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ABSAROKEE — Gene Russell Hudson, 86, of Absarokee, passed away Saturday evening, Jan. 14, 2012, at Beartooth Manor, where he had resided for the past two years.

He was born April 29, 1925, to Hattie Chute and Ernie Hudson on their Grove Creek Ranch, of which he was the second youngest of six children.

He enlisted in the Navy and had a rank of fireman first class from Dec. 27, 1944, to July 20, 1946, on ships USS Propus and USS Lavaca and spent time in China and Japan, being discharged Oct. 8, 1946.

He was married in 1947 to Rose Lehner and they had three sons, Gary, Clay and Keith, and later divorced. He married Helen Yates on Dec. 18, 1968.

He worked at the Chrome Mine as a miner until it closed and then worked at Timberweld in Columbus and later moved to Snoqualmie, Wash., where he worked for Weyerhaeuser for 27 years and then retired and he and Helen moved to Absarokee.

He loved to pull pranks and tell jokes and he enjoyed going to Wendover, Elko and Deadwood to gamble. Watching little children play and going out to eat were some of his greatest enjoyments, but traveling was his favored enjoyment, going to Alaska, Hawaii and the East Coast, especially Branson and Nashville.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, his biggest sidekick of 43 years; his sons, Gary of Absarokee, Keith of North Bend, Wash.; and four grandchildren, Vanessa, Anna, Tuesday and Josh; and two great-grandchildren.

Those preceding him in death were his parents; a brother Herb; and sisters, Marguerite Harsha, Gertie Black, Dorothy Holmes and Lois Heit.

Gene was a member of the VFW for many years.

Memorials are suggested to Absarokee Volunteer Fire Department or charity of choice.

Services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at Absarokee Community Congregational Church. Interment will be in the Rosebud Cemetery with military honors.

Smith Funeral Chapel-Columbus assisted with arrangements.

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