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Dr. Robert Hughes HudginsJune 6, 1917 ~ June 9, 2017 (age 100)
Dr. Robert Hughes Hudgins of Statesville, 100 years old, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 9, 2017. Bob was a retired veterinarian, one of the first in Iredell county. He and his wife moved to Statesville in 1949, when Doc, as he was affectionately called by his friends, joined the practice of Dr. OC Lynch. When Dr. Lynch retired, Bob set up practice on Davie Ave, treating both large and small animals until his retirement in 1986.
He was born to Hawkins McCall and Fannie May Lance Hudgins in Fletcher, NC on June 6, 1917. His siblings, all deceased, were Fred, Paul, and Harvey Robie Hudgins, and Blanche Hostetler. He is survived by one nephew, Harvey Hudgins of Thailand.
Doc was the first member of his family to attend college, getting his encouragement and financial support from Mr. Lykes who lived in the community. Doc first attended Mars Hill College before transferring to North Carolina State University, where he received his undergraduate degree. He then went to Auburn University (class of '48), and remembered vividly being met at the train by a man sitting in a wagon that was pulled by a mule. Doc's time at school made him realize the importance of education and he passed a love of learning to his children and grandchildren. To show his appreciation he contributed generously to both NC State and Auburn Universities.
Doc Hudgins was a proud World War II veteran, serving his country as a medical corpsman in Panama. One of the biggest thrills of his later life was visiting the WWII memorial in Washington as a participant in the Flight of Honor.
He was married to the former LaRue Pearce of Pilot, NC, and they had five children: Mrs. Bobby (Amelia) Walker of Olin, Mrs. James (Sue) Ligon of Statesville, Robert (Vicki) Hudgins Jr of Statesville, Dr. Jeffrey (Jennifer) Hudgins of Richmond VA, and John (Jan) Hudgins of Statesville, all of whom survive.
Doc is further survived by grandchildren Bill Walker(Lauren), Elizabeth Walker-Adkins (Gerald), Josh Hudgins (Tori); Will, Mac, and Jay Hudgins, Laura Hudgins and fiancé Tyler Messick, and Katie Hudgins. In addition, two great grandchildren survive: Rachel Lorena Hudgins and Walker Lowell Adkins, with twins expected in September. He is predeceased by his wife, who died in 1991, son-in-law Bobby Walker, and grandson Rob Hudgins. Doc was married to the former Ethel Deal after LaRue passed away, and they spent several happy years together before she died.
Doc was a member of First Baptist Church, Statesville, where he attended faithfully until his health declined. He was a charter member of the Statesville Exchange Club, serving in various leadership roles in that civic organization and attended Senior Friends at Davis hospital for many years. In addition, He and LaRue traveled in the latter years of their marriage, visiting places such as Alaska and Nova Scotia. One of Doc's greatest joys was working on his farm, tending to cows, making hay, repairing fences, and gardening. He had a strong work ethic and loved to sweat! Doc treated thousands of animals in Iredell and surrounding counties, and made many good friends along the way. His goal was to live to be 100, and he held on to make it. He lived a full and rich life, one which he could not have imagined as a young boy in the mountains of North Carolina.
A service to celebrate the life of Dr. Bob Hudgins will be held at First Baptist Church on Davie Avenue at 1:00 pm Friday, June 16, 2017 with Dr. Jack Causey officiating. The family will greet friends in Adams Hall after the service. To honor one of Doc's wishes, his body is being donated to science and will be cremated at a later date with his ashes placed beside those of his beloved LaRue on the family farm. The family wishes to thank the staff and employees of Jurney's of Statesville for the care shown to Dr. Bob for the past five years, and to Hospice for their kindness and help during Doc's last days.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be made to Baptist Children's Homes, PO Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family of Dr. RH Hudgins.
Baptist Children's Homes
P.O. Box 338, Thomasville NC 27361