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STROKE, Hudson Walter

STROKE, Hudson Walter

STROKE - Hudson Walter Hudson Walter Stroke, age 93, died peacefully at home in Tampa, Florida, on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Born in Buffalo, New York on June 13, 1924, Hudson lived all but the last two years of his life either on the same property or not more than a few miles from where he grew up. His maternal grandparents, Bertha and Max Walther, were German immigrants who settled on farmland on Campbell Blvd. in Getzville. They sold produce from their fields and eventually began Walther's Greenhouses. Their daughter, Ida Walther, married George Stroke, and they became the parents of two sons, Hudson and Russell. Hudson's father worked at Spencer Kellogg Company. After regular work hours, George went on "second shift" building a house for his family on the Walther property and working in the greenhouses. Hudson was a veteran of WWII, serving in the Navy Seabees on Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. After the war, he returned home to Campbell Blvd., and used the GI Bill to get his degree in Business Administration at University of Buffalo in 1950. He returned to work at Bell AeroSpace in Niagara Falls where he had been a machinist before the war. Eventually he became manager of the tool and die department at Bell. It was Hudson's horse that led him down the path to meeting his future wife. A friend brought over his sister, Joyce Little, to see the horse. She was keen on horses. Hudson and Joyce soon began to see each other in a different light than they had when they both attended the one-room schoolhouse on Stahl Road at the same time, 5 grades apart. They were married on November 11, 1953 in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Joyce's parents had retired after leaving their homestead on Skinnerville Road. Like his father, Hudson began to build his own house nights after his day job on property given to him from the family land where the Walther's Greenhouses still flourished. By 1961, Hudson, Joyce and their three children moved into their new house. When the state put the Lockport Expressway through the middle of the Walther/Stroke property in 1982, George Stroke's house was torn down. But Hudson decided to move his house a few miles down the road to the Audubon neighborhood of Amherst. It was an event that brought out the crowds like a Getzville Fourth of July celebration, the Stroke house in its own slow-moving one-float parade. Hudson and Joyce lived in their house for 54 years, in two different locations. Hudson eventually left Bell AeroSpace and pursued other work ventures, including his own business with Walther's Greenhouses. He retired in 1989 as a Senior Analyst in the programming department of Merchants Mutual Insurance Company. Hudson was a man of inventiveness and engineering insights. He applied his abilities to repairing, rebuilding, and recreating anything that was needed. He exemplified the Seabees motto, "Can Do!", and was always working on something. He had many interests, including entrepreneurial business ideas, horticulture, photography, aviation, and sailing. Not one to romanticize about the "good old days", he easily gravitated to and enjoyed the technology and innovations that developed over his nine decades of life. The last birthday gift he got was an iPad. Quick with a joke, or a good story with a twist at the end, Hudson was a man who helped family and friends faithfully and without fanfare. Hudson Walter Stroke was preceded in death by his parents, George and Ida Stroke, and his younger brother, Russell Stroke. He is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Joyce Lorraine Stroke of Tampa, Florida, and by their three children: Jeffrey Stroke and wife Susan Terwilliger of Eagle River, Alaska; Patricia and husband Raza Haider of Tampa, Florida; and Susan Morrison of Tampa, Florida. He is loved and honored by his three adult granddaughters: Shaher Haider, Noor Haider, and Anissa Haider of Tampa, Florida. Hudson Stroke was buried in the Acacia Park Cemetery in Tonawanda on November 11, 2017.

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