ST. PETERSBURG – Oradine Harris Willis Hudson went on to glory on May 14. The devoted member of the Faith Memorial Missionary Baptist Church family’s funeral service was held June 5 at Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church.
Mrs. Oradine was the youngest of three, was born on Nov. 14, 1939, in St. Petersburg to the late George L. Harris and Christine Dowdell. She graduated as an honor student from Gibbs High School in 1958 and went on to attend Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M, where she was a member of the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc., formally inducted into the Gamma Micron Chapter.
She was the first Black layperson from St. Petersburg to receive MAPP training to work with foster and adopted children. She was also the first Black person in St. Petersburg to receive a certificate of distinction from Bridal Consultants of America. She became licensed and bonded, owning her own bridal business called Sha Sha’s Bridal Service.
Mrs. Oradine was employed with Pinellas County Schools and retired after more than 30 years of service. She worked for The Weekly Challenger newspaper for 11 years as a religious columnist, make-up artist and was head of the section known as The Cross and The Crown.
After retiring, she volunteered and was chairman for Pinellas Opportunity Council with the retired and senior volunteer program. She volunteered as a tutor for the youth at the Sanderlin Center and served as a secretary for Smith’s Funeral Home under Jerome Smith.
Mrs. Oradine didn’t let any grass grow under her feet. She was a member of the National Notary Association, Bible Guide of America, the NAACP, Future Business Leaders, Secretaries Guide of America, and One Church, One Child, Inc.
She was called upon to serve God through various committees and missionary societies. She was the founder of “Duals Day,” which remains among local churches and has been circulated in other cities. As she continued to share her faith through ministry, she was a member of Life Study Fellowship and a charter member of Faith Memorial Baptist Church.
As a member of Faith Memorial, she served in several positions, including usher board, church secretary, member of the Missionary Society, church clerk/bookkeeper, and chairperson of nominating various committees, bringing “Duals Day” and other events to the church.
Her devotion to Faith Memorial led her to be portrayed in the religious drama “Footprints of Jesus.” She remained active in the church by writing speeches, greetings, and spoke for numerous religious programs at various churches throughout Florida.
Before answering the call to come home, she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and was married to the late William Charles Hudson. Mrs. Oradine leaves behind to cherish her memory daughters Lisa Hudson, Lynda Woodson (Rev. Steve Hudson), Kathleen Thames (Levell Thames), Loretta Jackson (Tommie Jackson); daughter-in-law Sylvia Hudson, and adopted son Ronald Nicholson. She also leaves behind countless loving grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews, a host of beloved relatives, extended family, and dear friends.