Police chief, sheriff among speakers at memorial service for Henry Fudge

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BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

On Wednesday, the community said goodbye to Henry Fudge, 90, during a memorial service at Lohman Funeral Home in Daytona Beach.

Mr. Fudge, a retired lawn service owner and landscaper, died on Feb. 17.

He also was a biker and a founding member of the Silver Dollar Motorcycle Club. The biker is credited with originally organizing activities in Daytona’s Black community for Bike Week.

Community pillar

At Wednesday’s service, community leaders also spoke of Mr. Fudge and his wife’s impact on the community.

During his time with the Silver Dollar Club and his late wife’s community cleanups, the Fudges were well known and respected by the police department.

“If you wanted to move up in the police department, you better know the Fudges,” commented Police Chief Jakari Young.

“The Fudges taught me community policing. When you met them, you saw how genuine they were. They were like the review board. They had an impact on this entire city.”

Chitwood, Capri reflect

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood also spoke.

“When I first became Daytona police chief back in 2006, a young sergeant named Spike took me on a ride. The second stop was the Fudges’ house. It was common for us to stop by there and have a cup of lemonade.”

Retired Police Chief Craig Capri went a step further when talking about Mr. Fudge.

“I met the Fudges 25 years ago. I met his wife, Jennie, first. She helped clean up the streets. I became friends with Henry and Jennie. My sons even met him, saw his motorcycle and talked to him. He is an icon in our community. I often went to see him to bounce ideas off him and get insight,’’ Capri related.

Jennie Fudge died in 2014.

‘An inspiration’

Joe Adams is a longtime friend and founding member of the Silver Dollar Motorcycle Club.

“Fudge and I were close. We were like brothers. I love him like a brother. He was a great person. He was a loving person. What you saw with him was what you got,’’ Adams said.

On March 26, 1968, Mr. Fudge, Mr. Adams, William Singleton, Aaron Gadsen and J.D. Green founded the Silver Dollar Motorcycle Club.

By 1970, the club had hosted 200 Black bikers for activities on Campbell Street (now MLK Boulevard), Lincoln Street and Second Avenue (Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard).

The club eventually bought a building at 202 Campbell St.

Mr. Fudge served as president for most of its existence. The club ceased operations in 1987.

“We organized the club at Fudge’s house. During the holidays, we took kids shopping. We did a lot of positive for the community,’’ Adams said.

“On the weekends, we took kids to Harlem Park and did a disco for them. We watched the kids and made sure they got home safe.”

Georgia native

Mr. Fudge was born on Nov. 22, 1930 in Ellaville, Georgia to William Henry Fudge and Mary Jones. He moved to Daytona Beach in 1949.

He also enjoyed working with his hands, fixing things around the house. He enjoyed tinkering with electronics and cars. He was a master mason.

In addition to riding his motorcycle and scooter, he enjoyed spreading his wisdom, his faith and reading.

Rod Smith is Mr. Fudge’s nephew but was more like his son.

“My Uncle Fudge was a father to me. He raised me from the first day. I preferred to be with him,” said Smith.

“I did a lot of things his way. I lost a part of me. A week ago, we did a project; it was our last project together. He lived a long life. He did things his way.” Charlie Teel was Mr. Fudge’s neighbor.

“Growing up seeing him on his motorcycles and out there with his rifle, I thought he was the Black version of the ‘Rifleman,’” recalls Teel, referring to the character in the old TV series. “Seeing him and his wife, Jennie, being involved in the community, they were an inspiration.”

‘Giant of a man’

Vernon Conaway first came in contact with Fudge as a child while going to church.

“I knew him as Deacon Fudge. He was a tall man. A giant of a man with a giant smile. When I first saw him, I never saw a man that tall. Respect came after that,’’ Conaway said.

“He was an inspiration. He was a father figure to us. I remember his smile. He was a real genuine person. The things he shared with you are embedded in you forever.”

Mr. Fudge had served as president of the Missionary Alliance School and superintendent of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

Before the pandemic, he often volunteered his time at the Good Samaritan Center convalescent home.

Superintendent Derrick Harris, senior pastor of Master’s Domain Church of God in Christ, called him faithful.

“He was 90 years old, but he rode his scooter. He still rounded people up for church services,’’ Harris said.

Mr. Fudge is survived by his nephew, Rod Smith, nieces and other nephews and cousins. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am from Daytona Beach I live in Baltimore Maryland now but when I lost my dad I new Mr fudge I used to see him a lot when I was a child him and my dad was good friends I used to be infatuated with his motorcycle then but there’s still a lot that I would love to know about my can people that I don’t so I would like to stay in the loop my prayers go out to the fudge family and thank you

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