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Mr. Willis W. Hudson Sr.

Willis Hudson was a founding member of the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on October 6, 1947. A self-described ‘former town drunk of Berlin, Maryland”, Willis was instrumental not only in personally assisting hundreds of people who struggled to recover through the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, but also in bringing clinical treatment of addiction to the Eastern Shore.


In his over 48 years of recovery, Willis came to see clearly that medical and clinical support for those who suffer from this terrible disease was imperative. To that end, he worked tirelessly both as a County Commissioner and at the State level to provide the initial funding necessary to open the “Willis W. Hudson Center” on the grounds of the State’s Deer’s Head Hospital in Salisbury.


His legacy of unity, service and recovery is honored by Hudson Health Services, Inc. in its pursuit of excellence in treating the disease which, in its devastating effect on those who contract it and their families, has so much power to destroy. A portion of his obituary, published in the Salisbury Daily Times on Friday, March 24, 1995, follows:


Berlin—Willis Wray Hudson, Sr., 76, died Thursday, March 23,1995, at his home in Berlin of cancer.

Born in Showell, Maryland, he was the son of the late Edgar James and Daisey Morris Hudson. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Dorothy Pruitt Hudson; one son and daughter-in-law, Willis, Jr. and Durene P. Hudson of Berlin; one brother, Nelson J. Hudson of Dover; one granddaughter, Carrie Ann Hudson of Berlin, and one niece.

Hudson graduated from Buckingham High School in 1935 and attended Goldey Beacom School of Business from 1945 to 1946. He was a lifetime member of Friendship United Methodist Church in Berlin, serving as lay delegate to the Peninsula Conference, local lay leader, Chairman of Trustees, administrative board member, Sunday school superintendent and teacher for many years.

Hudson retired in 1970 from Berlin Milling Co. after holding many management positions, including vice president. He served as director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry for 24 years and a member of the Grower Committee for 22 years.

Hudson also served as a Worcester County Commissioner from 1970 to 1982. During his term, he served on the Board of Directors for the Worcester County Developmental Center in Newark from 1972 to 1985, as the Director of the Lower Shore Workshop and as a member of the Maryland Association of Counties’ Legislative Committee for 10 years. He served on solid waste assignments as vice president the last eight years and numerous other assignments during his term.

He was a member of the Normandy Foundation and a trustee of Salisbury Substance Abuse Community Center in Salisbury. He was a World War II veteran, discharged as a staff sergeant in 1945. Hudson spent 63 days with the French underground after being shot down June 24, 1944, over LeHavre, France.

One of his most important accomplishments was his membership in Alcoholics Anonymous of which he was co-sponsor of the Berlin Group now known as the Berlin Friendship Group. He recently celebrated his 48th anniversary. For his outstanding leadership and contribution to the improvement of life, the Willis W. Hudson (treatment) Center was established and dedicated October 16, 1980, on the Deer’s Head hospital grounds in Salisbury.

On Feb. 11, 1994, he received the Governor of the State of Maryland’s “Citation” in recognition of his commitment to the people of Maryland, especially the residents of Worcester County.

Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Hudson Center, P0 Box 1096, Salisbury, Md. 21802-1096; or to Friendship United Methodist Church, P0 Box 184, Berlin, Md. 21811.

P.O. Box 1096 Salisbury, MD 21802-1096

Phone: 410-219-9000 Toll Free: 1-888-288-9086


Administration Fax: 410-742-7048

Residential Fax: 410-742-3512

Assessment Center Fax: 410-219-5112