Publisher’s Note: The annals of the founding of The Reader are anchored in a youth-led effort to save Sokol Hall on 13th & Martha in 1990 from a questionable fire-safety inspection. Bob Hudson had the courage, and some might say mischievousness, to encourage this effort, playing a critical role in not only saving Sokol, but launching this youth effort into what became The Reader. He also helped feed the launch of Omaha’s nationally recognized alternative music scene. We might not have The Admiral (or The Reader) if it weren’t for Bob Hudson.

Robert (“Bob”) Hudson, known as “Poppo” to family, died in his sleep Monday, March 13. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and a generous and steadfast friend.

Born and raised in Omaha, he returned home after four years in the Army to launch his career with the Omaha Fire Department. Bob had a passion for helping others and serving his community, quickly rising to district chief. After an illustrious 28 years with the Fire Department, Bob retired in 1994, and he and his wife, Bobbie, enjoyed two years of travel. There was white-water rafting in Colorado, camping in the Black Hills and canoeing down the Niobrara. They finally settled along the Front Range of Colorado.

He taught his kids through his life: Be honest, help others, be loyal, be brave, be kind, and be true. Live your life to the fullest. And live a life full of laughter and joy.

Although Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1997, it did not deter him from hiking in Colorado, grandbaby-sitting, attending grandchildren’s birthday parties and graduations. It’s hard to remember being around Bob without smiling and laughing. It was the way he spread joy in this world.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s name can be made to the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies (

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