Shaw & Sons Funeral Home
Paula Sue Hudon was born on December 19, 1951 in Moscow, Idaho to Arlene and Alfred Paul Rogers. She died peacefully at home on August 7, 2020 with family by her side. She was and is a model of courage, strength, and resiliency while battling cancer for over 18 years.
Paula was raised in Kennewick, Washington, graduating from Kennewick High School in 1970. She loved being active in extracurricular activities and you would often find her participating in the Benton County 4-H program, KHS band, or Rainbow among others. These experiences helped her develop her sewing, cooking, and canning skills that she would use throughout her lifetime.
Paula met Frederick “Rick” Hudon in 9th grade and they dated throughout high school and college. Rick was head over heels for her and still recounts hitch hiking from Washington State to New England to see her one summer during one of her internships. He would go to the ends of the earth for her, which was true until her last day. They married on August 24, 1974 after earning her Bachelor’s degree at Washington State University. She and Rick moved to California where she finished her internship training for dietetics while Rick served as a Seabee in the Navy. In 1976 they returned to Washington and established their home in Yakima where they had 2 children, began her career in nutrition, and was an active participant in her children’s education and extracurricular activities.
Paula was passionate about her career and the impact she could make in the community through nutrition services. She dedicated her time and talents serving as a dietitian nutritionist for local nursing homes, hospitals, and school nutrition programs in the Yakima area. Throughout her celebrated career, she served as a Registered Dietitian for Toppenish Hospital, Food Service Director for East Valley School District, Child Nutrition Director for West Valley School District, and Assistant Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Yakima School District. In the midst of working and being a mother, she went back to school to obtain her Master’s degree from Central Washington University. She served in various leadership roles for the Washington State Food Service Association and actively participated in the American School Food Service Association conferences. These conferences provided many opportunities to travel to new and exciting cities, which helped create lasting memories for her and her daughter who she often took with her. After retiring in 2004 she continued teaching, both at YVCC and CWU, and mentoring child nutrition professionals as a certified trainer.
At West Valley School District, she contributed to revolutionizing school nutrition. Between 1994-1997, West Valley was one of 34 districts nationwide selected to pilot a new method of menu development and nutrient analysis. Between 1994-1997, Paula’s team worked tirelessly on the project. Knowing Paula’s passion and energy for child nutrition, one can picture her spending countless hours poring over data and working to solve challenges. Paula’s team also worked with a software company to develop and pilot a new nutrient analysis program specific for child nutrition programs, a program that continues to be used widely today.
Paula will be remembered as a strong, fun, loving and outspoken woman who loved her family greatly and found strength in them as she persevered through her numerous health challenges. No matter the odds, she fought to be there for her children and their major life milestones including graduations, marriage, and becoming a grandma (3 times over). Paula was a crafter, a do-er, and someone who others admired for her can-do attitude. She was not afraid to take on any project, no matter the scope, and you could always count on her to put in the time to learn and see it through. She loved creating things, from beading to card making, scrapbooking, and ultimately quilting. Christmas memories throughout the years are remembered by the many personalized ornaments and cards she created. Over the last few years, Paula strengthened her passion in quilting by participating in the Quilters Guild of Yakima, providing her with a community that helped foster her creative spirit.
Paula is preceded in death by her parents Arlene and Alfred Paul Rogers. She is survived by her husband Rick Hudon of Yakima, son Travis (Katheryn) Hudon of Spokane, WA, daughter Katie (Scott) Coleman of Beaverton, OR, sister Linda Cashman of Keaau, HI, and brother Al Rogers of Kennewick, WA. She is also survived by 3 grandchildren, Walt, Alice and Margot.
A Service will be held in Celebration of Paula’s Life at a later date to be determined by her family. Shaw & Sons Funeral Home is caring for the family. Memories can be shared at www.shawandsons.com.