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Jean Grundberg Hudson, a former high-school guidance counsellor, devoted mother of three, and an active resident of the Laurel Lake retirement community, died March 18, 2023, while in hospice care in Laurel Lake’s nursing-care facility. She was 102.
She was born Jean Harland Billings on October 18, 1920, in Philadelphia. Her father, John Harland Billings, was a professor and department head of mechanical engineering at Drexel University; her mother, born Sibyl Stonehouse, was a homemaker. Both parents were born in Canada. Jean grew up in towns on the outskirts of Philadelphia and graduated from Drexel University with a BS in home economics in 1943. The same year she married a Drexel engineering student, Curtis Grundberg; they lived in New York City for the duration of World War II.
Jean taught home economics in Madison, Connecticut, and Mineola, New York, until the birth of her first child, Sibyl, in 1944. Her son John Andrew (Andy) was born in 1947 and her son Carl in 1952. All three children survive her.
After raising her children in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, at age 44 she returned to college and earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Delaware. She then worked as a guidance counselor at Marple-Newtown High School, near Philadelphia, for 22 years.
She was active in Coatesville as a volunteer leader in the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and participated in the affairs of the local Episcopal church, serving as a Sunday school teacher for many years.
After retiring in 1987 she traveled widely with her husband in Europe and Scandinavia and joined a trek in Nepal to within sight of Mount Everest. They also learned to sail and eventually were skilled enough to charter yachts to cruise around the Caribbean. After Curtis Grundberg died in 1992, she continued to see the world, visiting Alaska to walk on glaciers and kayak amongst a group of humpback whales. She also traveled to Maine and paddled on Penobscot Bay on annual summer trips with her children, starting in 1997.
In 2003 she married her second husband, William B. Hudson, a resident of Hudson, Ohio, and a lifelong friend from Drexel. They lived in Hudson at Laurel Lake and often spent time in the winter on Siesta Key near Sarasota, Florida. He predeceased her in 2015.
In addition to her three children Jean Hudson is survived by William and Maybelle Hudson’s two children, Paul Hudson and Diana Hudson-Taylor, and Paul’s three sons and their children, her sister-in-law, Helen Billings, and several nephews and nieces. Her sister Julia Billings Crothers and brother John Kimball Billings preceded her in death.
In lieu of flowers, donations made be made in Jean Hudson’s name to Northeast Ohio Hospice (northeastohiohealthservices.org) or to the Laurel Lake Foundation (laurellake.org).
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