Henry Jack Hudson, 84: Dentist always strove for the best

Even after he stopped being a professor, Henry Jack Hudson never stopped teaching.

Hudson attended Emory University School of Dentistry, where he became a professor after graduating. Then, in the 1960s, Hudson opened his own practice on Chamblee-Tucker Road.

“He was a teacher and a friend first, and our dentist second,” said Walter Grayson, a patient of Hudson’s who, due to Hudson’s influence, became a dentist himself.

Grayson said Hudson played an important role in his acceptance to Emory, and when he graduated Hudson asked him to join his practice, where Grayson still works today.

Grayson said working with Hudson was “like having our own in-house instructor.”

“We gained from his knowledge and experience every day,” Grayson said. “He was fantastic about getting things just right. There was no accepting anything less than the very best.”

Henry Jack Hudson, of Atlanta, died June 23 of complications from heart failure. He was 84. A memorial service is scheduled for 4 p.m. July 12 at Floral Hills Funeral Home and Cremations Services, in Tucker. The family will receive visitors one hour before the service. Floral Hills is in charge of arrangements.

Hudson also loved bluegrass music and was known to pick up his fiddle and play for patients in the office, said Hudson’s daughter Marlene Getzendanner.

Once, a few of Hudson’s patients wanted to be bluegrass musicians. “He actually helped them produce a record, and he sold the records out of his office,” said Getzendanner.

Hudson grew a garden at the office, between the parking lot and the edge of the property. Patients could take bags of fruit and vegetables home, free of charge.

“We were known as the dental office where you could come and get your teeth checked and go home with a bag of tomatoes,” said Grayson.

Getzendanner said her father was “family-focused,” and always tried to help others. “He was always about doing the right thing, not the easy thing,” she said.

“He was just a good, solid human being that gave everyone a fair chance and let everyone be the very best they could be under his guidance,” Grayson said. “And we truly miss him.”

In addition to his daughter Marlene Getzendanner, of Atlanta, Hudson is survived by his wife Dorma Hudson, of Atlanta, daughters Marilyn Clow and Kathy Franklin, of Atlanta, and four grandchildren.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.