Sisters without heirs continue their family legacy

The late attorney Bentley Tobin joined the Hinckley Allen & Snyder law firm in 1983, bringing with him an important relationship. Susan and Nancy Hudson were surviving daughters of the well-respected Buell and Esther Hudson of Woonsocket and partial heirs to the family business, The Woonsocket Call.

For nine decades, the Hudson name was synonymous with The Woonsocket Call, with three generations of family members serving in leadership positions on the daily newspaper before its sale in 1984 and a family deeply committed to community involvement.

Both daughters graduated from Woonsocket High School, as their father had. Susan continued her education at the University of Maine but left after three years for health reasons. She worked for many years as a service representative for the former New England Telephone & Telegraph Company in its Boston, Pawtucket, and Woonsocket offices, having worked earlier for Manpower and Amica Insurance. Nancy graduated from Connecticut College in New London in 1953 and earned an MBA four years later from New York University School of Business. She became the third generation to work at The Woonsocket Call, serving as the newspaper’s editor.

Like their parents, Susan and Nancy carried on the family tradition of giving to their community, sitting on several nonprofit boards in their beloved Woonsocket. They shared strong relationships of service with the Visiting Nurse Service of Greater Woonsocket, the Ballou Home, Roger Williams Zoo, and St. James Episcopal Church, where Nancy played an active role as a leader and volunteer at the church’s food bank. Neither sister ever married nor had children.

Susan died in 2000 at the age of 65. Through her estate, she established the Hudson Family Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, a field of interest fund to enhance the quality of life of people living in northern Rhode Island, with a focus on health care concerns.

Working with Hinckley Allen attorney Leon C. Boghossian, III, who took over the relationship from his colleagues Tobin and the late attorney Dick Pierce, Nancy also chose to partner with the Foundation as steward to the Hudson family philanthropy, generously naming the Foundation and this Fund as the remainderman of her sizable estate. Nancy died in early 2023.

“She was a lovely woman who chose to live a very frugal life, staying in the Woonsocket area until the end,” says Leon of Nancy, “…her commitment to giving back to her community never wavered, and through this Fund, many of the family’s favorite organizations will benefit in perpetuity.”

Concluded Nancy in a 2002 interview with the Foundation: “We have a good community—a lot of people who work together and help each other.” As a result of the sisters’ life’s work, thoughtful generosity, and good counsel, the Hudson family legacy of giving, service, and care for their community lives on.