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Lyndell; and her husband, Albert.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, September 20, 2006
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor