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Long time Talkeetna resident and bush pilot Cliff Hudson dies

by Sue Deyoe ~ March 9th, 2010

I'LL FLY AWAY - Cliff Hudson in 1984 photo courtesy of the Hudson family

One of Talkeetna’s longest living residents, Cliff Hudson, died on Friday. His service is planned for Saturday with a community potluck at the Latitude 62 following the graveside service.

Pioneer Alaska bush pilot, Clifford Lowell Hudson, age 84, passed away March 5th at the Palmer Pioneer Home after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Cliff was born October 27, 1925 to Charles and Mina Hudson in Malott, Washington.  He graduated from school in 1944 and joined the Army leaving in 1946 with an Honorable discharge.  He arrived in Alaska in 1948 to join us brother Glenn and family who owned Hudson Air Service in Talkeetna.  Cliff took over the business after his brother lost his life in an airplane accident.  His love of Alaska and his love of flying, his skills, safety, integrity all took him through many years of happy and appreciative times working with all who met him.  In hisflying experiences he was involved in many, many rescues.  A DVD has been made about Cliff’s stories.

In 1996, Cliff was honored by the US Air Force when they presented him with their highest civilian honor, the Exceptional Service Award, the equivalent of the military’s Distinguished Service Medal, for his heroic actions that helped save the lives of six airmen in February of 1954.

He is survived by his wife Ollie, sons Bruce, Chuck and Scott, two grandsons, Dustin and Clifford, nieces, nephews, many relations and good friends.

The family would like to thank all the caretakers at the Pioneer Home for their wonderful care while he was there.

A memorial service will be held at 1 pm Saturday, March 13th at the Church on the Rock in Talkeetna.  Burial will take place along side his son, Jay, at the Talkeetna Cemetary immediately following the service.  Potluck dinner will follow the services – the place yet to be determined.

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