Marion- Thomas Jerald Hudgens, age 76, of Marion, passed away at 9:46pm on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at Heartland Regional Medical Center.
Tommy was born at home to Samuel Thomas and Helen Irene (Stroud) Hudgens on February 17, 1944 in Marion. The youngest of three children, he was adored by his parents and his two sisters, Barbara and Judy. He was part of a very large family, the Owens, the Strouds, the Pulleys, and the Hudgens, developing a lifetime interest in family and becoming the family historian. He was always happy to share his knowledge of family and friends as well as Southern Illinois’ legend and lore.
Thomas started school at the age of 5 in 1950 and graduated high school in 1962. He developed a lifelong love of books and collected many over the years covering the Civil War and World War II in which his father fought and for which Tom was very proud. He honored God and country and was a patriotic soul.
A member of Third Baptist Church in Marion all of his life, he continued attending until his health began to fail in 2019. He had many faithful friends who remained loyal throughout his life as he was a faithful friend to all.
Thomas loved country music, especially Hank Williams, with his favorite song being “I Saw the Light” and PBS was his favorite television channel where he leaned much and shared with anyone who listened.
Tom was a delight and found many friends at the Voyage (River to River), Senior Citizens, and the Heartland Rehab Center. For those interested in his residence, he would say, “I’ll put in a good word for ya!”
This year, Tom celebrated Christmas with Jesus, his beloved nephew, Mark, his mom and dad, Barry, Barbara and Jim, and extended family at the heavenly table. He passed on the news, looked into the face of Jesus, wore his new body, stepped into his heavenly home, and rejoiced with his lifelong friend, Jesus.
He left behind his loving sister, Judy Arnold, his beloved niece and her husband, Sally and Joe Pearce, and a host of family and friends to celebrate his wonderful life and sweet soul. They will never, never forget him and if it is your pleasure he will put in a good word for ya!
Graveside services will be held at 1pm at Rose Hill Cemetery on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with final arrangements. Family and friends are asked to gather directly at the cemetery. Due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, social distancing and the wearing of masks will be required.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Marion Third Baptist Church, Hospice of Southern Illinois, or the Voyage.
For more information, or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.hughesfuneralhomes.com