Representative Cola Hudson, R-Lyndon, died January 20 of congestive heart failure. A farmer and janitor, he first served in the Vermont House in 1973. He served in the State House up to the week before his death. He was 81.Below are comments from the governor and Speaker of the House.Official Statement of Governor Douglas on the Death of Representative Cola HudsonI was saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Representative Cola Hudson of Lyndon. His family, friends and community are in our thoughts and prayers.Cola and I were first elected to the Legislature in the same year, served together for five years on the House Government Operations Committee and went on to work together in a variety of areas over the next 30 years. He always worked hard and put his constituents and the State of Vermont first. He was a straight-talking, matter-of-fact gentleman with a particular interest in making government more responsive to the people. He reminded us everyday of the importance of civility and respect in our public discourse.Cola – one of the longest serving members of our House of Representatives – was a model legislator and a wonderful friend. He will be missed.Statement from the Speaker of the House Gaye Symington on the death of Representative Cola HudsonIt is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Representative Cola Hudson, the Member from Lyndonville, this past Sunday. Cola has served his community in many ways, in the Legislature continuously since 1973, as a member of the Board of the Vermont State Colleges and the Board of Trustees of Lyndon Institute, and as Chair and most recently ranking member of the House Government Operations Committee.Sitting in a booth with Representative Hudson at the Miss Lyndonville Diner one fall gave me an appreciation of the respect he holds in his community, as so many people of all ages would speak with him as they passed. I remember in particular the way he characterized his work on the Government Operations Committee, “This committee is the peoples direct voice in their state government.” Whether as Chair or ranking member, Cola’s voice carried weight because he used words judiciously and often with a sense of humor that could break tension or bring back focus to a discussion.The member from Lyndonville was rarely missing from his seat when the House was in session. He was known for using few words to convey his perspectives on the debates at hand. At times he would use his wit to remind others of the value of brevity. When the Member from Lyndonville spoke, the Vermont House listened carefully.Cola Hudson’s legislative family will miss him very much.