Bruce Raymond Hudgens was born on July 28, 1940 in Elgin, IL. He graduated from Elgin High School in 1958 and served two years as a medic in the Army from 1961 to 1963 after which he enrolled in Elgin Community College where he received his Associate's Degree. In 1966 he moved to Ft. Collins, CO with his wife, Helen to attend Colorado State University where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology. Bruce and Helen moved to Flagstaff in 1969 where he attended NAU and received his Master's Degree in anthropology. Bruce did extensive archeological work in southern Utah and northern Arizona. He had a deep interest in Chaco Canyon and spent years writing about his interpretations of archaeological findings from the area.
Bruce had a strong passion for the arts, especially southwestern art. He opened his first art gallery in 1982 and had a long career as a gallery owner and director showcasing many master artists of Southwestern, Native American and Contemporary arts. He opened several fine art galleries over the years in Flagstaff, Sedona, Cottonwood, and San Diego. Bruce enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the arts, archeology and anthropology. He taught at Yavapai Community College and was a guest lecturer at NAU.
Bruce's passion for the arts eventually led him to develop his own career as an artist. His talents included designing and creating jewelry as well as painting. Using his own unique and vibrant style he painted bold and textured abstract expressionistic pieces inspired by his work as an archaeologist, the southwest and Native American cultures of this area. He also painted landscapes inspired by his adventures around Arizona and his love of nature. His favourite medium was acrylics but he also worked with encaustics, watercolors and oils. His artwork was displayed in several galleries throughout northern Arizona.
Bruce enjoyed engaging in philanthropic efforts to promote the arts in communities where he lived. He cared deeply about helping Native American artists as well as young artists develop and showcase their talents. The care he took to get to know every artist he worked with and each of their pieces is something that shines in our memories.
Bruce died October 29, 2018 in Flagstaff, AZ. He had a kind heart and wonderful sense of humor that stayed with him until his passing. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends but he remains beloved in our hearts.
He is survived by his former wife Helen Hudgens Ferrell, his son Brian Robert Hudgens and his daughter Julie Heather Hudgens, his granddaughter Autumn Elizabeth Hudgens, his brothers Gerald (Joan) Hudgens and Leonard (Betty) Hudgens, his nieces Laura Britton and Tyanna Flynn, his nephews Derek Hudgens and Greg Hudgens, and grand nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents Wayne and Vera Hudgens and his nephew Kurt Hudgens.
For those wishing to attend his celebration of life, it will be held from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday Nov. 18th at Theia's Coffee Shop, 361 Cedar St., Sedona. Bruce's art work will be on display at Theia's from Nov 18 - Dec 31.