Alvin R. Hudson, 91, carpet installer, ex-Marine

Posted: June 27, 2014

THE MARINE Corps didn't want any black Marines.

But President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order early in World War II banning racial discrimination in industry and in the military.

So the Marines decided to set up a special training facility for African-Americans in Jacksonville, N.C., called Montford Point.

Only in later years were black men proud to say they had been "Montford Point Marines." Among them was Alvin R. Hudson, a country boy from southern Virginia, who later moved to Philadelphia, where he became a carpet installer, family patriarch and church member.

As a Montford Point Marine, Alvin and about 2,000 other black recruits had to put up with dilapidated barracks, snakes and bugs, and the kind ministrations of tough drill sergeants like Cecil B. Moore, who would become a Philadelphia lawyer, city councilman and civil-rights leader.

Alvin died June 5 at age 91.

It wasn't until 2012 that the black Marines got the recognition they deserved. In a ceremony in Washington, D.C., 400 survivors were given the Congressional Gold Medal by Marine commandant Gen. James F. Amos.

Alvin Hudson was born to Annie Butterworth and Thomas Edward Hudson, and grew up with 10 brothers and sisters in South Hill, Va. He attended the Lambert Chapel Schoolhouse.

After his discharge from the Marines, Alvin and his new wife, LaVerne Ogburn, moved to Philadelphia.

Alvin was so good at his craft that he was affectionately known as the "carpet man," and he stayed with his work for 59 years. He retired in 2001.

He and LaVerne were married on Aug. 22, 1944.

"A husband, father, brother, uncle, Pop-Pop and friend, Alvin was able to touch many hearts in a special way with his charisma, his humor and his smile," his family wrote.

"Alvin was a laid-back country boy who appreciated the simple things in life. He enjoyed watching football, baseball and Western movies, playing the lottery, and spending time with his 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren."

He was a devoted member of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas.

Besides his wife, he is survived by four daughters, Alverna, Valerie, Adrienne and Jennifer; four sons, Kenny, Clifford, Wendell and Archer; a brother, Vernon; 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Services: Were June 19. Burial was in Fernwood Cemetery.

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