Very few people know this, but this last year I started a scholarship memorial fund for a grandfather, that even my father, never knew. Around 6 months ago, my brothers, sister, and I discovered we had a Grandpa Leonard. He had a challenging life that started with his adoption as a young boy. Then, there were many complications from injuries upon his return from the war. Leonard had just finished his student teaching with a third grade class before he finally lost his battle. At that point, the students and faculty created a $150 scholarship fund and the first recipient was awarded back in 1949. I could only find information for 2 years following. I’m not sure what happened to the fund after that. Anyway, it was a really neat experience digging through the old articles and trying to piece together where our name came from.
In honor of this, I felt it was appropriate to re-create the Leonard Hudson Memorial Scholarship last December (adjusted for inflation, of course!). In line with the original requirements and the type of person we believe he was, this scholarship is aimed at students who offer leadership potential, a breath of interests, and a skill in working with children.
I’m pleased to announce that just last week, we had our first applicant chosen! The scholarship will be awarded by the Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation on May 26, 2015. The foundation noted the following :
“he’s a young man majoring in economics and minoring in psychology. He spent two years as a Technology Student Association State Officer as part of a six person leadership team. He was a member of the national honor society for three years, worked for two years as a special needs camp counselor, and spent two years coaching a boys’ soccer team. He was also captain of various sports teams in high school. He sounds like an extremely well rounded young man with good leadership skills and an interest in working with children.”
Gotta say, I just think this is really cool. Congratulations to whomever you are! Now, I can’t wait for next year so the foundation can award another deserving young person. Depending how things go, maybe I’ll be able to fund two awards. That’d be cool too. I’ll keep working at it.
“A SCHOLARSHIP FOR COURAGE.”
Leonard G. Hudson
May 29, 1921 – April 13, 1949
If this can be termed “tribute,” then it is a tribute to one man’s courage. To the courage that it took to overcome a broken home; to the courage that took him before he had reached the age of twenty to the battlefields of World War II; and finally to the courage it took to become a guide and inspiration to others.
Leonard’s earliest childhood was in a disrupted home. He was adopted by the Hudson’s at thirteen. As a member of the Mt. Vernon National Guard, he was mobilized in September 1940. It was overseas in the Battle of Leyte in 1944, where Leonard Hudson lay unattended for 48 hours with shrapnel in his right shoulder. Quiet with courage, Leonard waited until the corpsmen arrived to take him home to face his greatest battle. The shrapnel wound became cancer, and Leonard underwent operation after operation having his right arm and shoulder amputated. You wouldn’t have known that. Leonard didn’t talk about those things. Facing this challenge head on, he went on to attend Western Washington University on the GI Bill to learn to become a teacher.
A husband and father with three children, he continued to go to classes and work, with a will and courage trumpeted by too many and possessed by too few. Leonard learned to do more with his left hand than most do with both hands. He faced each day with courage and lived to the fullest. In his studies he wrote “I shall not be a teacher, but a guide. I shall try to show the child the wisdom of relying on himself. I will try to show how to do a thing rather than tell.” He delighted in helping eager young minds grow, and in turn they loved him because he made their paths straighter.
In April 1949, Leonard passed into immortality, leaving behind a legacy of courage and faith that will never die.
“God grant that courage like yours not be lost to the world.” – G.P. February 4, 1949