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City of Indianapolis remembers former Mayor Bill Hudnut at funeral service

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - At the same church where former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut preached at before his political career, politicians, parishioners and the people of Indianapolis gathered to celebrate his life.

The beloved former mayor died in December at the age of 84 from complications with a “lengthy illness.” He was the longest serving mayor of Indianapolis, serving from 1976 to 1992.

“It is said we stand on the shoulders of giants who have gone before and here in central Indiana no one stood taller than Bill Hudnut," Vice President-elect Mike Pence said.

Pence, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Kim Hood Jacobs, The Honorable Mitch Daniels, The Honorable Greg Ballard, John Krauss, Jim Morris and Dr. William Enright all spoke at the funeral held at Second Presbyterian Church Saturday afternoon.

“We’re all better because Bill Hudnut passed through our lives,” Ballard said. “He meant something to us and to our city.”

Many credit Hudnut’s work during his time in office for making Indianapolis the city it is today.

“This is a man’s who’s vision and leadership and belief in our state’s capital city would literally transform Indianapolis and its skyline into a worldwide destination of commerce, entertainment and culture,” Pence said. “By the time Bill Hudnut was done, Indianapolis was headed to be a global city of enormous influence that continues to widen to this day.”

In Hudnut’s last public statement he said he wanted his epitaph to read, “he built well and cared about people.” By Saturday’s showing, he did that and much, much more.

“God bless you mayor,” Pence said. “Thank you for building. Thank you for caring. Your leadership and example will always inspire.”


In lieu of flowers, Hudnut asked prior to his passing that memorial contributions be made to support:

  • Hudnut Commons plaza maintenance fund, at Downtown Indy, Inc.
    Contributions can be sent to:
    Hudnut Commons Project
    Downtown Indy, Inc.
    111 Monument Circle, Suite 1900
    Indianapolis, IN  46204
  • Hudnut Scholarship in Public Leadership at the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs.  Checks can be sent to the Indiana University Foundation with “Hudnut Scholarship in Public Leadership” on the memo line:
    Indiana University Foundation
    P.O. Box 6460
    Indianapolis, IN 46206
  • Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis.
    Contributions can be sent to:
    The University of Indianapolis
    Office of the President
    c/o Mayoral Archives and Mayor Bill Hudnut
    1400 East Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227

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