Legacies Project- Bessie Hudnall

Mrs. Bessie Hudnall is one of our beloved residents at Commonwealth Senior Living at Kilmarnock. Like so many of our residents, Bessie grew up on a farm here in Virginia. She shares a story from when she was a girl on the farm here:

At 98 years old, Mrs. Hudnall has had quite a journey from farming to owning a grocery store with her husband in Brooklyn. The Free Lance Star wrote a beautiful article about Bessie and her husband, William in February. They were happily married for 79 years. Click below for the full article.

79 Year Marriage started with a card that was wasn’t sent

Sadly, Mr. Hudnall passed away this spring, not long after this article was printed. But his legacy will not be forgotten. Bessie tells stories of him often. The community remembers him as the first African American commissioner for the Potomac River Fisheries and as well as the first African American to sit on the Board of Supervisors in Northumberland County.

These stories weave the fabric of our state. Documenting these stories is possible through a partnership with University of Virginia’s radio station, WTJU. University of Virginia’s bicentennial celebration takes place this year, and recording the legacies of the state’s eldest members is part of that celebration. Stay tuned for more stories from Commonwealth!