BRISTOL BITS: Centennial celebration today for WWII dump truck driver

Published on Friday, 11 May 2018 21:37
Written by Bob Montgomery

Staff Writer

Deacon Joseph Hudson turned 100 years old yesterday, May 10, 2018. Born in Fairfield, Alabama, in 1918 to sharecropper parents, he is the eldest son of 11 siblings.

As a WWII veteran, he served as a driver in the Dump Truck Brigade, traveling through France, Italy and the Philippines to transport supplies and soldiers to the front line in Germany. He was honorably discharged with the title of technician fifth grade 2709th Engineer Dump Truck Company in 1946, and later moved his family to Bristol for a better life.

He worked as a caster at Bristol Brass Corporation for 32 years and upon its closure took the position of crossing guard for the City of Bristol where he retired after nearly 20 years of service.

He is widower to his wife of 66 years, Laura Mae Bufford Hudson, and father to five children; Minnie Jean, Joseph Jr., Barbara Ann, Linda Shearly, and Robert Charles.

He has been a deacon at Second Baptist Church, New Britain, for over 50 years. His hobbies in his younger years were playing baseball, fishing and hunting. Deacon Hudson still lives in Bristol with his youngest son and daughter. On Saturday, May 12, 2018, his three children are planning a private 100th birthday party celebration to be held at Nuchie’s Restaurant in Forestville from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Catherine (Curtin) Vanden Heuvel

Catherine Vanden Heuvel, 86, passed away Monday evening and was mentioned Wednesday when the Korean War Veterans Association met for their weekly meeting. She was the widow of John “Uncle Sam” Vanden Heuvel, who started up the Korean War group as a former Navy man. In unofficially speaking on behalf of the association here, our most sincere condolences to the family, one which leaves its mark in Bristol.

John Benoit

I was recently told that John Benoit retired from Pepsi Cola after 50-plus years. John, a man who many know, is a standout bowler who wore shorts year-round when delivering his soda around town. John, enjoy your retirement, because you are one of the good guys.

Jim Lincoln

I’m told that Jim, who now operates Lincoln Landscaping out of Bristol, was once a standout golfer in high school here in the early 1980s. I plan to interview him sometime in the future.

Bristol Press rewind 1888

(120 years ago)

M.L. Tinker is preparing to build a house on the new street north of and parallel with Prospect Street. His barn is already up but he has not yet given the contract for the house to anyone because the joiners are all full of jobs for the season. The new street has not yet been christened, but there seems to be the thought of calling it Merriman Street. The Merriman family at one time owned a great deal of property in this area.

Did you know?

Tom Downs, a late 1960s graduate of Bristol Eastern, has been with the Mirage Fastpitch Softball organization in Connecticut for a number of years. A tennis buff in high school, Tom has coached and been a member of the Mirage board of directors for many years.

Write to Bob Montgomery, The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-973-1808 or email:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 11 May 2018 21:37. Updated: Friday, 11 May 2018 21:39.