Larry Wayne Hudson, age 61, was born in San Manuel in March 1959, and passed away on Dec. 13, 2020 at Oro Valley Hospital after a long battle with colon cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary Hudson (Verdugo); children, Gabriel Hudson (Ana), David Hudson (JaNet), and Jennifer Hudson Orso (Scott); his grandchildren, James Hudson, Brooklyn Walker, Gabriel Hudson Jr., Kirra Orso, Jocelyn Hudson, Emily Collins and Juliana Hudson; his mother, Mary Lou Hudson; and sisters, Sonya Justice (Dennis) and Janet Gutierrez (Victor). He is preceded in death by his daughter, Monica Hudson, and his father, M. Valton Hudson.
Larry proudly retired from the US Navy as a Chief Petty Office, Fire Control (missiles) serving from 1982 until 2003. He finished basic training in August 1982 and then completed Basic Electricity and Electronics School in San Diego and then on to IT “A” School in Great Lakes, AN/SPG-55B School in Mare Island. His service sent him around the world on the USS Leahy CG-16, ASS Halsey CG-23, USS Scott DDG 995, USS Paul E. Foster DD964. In between those deployments, he served the country as an instructor in Mare Island and San Diego. A favorite assignment took him and his family to White Sands Missile Range.
Though the USN took him to parts of the world he might have only dreamed of, his was always drawn back to his beloved hometown of San Manuel. When he retired from 22 years of naval service, he returned to his beloved San Manuel though the mine closed down. He worked as a corrections officer in Florence and a few years later, he worked at Raytheon until his health forced his early retirement.
Despite 22 years of a career dedicated to the ocean, Larry grew up in, and loved the desert. He had a fondness for his home town that brought his family back to try to replicate the childhood he had and to be near his parents and other extended family.
When he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in March 2016, he braved his trials with fortitude and a can-do spirit, eventually earning the title of “Mayor” of the infusion center for his role in encouraging newcomers in facing their fears and rising to meet the challenges of survival. He was a constant cheerleader for all his fellow patients and a “thorn in the side” (in a good way) of the nurses and other employees at Arizona Oncology who became extended family to him through his 4 ½ year battle.
Visitation was Dec. 19 and restricted to family due to the pandemic. The memorial service will be held on a future date that will comply with the lifting of restrictions and all who knew Larry and wish to celebrate his life will be honored and welcome. Stay tuned for information.