Sheriff Ern K. Hudson (Ret.) did not live the life of a great man; he lived the life of 10 great men. He never met a stranger. After a valiant eight-year health battle, Ernie went to the Lord on June 16, 2017.
Ernie was born in Anderson on Jan. 18, 1950, the son of Jack W. and Carrie (Huston) Hudson. His father passed in 1973 and mother in 1987.
He is survived by the love of his life, Judy (Kiphart) Hudson. They were married for over 48 years. Ernie is also survived by their two children, Holly (Lucien) Perras of Lebanon (and their children Cassie, Carrie and Clayton); and son, Rick (Susan) of Boulder, Colo., (and their children Gunnar and Ayla).
They were members of Central Christian Church in Lebanon and First Christian Church in Loveland, Colo.
He is also survived by his sisters, Janey Antibus of Bloomfield and Jabet Arnett of Fortville. His brother Jake passed in 2013.
Ernie's schooling began in Fortville, with graduation from Tech High School in 1968. He also attended courses at Indiana University.
Ernie met the love of his life, Judy Kiphart, when they were young children and, as Judy said, he had to have her. They married in November 1968.
TWA was his employer until he was accepted into the Indiana State Police Recruit School; he graduated in 1971.
Ern was also a veteran of the Indiana Army National Guard.
His time was spent with family and as an Indiana State Trooper, assigned to Boone County, until 1978, when he successfully ran for Boone County Sheriff. He served two terms as sheriff; Judy was elected sheriff for a term; and Ern ran again and served two additional terms as sheriff.
As sheriff, Ern enhanced the sheriff's office in training, manpower, equipment and more. A new jail was constructed in 1992, without remonstrance and coming in under budget. He also served a term as the president of the Indiana Sheriff's Association.
While he received many awards and accolades during his 39-year law enforcement career, two of his favorites were the Richard Brown Police Officer of the Year Award in Boone County and the Boone County Sheriff's Office Medal of Valor.
Ern was known as one of the best criminal investigators in the law enforcement community. His interviewing skills were unmatched. While he was a certified polygraph examiner, many cases were solved with confession before the polygraph test was ever taken.
After he served 20 years in Boone County as sheriff and chief deputy, he and Judy moved to Larimer County, Colo., where Ern served as chief investigator and undersheriff from 1999 until January 2011, when he took a medical retirement. Although retired, he still had an active hand in many more criminal investigations in Indiana and Colorado until his passing.
While he was relentless in pursuit of criminals, he was also kind and caring. His soft heart was often unknown to the public, but never to the victims of crimes and accidents. His demeanor also allowed him to have a tremendous rapport with the criminals that he had often convinced to confess.
Simply put, Ern Hudson was a "Lawman" in the truest sense of the word. As Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith put it: "Ernie brought an unmatchable passion for the job. He was a friend and mentor to all that knew him ... . His eyes always lit up when he got a chance to discuss a case. He loved nothing more than to offer his experience and expertise. He left a long shadow in Colorado and we are all saddened by his passing; but we are all better deputies (and sheriffs) for knowing Ernie."
Although law enforcement was important to Ernie, his family was paramount. Traveling throughout the country was a favorite family adventure. Whether it was to Florida with Judy, Holly, Rick and their families, or throughout the U.S. with Judy and friends seeking outlaw history.
One of his many attributes was the study of the history of gangsters and outlaws. His collection of memorabilia and photos of equipment, locations and more is unprecedented. His knowledge of the history was uncanny. He always shared his tales of talking his way into shootout locations and other places that others could not get access to.
According to noted outlaw historian Sandy Jones: "He handled and fired more historical 1930s outlaw guns, including Thompson Submachine Guns, Browning Automatic Rifles and handguns, than anyone ever in the world." He owned and was a Thompson Submachine Gun expert.
Colorful phrases were common with Ernie, and he was not one to let the truth get in the way of a good story when visiting with his many, many friends, or around a lively euchre game.
Gun writer Jan Liborel mentioned Ernie in a national publication several years ago after attending a class with him, referring to him as "one of the greatest raconteurs he had ever met."
Shooting and collecting firearms and accoutrements was another pastime. He was a crack marksman and took great pride in that. He was always in search of "the deal," and it was said he could sell ice to an Eskimo in his deals.
He dabbled in politics, from his own campaigns to assisting with friends who sought office. His political counsel was sought by many throughout the States. He always made time. Again, the stories abound.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today, June 23, at the First Christian Church, 2000 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, Colo. A second memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 28, at Central Christian Church, 311 E. Main St., Lebanon.
Myers Mortuary in Lebanon is helping with the local arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.myersmortuary.com.
Published on June 23, 2017