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Former Senator and current Forrest...

Former Senator and current Forrest County Tax Collector Billy Hudson has died

By: Sarah Ulmer - December 1, 2022

Prior to his death Hudson spent much of his life in public service, from alderman to a member of the Board of Supervisors for Forrest County, all the way to Senator and Tax Collector. 

Former three-term State Senator Billy Hudson has died. Hudson was currently serving as the Tax Collector for Forrest County at the time of his death. He was elected to the county seat in 2019 after serving 12 years in the Mississippi Legislature.

“It is with a heavy heart that we report the death of Tax Collector Billy C. Hudson. Mr. Hudson was a well-known businessman in our community who dedicated his retirement years to public service,” the Tax Collector’s office said in a statement. “He served as Forrest Co District 5 Supervisor for two terms and as President of the Board of Supervisors for 4 years. In 2007, he was elected as MS State Senator for District 45 and served us at the state capitol for 12 years. In 2019, he decided to return home to Hattiesburg and was elected Tax Collector, a decision he made so that he would be able to serve his constituents in a more personal, one on one manner. Mr. Hudson truly enjoyed serving and assisting his fellow citizens to better themselves and their circumstances. He strived to make Forrest County a better place for us all and will be greatly missed.” 

As State Senator, Hudson represented the 45th District in Forrest and Perry counties from 2008 to 2019, when he announced he would not run for the seat again. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as the Chair for the Senate Agriculture Committee for a majority of his tenure and Vice-Chair of County Affairs.

“I’ve known Billy pretty much all my life,” said Senator Chris Johnson who seceded Hudson in the Senate, “He has always been helping other people. He’s always done whatever he could through his office and personally to help other people. Billy had a strong value system that he stuck with, on what he thought was right. Whether you agreed with him or not you always had to appreciate that he stayed true to his beliefs.”

Hudson was born on June 16, 1938. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi as well as the University of Arizona and Perkinston Junior College in 1957. His professional experience includes working as a rancher, and previously serving as the CEO of Hudson Salvage. Hudson also served as a Magee city alderman and as a member/chair of the Forrest County Board of Supervisors.

Senator Hudson lived in Hattiesburg with his wife Barbara. They had five children and many grandchildren.

Several lawmakers and coworkers commented about Hudson’s passing, expressing their condolences. A few of those can be found below:

“Billy Hudson was good man that spoke for or spoke against with strong conviction what he believed to be right or wrong in the Mississippi Legislature. I will always respect him for that. ” – State Senator Angela Hill on Facebook.

“I’m sad to hear of the passing of a dear friend of mine, Senator Billy Hudson, today. Billy was a true public servant and his leadership in Forrest County as well as his friendship will be sorely missed. Prayers for Mrs. Barbara and the entire Hudson family.” – State Senator Joey Fillingane.

“Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Mr. Billy Hudson. Mr. Hudson was not only my boss but was like a grandfather. Throughout his life, he was dedicated to Forrest County and seeing the citizens thrive. He was a man of faith. He started every morning reading his Bible and would tell me a verse that he read. He truly enjoyed serving Forrest County and being able to help others. Even though I’ve known him my entire life and was close to him, these last 3 years of seeing and talking to him almost every day has made our bond even stronger. Me didn’t always see eye to eye (he blamed me for that because I’m a millennial), but we worked well together as a team. He helped raise me and helped me be who I am today. We encouraged each other to keep going in rough times and helped bring each other back to reality in the good times. We watched countless hours of baseball and football together, and who knows how much we talked politics. Life won’t be the same without him, but I know that he lived a good life. His legacy will live on forever.” – Zac Howell, with the Tax Collectors office in Forrest County.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state.