November 1, 1930 – July 27, 2020
Barbara Hatch Hudson 1930 - 2020
Being honest, it’s hard to imagine how we can keep up our self-esteem without Mom here to tell us that we are perfect … or at least that our kids are. Barbara loved family above all else. We loved her and we always knew that she loved us.
Mom took the circumstances and the life trajectory she was given and altered it to fit her vision of what she wanted for her life and for her family. She took a difficult childhood with few models to follow and together with her young husband created a home where we felt safe and loved and where we wanted to be. She took an incomplete education and made it her lifelong passion to pursue knowledge by every means available to her, often putting to shame students in her college classes that were many decades younger. She intentionally expanded her sphere from local to global through travel in search of meaningful, mind-expanding experiences, each one adding richness and color to her understanding of this global community of connected people.
Mom received most joy from, sharing experiences that were meaningful to her. She would do the work to set it up and then observe from the background and relish in the joy that unfolded as we discovered the experience that she had arranged for us.
She loved getting lost in new cities, encyclopedias and atlases, old movies, a well-prepared salad, antiques and gems, stock trading, BYU football, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, well-built pinewood derby cars, her cherished home in Alpine, and anything at all that her grandchildren were doing. She was a voracious reader – reading just as easily from the daily newspaper, current fiction, or the Biblical Archeology Review. She also had an aesthetic eye for beautiful objects both ancient and modern and wasn’t particularly picky about whether these things were found in a museum, a store, or being sold by a roadside peddler outside the bus window. Beautiful things simply “Called” to her.
Some things that she found to be absolutely hilarious were the descriptions of parenting in Erma Bombeck’s books, the song that played on our old Victrola that included the lyrics “there’s nothing surer, the rich get rich and the poor get children,” and the Peking Opera (they probably wouldn’t allow us back).
Her love drew us to her, but she also knew when it was best for us to take our own steps. She was independent and wanted us to be as well. She was always worried after our needs and empathetic right up until it was time to deliver the “buck up” talk … at which she had no equal. She was proper and proud and it was best to do things correctly. She was fiercely loyal of her loved ones; her trust, not given easily, could rarely be regained if lost.
She probably didn’t love camping or vacations in the dirt, but she would do anything for family time. We camped in Canyonlands, at the family Sheep Camp, down the Burr Trail, in the mountains above Alpine, and even in Timbuktu. She probably also didn’t love riding motorcycles, but she always went with us even if her Honda 90 speed was, by our estimation, “zero miles per hour with the brakes on.”
Most cherished of all were her yearly trips to Torrey with every Grandchild who would go. No Grandpa. No Parents. No Rules. Only dirt and arrowheads and waterfalls and climbing around the canyons. Nobody could say no to her Grandkids in Torrey and the result was lifetime memories, great adventures, and a fair amount of trouble. Could any Grandchild ever forget Grandma’s intense and penetrating eyes during a solemn game of “Murder in the Dark” in Torrey?
More than anything she loved her husband Blaine who passed away only three months ago. She couldn’t bear to live without him. Their storybook love affair lasted 73 years. They were partners in building a business, raising eight children, and modeling a rich life of experience and possibility for all posterity.
Barbara loved her sisters Gerry and Yvonne as well as her dear friends including Tana, Jody, and especially Colleen and all of the “Walking Girls.”
We’re sure that as Mom is starting her journey beyond, she’s letting other travelers know that “they have all earned this vacation and that no-one has the right to spoil it for anyone else.”
We love you Mom.
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