Jimmy Ray Hudson
1943 - 2021
Jimmy Ray Hudson of Valparaiso, lost his battle of 11 years with Parkinson’s Disease on April 9, 2021. He was 78 years old. He was born on April 8, 1943 at Opp, AL to Merle Hudson Williamson. He attended Choctawhatchee High School in Shalimar, where he met and married his sweetheart, Carolyn “Bunny” Stewart Hudson, of Valparaiso. After graduating from Officer’s Training School at Fort Bragg, NC, and Flight Training at Fort Rucker, AL, he proudly served his country in the Army for 15 years as an aviator and flight instructor. He served overseas with two tours in Korea and a tour in South Vietnam. During his military career, he was awarded numerous medals, including The Distinguished Flying Cross, for heroism while flying the Bird Dog Cessna aircraft as a Forward Observer for reconnaissance in the Vietnam War, where he accumulated over 1200 hours of combat missions. After his overseas tours, he was stationed as a helicopter, fixed wing and chinook training instructor at Fort Rucker, AL.
Jimmy returned to the area in 1977, opening several bar and liquor businesses in Niceville, Crestview and Okaloosa Island. In 2001, Jimmy’s love of golf landed him with a Sales Representative career with Edwin Watts Golf until his retirement in 2009. He slayed every golf course from Destin to Vegas. He was a member of Crosspoint Church in Niceville, FL. His faith and family were precious to him.
Jimmy is survived by his wife, Bunny Hudson; daughter, Cindy (Jerry) Campbell; niece, Tona (Jason) Brown; nephew, Ched (Lori) Hudson; sister-in-law, Martha Bass; niece, Carlie (Jeffrey) Gintoli; nephew, Teddy Bass; niece, Julie Baccadutre (Darryl Frazier); nephew, Craig (Jennifer) Baccadutre; great niece, Courtney Shealy; and numerous family members and friends. Jimmy was preceded in death by his mother, Merle Williamson; brother, Chubby Hudson; and sister, Marti Wilkinson.
A private family Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. The family would like to thank the staff of Westwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center of Fort Walton Beach for their care and consideration during this time. If you desire to remember him, you may contribute to Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, FL in Jimmy’s honor. Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com
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