"He could do things that you hadn't better try on your own, I'll tell you that," Baker said.
Hudson ran one of the first air taxi services on and off Denali, and in 1954 he took part in a dramatic rescue when an Air Force plane broke apart and crashed, killing 10 airmen on board.
Six airmen parachuted out of the plane and were rescued thanks to Hudson and another pilot.
Hudson later earned a U.S. Air Force medal for his heroism.
His friends say not only was he a good pilot, but he had a good heart and was always happy to help others.
"He'd give you anything, really. If you tried to buy something from him you couldn't buy it, but he'd probably give it to you, and he's helped everybody up here," Young said.
Hudson's primary customers through his air taxi service were people who lived in the bush along with some miners, trappers, hunters and fishermen.
"Cliff was a good friend, always. You could count on him. If he took you out and dropped you off, he'd come back and get you. Didn't always happen with some of the other pilots, but Cliff would get you. He would be there. You could count on him," Young said.
He spent thousands of hours in the air, flying through all types of weather conditions, and Hudson never had an accident.
He was known as a meticulous and careful pilot.
"Under the circumstances he flew and the equipment he flew, he got the most out of anything," Baker said.
"When you knew what he was flying and under the conditions and one thing or another, he never had problems. You always wondered why," Baker said.
Hudson is the central character in numerous Alaskan adventure stories you'll hear in Talkeetna, making the man seem larger-than-life.
But his friends say it was his down-to-earth demeanor that made Hudson magnetic.
"He was a common person and he was a part of that and that's really why everybody gravitated toward Cliff," Baker said.
"He was a perfect gentleman and everybody would attest to that. He was completely honest with you," Okonek said.
Funeral services for Cliff Hudson will be held this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Talkeetna at the Church on the Rock.
Contact Lori Tipton at email@example.com