Louise Hight Hudson, age 88, died peacefully in the early hours of December 21, 2019 in Cincinnati, OH. She is survived by son Paul Brinton Hudson, his wife Janie (Newkirk) and his sons Michael, Walter and Wyatt and by son Gareth (Gary) Yeager Hudson, his wife Lauren (Slibeck) and their children Isabelle, Sophie, Celie, Steiner and Fitzgerald Hudson. Louise is also survived by her younger brother George Hight and his wife Jamie of Grapevine TX, their children as well as nieces and nephews from Louise’s late elder sister Jean Stains (Wiles).
Louise was born August 26, 1931 in the shadow of the Mississippi River levee in Arkansas City, AR to Feree and Margaret Hight (Matthews). Her school years were spent in Pine Bluff, AR after which she attended Millsaps College in Jackson, MS where she graduated with honors in Geology and Education. In the college choir, she met a tall, handsome tenor named Yeager Hudson of Pine Springs, MS who was studying for the Methodist ministry. They wed on December 20, 1953 in Jackson, MS and were married until Yeager's death in 2007. A polite and respectful young woman, Louise remained very much an independent thinker. She formulated a way to avoid violating state laws prohibiting mixed-race gatherings in Mississippi and crossed state lines to Arkansas to gather in fellowship with young African American women from another church.
Louise encouraged that she and Yeager leave the racially segregated south after graduation in 1954. That fall, Yeager pursued doctoral studies in Philosophy and Theology at Boston University sharing a common mentor with Martin Luther King Jr. The ideas circulating the classrooms and student-faculty dinner parties solidified core values of justice and equality which Louise held dear for the rest of her life. In Boston, Louise also fed an amateur interest in astronomy through work at Harvard Observatory on the Mars Project and watched excitedly as Walter Cronkite published her photos of the planet on the Evening News. Yeager received a Professorship at Colby College and in 1958 the couple made Maine their home, buying a small working farm that provided many of the family’s needs. Louise and Yeager developed a love for India, spending a sabbatical year there in the late 1960s on a Fulbright scholarship and returning many times for research, writing and friendships.
Louise would describe her sons as “her life’s work” and poured her energy into them. She involved her children as she advocated for social justice through the United Nations Association and various organizations of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Louise worked outside the home as an elementary teacher, draftsman and Hospice caregiver. She ground mirrors to make her own telescopes, gathered and polished gems, and harvested and ate wild mushrooms. She reveled in nature and often exercised her notorious green thumb, once calmly convincing a mail-order nursery to send a peach tree to Maine, which triumphantly produced 96 peaches one year. She continued a love of oil painting developed in college until her death and participated in several writing groups, ultimately publishing a 300-page monograph of essays and remembrances.
Far more than any activity or intellectual pursuit, she was known for her loving kindness to all God’s creatures. Her beautiful smile and otherworldly serenity left an indelible impression on those she met.
A celebration of the life of Louise Hight Hudson will be held on Saturday December 28th at 10:00 AM at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Cincinnati, 536 Linton St. Reception to follow at the church from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Flowers may be directed to Moore Family Funeral Home in Newtown, 6708 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45224 if delivered on Friday or to the church if delivered Saturday morning after 8:00 AM. Louise’s favorite charities were the Heifer Project (www.heifer.org) and Darkness to Light (www.D2L.org) and any gift to one of those in lieu of flowers would be a blessing. Remembrances of Louise’s life would be welcomed sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.