COMMUNITY stalwart Kathleen Hudson has died aged 82 after a short illness.
Kathleen (née Wood), born in Greenfield on July 13, 1938, was the wife of Saddleworth Parish and Oldham Borough councillor John Hudson.
The devoted couple, who lived in Greenfield, were married in 1960. They have two daughters, Claire and Deborah, and one granddaughter, Courtney.
They celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary in 2020 with 100 friends at Uppermill Civic Hall, and their 61stanniversary earlier this month.
Both dedicated their lives to serving the community and helping good causes.
John, 81, and originally from Mossley, has served as a Saddleworth Parish councillor for more than four decades and also a borough councillor, always with Kathleen by his side.
Kathleen, who died on January 11, 2021, was the Saddleworth Parish Council’s Chairman’s Lady four times and also the Lady Mayoress of Oldham in 2013/14.
During Cllr Hudson’s spells as chairman of the Parish Council, Kathleen led the charity committee, raising £59,500 for a variety of good causes.
And as Mayor and Mayoress they put in a staggering amount of energy and time into hosting visits and attending local schools and engagements, raising £50,468 for local charities and good causes.
Kathleen also chaired the local Conservative Ladies Group for many years.
Pam Byrne, a long-time friend of the couple, said: “Kathleen’s death is a great shock to so many of us.
“Kathleen was not only John’s wife, partner but his reflection,” said Councillor Byrne. “For those of us who have known them over many years their ‘domestics’ as a route to John agreeing with Kathleen were legendary.
“No one was prouder than Kathleen when John was awarded his OBE and the visit to Buckingham Palace for the presentation by the Queen was a highlight which she enjoyed so much.
“She enjoyed meeting people and always accompanied John to the Citizenship Ceremonies.
“There are so many funny stories about Kathleen and we are going to miss her.
“As Chairman’s Lady, she led the charity committee but always served on this committee whoever was Chairman and helped to raised thousands of pounds.
“She again led the Mayor’s fundraising committee when John was Mayor, raising together a record amount for charity.”
Cllr Jamie Curley, former Chairman of Saddleworth Parish Council, added: “We are still in shock following the passing of our dear friend Kathleen.
“She will be missed greatly by so many people in Saddleworth whose lives she touched.
“She was a huge figure within the Chairman’s Charity Committee and was part of a huge fundraising effort every year to raise money for local charities and was generous with her time, effort and spirit.
“She was a great help to Deborah and I during my time as Chairman and nothing was ever too much trouble.
“A constant presence by the side of her husband John, she gave freely of her time to help out in the community and support John in his service of the community either as ward councillor or during the four times he was Parish Council Chairman.
“Celebrating their 60th Anniversary last year was a special event and showed the great affection there was for this special couple.
“Kathleen’s sudden departure from all the lives she touched will leave a great sadness but many happy memories of a dear friend and lovely lady will remain.”
Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Kathleen’s passing.
“Kathleen radiated warmth and kindness. She was truly devoted to the people of Oldham and has, along with John, raised extraordinary amounts for charity throughout their years of service to the borough.
“Her loss will be felt by many and I pass my sincere condolences onto John, their two daughters and their other family and friends.”
No arrangements have been confirmed for Kathleen’s funeral as the Independent went to print but it is expected to be a small occasion to conform to coronavirus guidelines.