Cover photo for Richard "Dick" Hudelson's Obituary
Richard "Dick" Hudelson Profile Photo

Richard "Dick" Hudelson

d. April 18, 2024

Richard (Dick) Hudelson, a philosopher, critical thinker, and avid cross-country skier, passed away on April 18th, 2024, after several years suffering from dementia.   

Dick, who grew up in New Castle, Indiana in the 1950s, inherited his mother’s love of learning and thoughtfulness and successfully emulated what he saw as his father’s best qualities, consisting of being hardworking, kind, and responsible. As a child he looked up to his older brother Dave and enjoyed playing baseball and working a paper route with him. Attending college with his sister Mary, he enjoyed talking with her about politics and sharing speech and debate tips.   

Dick moved to Duluth, Minnesota in the late 1970s and soon met Eileen Zeitz, a professor of Spanish and his colleague at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Despite their second date ending in them becoming hopelessly lost in the woods of Hartley Field, she stuck it out for a third date, and they were married in 1980. Dick and Eileen had two daughters, Alicia (Divesh) and Rachel (Nicky). In the early part of their lives together, Dick and Eileen juggled careers and raising kids. Later in life, they enjoyed traveling, exploring new, beautiful places, and spending time with grandchildren Jonah, Micah, and Elise. Dick was an avid reader, writer, and chess player throughout his life. He also loved dogs. Dick and his friend John Thomas had innumerable excellent days skiing at Korkki or canoeing on the St. Louis River, accompanied on the latter by Banjo the dog as co-pilot. His friend Tom Richards introduced Dick to kayaking, the two of them frequently getting lost as they meandered through local waterways. Dick was loved by so many people and was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, son, and friend.

Dick held a Ph.D. in philosophy but was not a philosopher in an abstract sense.   Instead, he actively worked to promote equality and remedy injustice; as he put it, we were not to accept a world in which a majority of human beings were hungry and in need. Thus, he was active in the anti-war movement and was committed to pro-workers’ causes. He published several books on political philosophy but would likely consider his most important work to be Legacy Costs, part memoir and part an attempt to explain the path of the labor movement in small town America. He considered unions to represent the love of one’s neighbor and all human beings to be neighbors.

While Dick held several academic degrees, he also learned via conversation. He was always interested in a conversation with someone who had something they wanted to discuss, whether that be religion, the history of India, or classical music. Thus, he was always learning and reflecting. However, he noted that, unfortunately, his academic expertise in political philosophy did not offer any easy solutions to the problems that he saw in the world.  As he put it at the close of a book on that subject, “the reader will have to carry on alone from here.”

In lieu of a funeral service, the family requests that you send memories of Dick to the family at

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home.


Visits: 1494

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send a Gift

Send a Gift