Oldest living graduate returns home to Hudson - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oldest living graduate returns home to Hudson

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As honorary Grand Marshal of the 2017 Hudson Days Parade, 101-year old Richard Mohler was having the time of his life.

He rode in Wade Poyner's 1921 Model T, as thousands along the parade route cheered his return to Hudson,where he graduated in 1933.

Richard 'is' the Class of 1933. He's the only one left. Richard is also the oldest living graduate of the Hudson Community School system, says Superintendent. Tony Voss. "We believed he was the oldest known alumni, so, we did a little checking and found it to be true. We found his graduation picture and looked up his records My wife and I were on our way to Dallas, so we stopped and visited him. A very cool experience."

Born in Racine, Minnesota, Richard moved to Hudson with his family of 10 when he was 11 years old. 

The family joined the Hudson Methodist Church and Richard enjoyed attending the yearly Cedar Falls Bible Camp.

"I was in everything going on in school. I lived at a farm at the edge of town an we milked 30 cows. And, I just have always been out in the sunshine from the belt on up. God has just kept me so healthy.”

Richard was the Hudson Senior class Valedictorian in 1933.

His class had 13 students, including friend and classmate, Edna Iseminger.

Richard says he knew the 1933 Valedictorian would been either Edna or him.

He recalled how Edna asked him, as a Freshman, if he would still be in Hudson when they were seniors? 

She did so, he says, because she said she knew she wouldn't be the Valedictorian if Richard was still around, and that's exactly how it turned out.

Both went on to become college graduates and lifelong teachers.

Edna lived to be 91. She was Edna Budlong of Cedar Falls, when she died in 2007, Surely a sad day for Richard when he learned of Edna's death.

Richard had many talents. He went on to become a Methodist Pastor and home builder. But, his love for education saw him spend more than 40 years as a teacher, mainly in Ohio.

Sherri Kumle, of Dayton, Ohio,  was one of Richard's students. He taught Sherri when she was in 7th grade.

"He motivated his students. and he encouraged us. It was sort of unorthodox the way he taught. He used credit systems instead of grades. He allowed extra credit. He threw styrofoam balls at kids who were sleeping in class. He was just an incredible teacher."

Richard was asked, "What's it's like to be back here in Hudson? Wonderful. I just can't get over how much fun it is. And, I hope Hudson keeps going so I can come again. Every 10 years, I should come."

Richard was married for 70-years, but outlived his wife, Nora, whom was also a school teacher.  Richard's health remains very good. He shows no signs of slowing down.

After all, 101 is just a number to Hudson's oldest living graduate.

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