Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

August 15, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell -8/15/2012

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:49 am

 On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

This week’s On The Bright Side is dedicated in memory of Wayne Dudley and in honor of Gay Dudley.  Wayne was born in Jacksonville, Texas on August 18, 1935 and passed away July 27, 2012.

Wayne and Gay were high school sweethearts and after his high school graduation in 1954 he became employed by the J B White Company.  He spent his working career with J B White and became manager of the Hemphill’s J B White Store in the mid 1970’s.  The Dudleys felt right at home in Sabine County and made hundreds of friends during the next twenty years.

My parents and I met the Dudleys shortly after we retired to make our home in Hemphill.  We became instant friends and shared many happy times together.  We ate lots of popcorn and parched peanuts at each others homes.  The Dudley’s made us feel right at home at their house and one Christmas we were invited to Christmas dinner with their family.

In December, 1992, the Dudleys came to our house for supper.  While we were around our dining room table, we decided to something special for the Hemphill County Courthouse at Christmas.  We purchased lights and decorated the large cedar tree on the square.

The cedar tree lighting became a tradition in Hemphill and was much later taken over by the Hemphill Lions Club.  The tree was decorated every Christmas until Hurricane Rita damaged the tree.

After the death of Mr. White, Wayne and Gay purchased the Hemphill store and continued until 1995.  The store was re-named Dudley’s.  Wayne and Gay kept many of the customer services offered by the store’s previous owner, Von and Minnie Elliott.  They provided free gift wrapping for their customers.

The Dudleys returned to Jacksonville to make their retirement home.  The past year has been very difficult for Wayne.  He had been unable to do the things he loved.  On Thursday before his death, he called his family together and said “It’s time for me to say goodbye.  I can see the lights of Heaven”.

Wayne was a faithful Christian and beloved member of his churches in Hemphill and Jacksonville.

Wayne’s memory will continue in the hearts of his wife, Gay and his children, Karen and Steve and his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

To those of us who knew him best, we were blessed to have a friend like Wayne Dudley.

August 15, 2012

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