Oneida (WSYR-TV) -- He dedicated more than three decades to the City of Oneida in the fire department and most currently, at City Hall. Oneida Mayor Donald Hudson passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 56.
Hudson started as a firefighter in the early 1980s and would remain there for 30 years, eventually rising to fire chief and holding the post until last year.
“What I remember most is how Don loved to have fun and how much he loved to laugh. He was very dedicated to his family and he always looked out for his men here too because we were his family,” said Jim Dalzell with the Oneida Fire Department.
Dedicated to Oneida, Hudson hoped to make a difference in people’s lives as Mayor. Hudson was sworn-in in January and worked right up until the end. Those who worked with him say he was one of Oneida’s best. He had a great sense of humor and a willingness to work with anyone, no matter their political affiliation.
“Don was very open minded and always wanted to think outside the box and think, ‘what’s going to be best for Oneida,’ and that was a pleasure to be able to work with someone like that,” said Oneida Common Councilor Helen Acker.
The city will keep Hudson's memory alive by inscribing his name on a wall at the fire department. He will join other retired career firefighters who have dedicated their services to the Oneida Fire Department.
Calling hours for Hudson will be held on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and again on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kalets Civic Center on North Main Street. A funeral service will take place at the same location at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Right now, the deputy mayor will step in as acting mayor in Oneida until an election is held in November of next year.