Mary Belle Hudson, 88, Connelly Springs passed away Sunday, August 15, 2010 after a period of declining health due to Alzheimer’s disease. Belle was born July 19, 1922 in Burke County, the second child of sixteen children born to the late Theodore R. Smith and Texie Swink Smith.Belle was a wonderful cook known for her chicken and dumplings and her delicious Christmas dinners. She loved all animals, particularly dogs, and always had a faithful canine or feline companion. Belle was an honest, outspoken, hard working woman and a faithful wife, step-parent, daughter, sister, and aunt to her varied family members. She was always "dressed to the nines" and her brusque manner disguised a kind heart and generous nature.

In addition to her parents, Belle was preceded in death by her first husband, Walter Mace; and her second husband of many years, Ralph Hudson; two step-sons, Claude and Jack Hudson; four brothers Clyde, Howard, Roy, and Hubert Smith; and two sisters, Kathleen Dale and Jackie Lamb.She is survived by two step-daughters, Blanche Christenbury of Conover, and Margaret Stallings and husband, Jim of Connelly Springs; a step-daughter-in-law, Nancy Hudson; step-grandchildren, Robert Hudson, Terry Hudson and wife, Kim, Michael Hudson of Redlands, CA, and Debbie Preston of Texas; She is also survived by four sisters, Lottie Tallent and Carolyn Bradshaw, both of Morganton, Clara Powell and Cuteene Britt, both of Drexel; five brothers, Marvin, Jerry, John, Bob, and Emmanuel Smith, all of Morganton; and numerous nieces and nephews.The family would like to thank the staff of both Morganton Long Term Care and Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center for their care, and Bea, the Hospice dog, who gave comfort and companionship during Belle’s last days.Funeral and committal services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 17, 2010 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home. Burial will be at the Mountain View Cemetery in Rutherford College. The family will receive friends one hour before the funeral service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Burke Hospice and Palliative Care Center, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690.

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