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Barbara Shook Hudson
November 15, 1925 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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At the age of 97, Barbara Shook Hudson began her latest travel on October 2, 2023, bidding farewell in the company of her daughter, Victoria. Although she had been physically limited in recent months Barbara's curiosity about the world around her remained unceasing. A world traveler when younger she brought back mementos and stories from Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Ireland...to name just a few.
Born on November 15, 1925 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Robert and Marguerite Shook, Barbara Anne demonstrated an independent spirit from her earliest days, once being tied to a tree to keep her from running into the street. But Barbara found other ways to keep life exciting. She attended Grand Rapids Public Schools, and graduated from Central High School in 1943. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Michigan State University, followed by a Masters degree from MSU in Elementary Education. She was briefly married and gave birth to her daughter, Victoria Anne. She returned to Grand Rapids and worked for a time for a local advertising agency before beginning a career as an elementary school teacher.
She was a working single mother at a time in history when this was not always admired,. With the support of her parents she raised a strong, confident daughter and later played a significant role in raising her daughter's children.
Like most teachers, Barbara was more than just a classroom presence. She took interest in her students, making sure they were cared for in every way possible. Like Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree," Barbara always made herself available when one of her kids needed a bit more than a smile. Her teaching philosophy was underscored by her belief that "most of all each child deserves to be loved."
During her 24-year teaching career Barbara took a sabbatical to became program coordinator for the Multi-Ethnic Inservice Teacher Training (METIN) program at Grand Valley State Colleges (now GVSU). The program trained over 150 Grand Rapids Public School teachers in reading methodology and multiethnic awareness.
Barbara retired from the GRPS but not from life. Her travels grew to include taking her grandchildren on trips around the U.S. and to lengthy summer stays at a cottage at Grand Haven, memories of which remain among her family's fondest. She made time to volunteer for the Church of Christ Scientist, the Women's City Club, Civic Theatre, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the League of Women Voters, the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Porter Hills Women's Board, Blandford Nature Center. and many others when they asked. She served as a tutor to young people beginning their lives as U.S. citizens. And she gave money as well as talent. In a given week if she received 20 pieces of mail, 15 contained either thank-yous or requests from the many organizations she supported. It could be said that no one among her family and friends was in want for a calendar or a tote bag.
Barbara was an avid reader and was especially fond of mysteries. Her own life remained an open book, and she embraced all of it and all the people in it with open arms, from her son-in-law GF Korreck, her grandchildren Jacob Korreck, Whitney (David) Posthumus, and Quinn Korreck, her great grand-children Evelyn and Darren Posthumus, to the many friends and acquaintances she made.
As per her request a celebration of Barbara's life will be held in early November. Details are forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers Barbara's wishes are that people support the charities she endorsed: St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, The Carter Center, St. Labre Indian School, and The World Wildlife Fund.