BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Colton Daniel Hudson, 23, died March 15 at home in the East Village, a neighborhood he had grown to love.
Colton was raised in an idyllic small town near Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Old Trail School in Bath, Ohio, where his classmates chose him to give the commencement address. He went to high school at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio. His senior year he served as Hawley House prefect, and received the Ian Miller Award in recognition of his special gift for sincerity and capacity for friendship. At the time of his death, he was attending Hunter College, studying French and Italian.
His father, Dr. Robert Hudson, said Colton, who lived alone, died suddenly in his sleep in his apartment at 273 E. 10th St., between First Ave. and Avenue A, and was found two days later. His mother, Audrey DeLong, figured there might have been something wrong because she kept an eye on his credit card use and there had been no activity for three days.
The medical examiner gave the cause of death as “undetermined,” and drugs have been ruled out, his father said. Colton was “exceedingly skinny” — tall but just 145 pounds — and his father speculates he might possibly have had an onset of type 1 diabetes, which runs in Colton’s mother’s side of the family, which could have left him in a coma. Also, the aortic valve in his heart was bicuspid instead of tricuspid — with two flaps instead of three — which his father thinks predisposed him to cardiac arrhythmia, though it had never troubled him before.
“He had many, many friends in the East Village,” his dad said. “He went to France for a year after high school and loved it. He came back nattily dressed and had the fashion bug. He complained bitterly about how sloppily Americans dressed. He went to Kenyon College but couldn’t fit in.”
But the East Village and Hunter were a perfect fit.
“He talked about all his friends, all of his acquaintances you meet in a place like the East Village,” his father said. “He liked walking into the bagel store and they knew what his usual bagel was and they’d have his coffee. He liked his Russian Jewish Israeli barber. He liked catching some rays on his rooftop with friends, or on his friends’ rooftops, and would send us photos of the views. He liked jogging around the neighborhood — though more than once he stumbled on the [uneven] sidewalks.”
“He worked periodically at Luke’s Lobster,” his mother said. “E. 10th St. Finest was his favorite deli. He went almost daily. He loved Thirstea across from his building. He bought water from Molecule water store. He thought it was so great, he paid by the month. When he found Commodities Natural Market, he was so thrilled he called home to rave about it. He loved Juice Press for vitamins and fresh juice. And unlike most his age group, he preferred wine to beer and loved East Village Wines. The one favorite we have not been able to identify is his barber shop.”
His father said when he visited his son’s building last week, “Everyone came out of their doors and said what a great guy Colton was.”
Colton’s goal was to work in a fashion house in Europe.
In addition to his parents, of Hudson, Ohio, Colton is survived by an older brother, Hunter, of Costa Mesa, California; his maternal grandparents and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. A memorial service celebrating Colton’s life will be held at a later date. Friends wishing to honor his memory may send donations to any of the three learning institutions he loved.