ST. ALBANS- On Dec. 22, 2018, the night of the full moon, Nancy Hudak, a lifelong resident and cherished friend of so many in our community, peacefully died in the family farmhouse in which she was born on Oct. 14, 1955. Nancy passed as she lived – full of love, strength and an awesome dignity. A fiercely independent woman, Nancy “walked the talk,” always treading gently through this world, valuing friendships over possessions, action over words and expressing gratitude for the simple pleasures of life.
Nan was known to many as the owner of Rail City Market, which she had operated for many years. People often entered her store as customers and left as friends. Nan greeted everyone with a smile, a kind word and a genuine interest in their lives. She made it her business to get to know most customers by name and to actively listen to them talk about their lives. People often brought their children, pets, parents and friends into the market just to meet Nancy. Through the years it was a common sight to see senior citizens, such as her uncle Dick, resting comfortably on the wooden bench in the front of the store, holding a warm conversation with Nan while she worked.
Away from the store, Nan chose to live a quiet life, enjoying long walks in the woods with her dogs and doing all of the activities required of those who choose to live in the hills of Vermont. She found deep peace in solitude and guarded her valued privacy.
Nancy held a very special place in her heart for the creatures that live on this planet with us – especially for dogs. Over the years she rescued many unwanted dogs providing them with a “forever” place in her home. A wall in the store was festooned with photos of her friends’ dogs, all of which she knew by name. Such was her love of dogs, and her understanding of the value of the friendship that they brought to their owners, that Nan often spent her free time searching the area for others’ lost pets.
Nan was a wise woman who could always be relied upon to give her friends thoughtful advice as well as her point of view on a wide range of topics. She held strong opinions but was always open to hearing other perspectives.
Nancy Hudak was the kind of person who in so many quiet ways made our world a better place. Though her passing leaves a gaping hole in the lives of so many, we are all the better having had Nancy in our lives.
Nancy was the daughter of John and Virginia Hudak. She is survived by her sister Jane and brothers David, Richard and Alex. Jane and Marie (sister-in-law) tenderly cared for Nancy at the end of her life.
Memorial donations in memory of Nancy can be made to Granite State Dog Recovery, a group of volunteers who reunite lost dogs with their owners, at granitestatedogrecovery.com.
A celebration of life will be held in the Bliss Room at the St. Albans Museum on Jan. 5 at 1 p.m.