Iraq war veteran dies at 30

Holman 'Ace' Hudson died in his sleep Jan. 8. His wife says he was in good health.

January 15, 2011|By Megan O'Neil,

Family members and friends of Glendale resident Holman "Ace" Hudson this week were left trying to make sense of the Iraq war veteran's sudden death. Ace Hudson died in his sleep on Jan. 8 following a quiet night at home with his wife of seven months, Lindsey Mancuso Hudson. He was 30.

Results from an autopsy to determine the cause of death are pending.

"He is a larger-than-life kind of guy, and he makes friends everywhere he goes," said his sister Maura Hudson, 40. "I don't have any words to describe how wrong this is."

The third child and only son of retired Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Dirk Hudson and Sharon Hudson, Ace Hudson was raised in the San Gabriel Valley, graduating from Arcadia High School in 1998. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Army, and was among the first American troops to enter Baghdad in 2003.


Assigned to an advanced team that was tasked with tracking down Saddam Hussein, Ace Hudson garnered numerous honors, including the National Defense Service Medal, the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He was promoted to sergeant before being honorably discharged in 2004.

After earning a business degree at Cal State Los Angeles, Ace Hudson began a career in acquisitions and procurement, first on a contract basis at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, and then as the co-founder and president of his own firm, Source Integrations. And in September, he was hired by Northrop Grumman as a contract administrator.

Friend, business partner and former roommate Eric Stone recalled their sporadic decision to buy a pool table for their residence. They worked into the night trying to assemble it, eventually agreeing to pick it up again in the morning. Stone headed to bed, only to be woken up at 3 a.m. for a game of pool.

"The game went well, but we never quite figured out what the extra pieces were for," Stone said. "The boy was determined."

Ace Hudson and his future wife Lindsey were introduced by his older sister, Deirdre Hudson-Wittman, and her close friend, Kristy Jolstead. They communicated via e-mail before meeting for their first date in Pasadena. The couple moved to Glendale in October 2008.

"I could talk to him about anything," said Lindsey Mancuso Hudson, 27. "He had a complete zest for life. He was so open and compassionate and loving."

They married in July, and were looking forward to having children.

"I have rarely seen him happier," said Hudson-Wittman, 36.

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