Obituary: Nancy Dudley
Nancy Dudley of Fernandina Beach, Florida, died Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the age of 93. She was the youngest of five children born in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, to Wade and Mamie Pile.
She entered McMurray College for Women at the start of World War Two. Despite the absence of men, she and her lifelong friends created their own all-girl dances and mixers, as well as a few campus high jinks.
Her landlady introduced her to Harry Dudley, the town’s newest eligible bachelor. Mistaking his Southern charm as disingenuous, Nancy was not initially impressed by his wit and gentility. However, the stars aligned, Nancy came to her senses, and she married Harry on June 11, 1952.
Nancy left her job to become a homemaker, a career for which she had trained so many other women. Her life with Harry took them to several places, finally relocating in DeLand, Florida. The 18 years spent in DeLand were among her favorites.
She and Harry raised three children there. Nancy was active in the Presbyterian Church nursery school and was a volunteer elementary school nurse, or “Gray Lady” (the uniform color).
She and Harry were known as the consummate host and hostess. Especially memorable were their annual Christmas Eve parties.
Nancy and Harry moved their family to Winter Garden, Florida, in 1978. Nancy continued to live there after Harry’s death in 2001 and moved to Inverness, Florida, in 2003 to be closer to her son, Robert.
In 2017, she moved to Amelia Island with her eldest daughter, Katherine. Nancy spent her final months surrounded by family and the sounds of the ocean she loved.
She was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, her parents, two brothers and two sisters.
She is survived by her children, Katherine Dudley Hoehn, Fernandina Beach, Robert Dudley (Chris), Inverness, Ruth Dudley Burkey (Paul), Greeneville, Tennessee; and nine grandchildren, Matt (Jen) Hoehn, St. Charles, Missouri, Robert (Liz Yearsley) Hoehn, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, Emily Dudley, Inverness, Anna Dudley, Boston, Massachusetts, Dan (Mary) Burkey, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Hunter (Jessamine) Burkey, Fairbanks, Alaska, Martha Grace Burkey Moore (Michael), Alexandria, Virginia, and Thomas and Nancy Katherine Burkey, Greeneville, Tennessee. She also leaves three great-grandchildren, Henry Hoehn and Lydia and Alice Yearsley-Hoehn.
A small memorial service will be held in Deland, Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. In lieu of flowers, and in memory of Nancy’s love for nature, the family requests donations be made in her name to Oakland Nature Preserve in Oakland, Florida (oaklandnaturepreserve.org).
St. Johns Family Funeral Home, St. Augustine, Florida, is in charge of arrangements.