Kay Hudson, 83, died on Aug. 24, 2020. She was born Feb. 24, 1937, in Vinton, Iowa, the daughter of Wilbur and Florence (Kirkpatrick) Williams. She grew up in Roodhouse, Ill., and then graduated from Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo. She attended Christian College in Columbia for two years, then graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Drake University.
Kay married immediately after graduation, on June 13, 1959, in Des Moines, to David Hudson. Together David and Kay moved to Chicago, where David attended
the University of Chicago and she worked as a church secretary at Hyde Park United Church of Christ. After David's graduation, they moved to Lakeville, Ind., where, in addition to being a full-time mother, she taught third-grade at the local school, successfully taking over a troubled third-grade class, which had had four teachers in fewer than two months. After two years in Rockford, Ill., they moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where Kay began work as an administrator in the University of Iowa registrar's office, a career which she pursued for 15 years. In 1985, she resigned this position to return to school at the university. In 1994, she was awarded the Ph.D. in English literature with a specialty in medieval studies. Her dissertation was a study of the works of Walter Hilton, medieval English mystic. After graduation, she discovered that there was very little demand for a
newly minted 53-year-old female English teacher, so she returned to her first love, music, and taught piano for 12 years before finally retiring in 2006. In retirement, she has been a voracious reader, and has continued to enjoy her love for classical music. After her own children were grown, she unexpectedly returned to parenting, providing a home for four granddaughters for eight years, and later a home for three grandsons for nine years. Throughout all her years in Iowa City, she has been a member and leader in her congregation, First Christian Church, serving in various capacities as deacon, elder, board chairwoman and other positions.
She is survived by her husband; her twin brother, Vincent (Pat) Williams; three daughters, Jennifer (Steve) Todd, Laura (Allen) Kittrell and Beth (Andy) Wheeler; nine grandchildren, Ann Myers (John McIntosh), Jessica Myr ("Dax"), Susanna Myr ("Jaspin"), Joanna (Jullian) Johnson, Blake (Aleesa) Kittrell, Morgan (James) Estabrook, Dylan Wheeler, David (Gabbie) Wheeler and Alex Wheeler; and two great-grandchildren, Briella Kittrell and Bennett Kittrell.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and three brothers, Charles Williams, Robert Williams and James Williams.
She willed her body to the Anatomy Department at the University of Iowa, and has urged others to do the same in the hope of furthering medical research and education.
Private family memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service. Memorial gifts may be made in her name to the First Christian Church.
Kay's memorial service will be livestreamed. To view the services, please search "Remembering Kay Hudson" on Facebook and request to join the group. You will be able to watch the service live as well as after the services are complete. To share a though, memory or condolence with her family, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.