Gerda Jensen Hudgens

Mrs. Gerda Jensen Hudgens passed away at her home in Newport News, VA, on Sunday, September 10, 2023, at 104. She was a native of Denmark and has been a resident of Newport News for over 70 years. Gerda was a homemaker, raising her children full-time. She was a member of the Laurel Garden Club and Cora Miller Circle and volunteered for the Virginia Living Museum for many years.

When asked about the secret to Gerda’s long life, she replied that her faith in God kept her going. For decades, she was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, also known as “her favorite place.” She served on the Trinity Lutheran School Board and was a bus driver for multiple years. Gerda’s faith wasn’t just part of her life; it shaped the life she lived. She leaned on her faith to help her interpret and process life’s ups and downs. For Gerda, the bible and God’s word were the answers to the unanswerable questions and challenges that life gives you. She focused on being a good Christian not only in spirit but also in her actions.

Gerda deeply loved her family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. When her husband, Cecil, had a stroke late in life, her mission was clear: give him the best at-home care and rehabilitation she could provide him. She devoted her life to that mission for many years without hesitation or complaint. When the extended family gathered at her house for the holidays or a week or two in the summer, she always welcomed us with open arms and cooked the most delicious meals. She made her home a special place for her family.

Gerda spent a lot of her time volunteering at the Virginia Living Museum. She shared her knowledge of plants and animals with countless families visiting the museum and school children. It is no wonder she was awarded the Lifelong Citizenship Award in 2009.

Her yard was filled with decades-old azaleas, which could stop traffic with their beauty when in bloom. Birds flocked year-round to feast at her bird feeders. She carefully tended her garden, helping it produce the most delicious vegetables.

Gerda was preceded in death by her loving husband, Cecil; sister, Lillian; daughters, Linda and Lonna; and son, James.

She is survived by her daughter, Leigh Hudgens; nine grandchildren, Lawrence Sidebottom III, Laura Reig, Lisa Sidebottom Marshburn, Elizabeth Gibson, Stephen Gibson, Jonathan Brunt, Christopher Brunt, Joseph Hudgens, and Megan Krivitza; twelve great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Gerda’s life was filled with love, devotion to family, and faith in God. She will be deeply missed.

At noon, a funeral service will occur on Monday, October 9, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church. The burial will take place following the service at Peninsula Memorial Park.


  1. CC

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. Death is an enemy to us all. May you find comfort and hope in God’s promise to swallow up death forever and wipe the tears from all faces. -Isaiah 25:8 Condolences

  2. Claire Byrne

    Gerda was a lovely lady who I had the pleasure of meeting on two occasions. However I spoke with her and got a smile frequently via facetime from Ireland. Wishing my friend Leigh and her family peace in the knowledge she is now with her Husband and deceased family who will care for her now as they have done .
    Deepest Sympathy

  3. Wes and Jenn Johnson

    Leigh and family we walk in prayer with you in celebration of a life well lived and the loss of love that we know will reside in your heart forever.

  4. Robin Hancock Bateman

    Leigh, when I remember your mother, she always had a smile on her face and was such a good neighbor. She truly, had a a full life to have lived to 104 years of age. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Joe & Flora Powell

    What a wonderful Christian lady. Always a sweet, sweet spirit and smile. We are blessed to have a grandson as a son in law in our family and other family members as close friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *