John Edward Hudson: He Received ‘the Purple Heart and Further Decorations for Marksmanship and Bravery’

This section includes both obituaries and memories. Honoring our loved ones who have died does not end immediately after their passing. We recognize that… so we’re extending our obituary section to include individuals who may have left a long time ago. If you want to remember someone who is gone, either recently or longer ago, please send a photo and a few sentences to

John Edward HudsonJohn Edward Hudson was born in Gainesville, Georgia, to the union of the late Robert G. Hudson and Johnnie Mae (Hudson) Harrison on May 5, 1944. John was the second-oldest of nine children.

In 1954, the family relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. John took advantage of this change to explore his new surroundings in the “North” and begin his transformation into the person he wanted to be.

In 1960, John attended John Adams High School. He was often criticized for his style of dressing (sear sucker trousers, stiffly starched shirts, and high-heel boots) but John was never phased; he was on a mission. His younger siblings appreciated his flare and often asked their big brother for help tying their neckties and guidance on how to dress for dates or special occasions. He truly was a big brother and a personal stylist!

In 1965, John served in the Vietnam War, assigned to the First Air Cavalry Division, where his primary duty entailed rendering medical aid to his fallen comrades and providing continuity of care during air transportation to more stable locations. John was wounded during his tour of duty, receiving The Purple Heart and further decorations for marksmanship and bravery.

In 1966, John moved to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. There he continued his service as an evening supervisor for the Intravenous Therapy Department at Temple University Hospital. He never wavered in his professionalism or altruism at the hospital.

Relocating to San Francisco in the early 1970s, John worked as a short-order cook at various restaurants around the city, entering the San Francisco Culinary Academy in the early 1980s. Introduced to cooking as a child by his mother, Johnnie Mae, he became a well-respected chef, opening and managing a restaurant for Boz Scaggs in San Francisco. Throughout his entire lifetime, cooking was a passion and a way of celebrating and inviting others into his life.

Let’s engage in an exercise: Everyone close your eyes and imagine yourself at a potluck. Look on the desert table and imagine a lemon tart, a pound cake and a beautifully designed cheesecake. Now take a slice and savor the flavors. Ummmmm, so good!!! Exercise complete. The only way to relive those special moments is via imagination.

In 2000, John moved to Eureka California, where he soon became a beacon of service, founding The Farmers’ Market AIDS Food Project and volunteering with the ‘Buddy Program’. Following a calling to a life of joyful service, John became a founding member of The Abbey of the Big Red Wood, the Eureka chapter of the worldwide order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, taking the name Sister Saturnalia. He became the supporting sister (mother) to a generation of nuns, including Sr. Nova Aggra, founder of the Crossroads Sisters in Indiana and currently Mistress of Novices in San Francisco. As a sister, Saturnalia wove his love of hospitality, his joy in service and his abiding faith in others into his work. Sister Saturnalia was a larger-than-life figure who was a dear friend, leader, mentor, confidant and beautiful person.

John departed this life on August 15, 2018, with his sister Sandra and brother Aaron Jeffrey at his side. He leaves to cherish his memory two sisters, Sandra A. Hudson and Jeanette Spencer, and two brothers, Taalib llaahee and Aaron Jeffery Hudson, and a host of extended family members, friends and sisters.

The family of the late John Hudson wishes to express their profound appreciation and gratitude to everyone for their love and support during our hours of sadness. Please know that everyone has been a source and strength. A special thanks to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for being at John’s side in a multitude of way. God bless, always.

There will a Celebration of Life on Sunday, September 23rd at the Bayside Community Hall (Bayside Grange). This event is a potluck and will start at noon. All who knew and loved John are welcome.



  • RIP John/Saturnalia

  • Rest In Peace Soldier, your tour is over. May the good lord take you by the hand and guide you to your next mission. Hoorah

  • My dear John, you were the pillar of this family, deeply loved and appreciated. It was pure joy having spent time with you this past May. Listening to your stories and your wisdom, you sharing your wonderful memories I will cherish forever. Celebrating 🎉 your 21st birthday 😄 with you was an honor and a privilege. Seeing the look on your face with your well deserved German Chocolate Cake made it even more memorable. I miss you John and your presence. Love you, John for eternity, RIH!

  • Welcome home and rest in peace.

  • Auntie John, I want to say “rest in heaven” but you have rested enough so I will say, Have fun in heaven…” and enjoy the rainbows. Thank you for being a sunflower and a beacon of light in our lives. I’m so glad that love never dies. Give my father Hugh, a big hug for me. I’m glad that you were only a part for just a few months and now you have him, grandpa and grandpa and Joe and Phillip and Robbie and every one else for a lifetime. I can’t wait to see you again. With love, your niece, Auntie Sonya.

  • I met John at the Eureka dog park. Although I only knew him casually, he was such a sweet, smart, outgoing, strong person. When I drove up I would eagerly look for his car in the parking lot first just to see if he was there. <3

  • Uncle John, as you would call me Auntie Nicki. Indeed you were a pillar in this family. I’m grateful I was able to visit for your birthday. Just being in your presence and listening to your halarious stories was enough. Your eyes said it all and always spoke volume. You were “Smizing”. I’ll miss when I tell you that I love you Uncle John. You would say, I love you more Nicki. I’m grateful that you’re at peace and no more pain. Rest easy Uncle John. Hug everyone for me. I bid you farewell till we meet again.

  • John,
    I will always remember our good times together. You were a friend to all. Cant say that about many people. Respect for your service and for being yourself. Thank you for being my friend.
    Brian Phelps

  • John, you claimed your blue berry cheesecake was so simple to make.
    It was the best.
    And special, to my mom, Irene.
    She requested it at her 90th birthday party.
    Thanks for brightening up my moms life and all of our lives.

  • I am glad to have known you. you always brightened up the day with a laugh, and a smile. You are missed.

  • We wish to express our sincere condolences to the Hudson Family and to John’s large community of dear and devoted friends. With sorrow, Chris and Irenia

  • RIP John Edward Hudson.
    Thank you for your service!

  • This is my favorite picture of John.

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