After setting records on the track, serving in World War II and educating young minds in North Louisiana, Billy Hudson was laid to rest in late July at the age of 97.
The Northwestern State N-Club Hall of Famer excelled on the track and in football during the mid-1940s after serving in the Army Air Force from 1942 to the end of World War II.
Hudson, inducted into the N-Club Hall of Fame (NSU athletics’ highest honor) in 2004, held the program’s 440-yard dash record for 23 years.
He never lost a high school, military or collegiate race in the 440, which included a dual meet with LSU along with setting the Gulf States Conference mark. Hudson started his career at LSU in track and football before the war.
Hudson, a runner on coach Walter Ledet’s track team from 1946-48 and a team captain in his final season, also played wingback on the football team.
After graduating in 1948, the Plain Dealing High graduate coached football at Ouachita and Haynesville high schools, winning multiple district championships.
In 1970, Hudson became a supervisor with the Bossier Parish School Board and retired in 1984.
Born in El Dorado, Arkansas, the Red Land native helped Plain Dealing to the football state championship game in 1939 and led the school to three state track championships.
Hudson served in Burma (modern-day Myanmar) for most of the war.
He was married to wife Marguerite for 67 years after meeting her at NSU and is survived by his daughter Brooke Walker, son-in-law Joe Walker and multiple grandchildren.
The Hudsons established an endowed scholarship at Northwestern State.
“God was good to me,” Hudson said in 2016 when he established the scholarship in honor of his wife. “Without getting my degree from Northwestern, there’s no telling what I would have ended up doing.
“I don’t think I would have been near as successful in other fields as I was in education. They did so much for me. I enjoyed the kids and all of the experiences in my education career.”