In Memory

Vernon H Dudley


Vernon H. Dudley

Sept. 14, 1933 - June 7, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN - Vernon H. Dudley, age 85, born in LaPorte, IN on September 14, 1933 to Earl and Nedra Jones Dudley, passed away at Miller's Merry Manor in New Carlisle on Friday, June 7, 2019.

As a youth, Vernon was involved in LaPorte County 4-H. In 1945 he took first prize at the county fair in the Duroc heavy weight division and his barrow, also winning Grand Champion. Upon graduation from high school in 1951, Vernon worked on the family farm with his father, and also was employed at Allis Chalmers.

In 1954 Vernon was drafted into the United States Army and served two years in Erlangen, Germany. When he returned from Army duty in December of 1956, he met Barbara Engler from Oakland, California. Following their engagement in July 1957, a former high school teacher, Dewitt Post, encouraged him to enroll at Ball State Teachers College in Muncie. He began his studies in industrial arts and physical education in the fall of 1957.

On December 21, 1957, he and Barbara married in Sturgis, MI at Holy Angels Catholic Church. They established residence in Muncie at the Ball State Mobile Home Park. Following their move, Barbara assumed homemakers' chores in their “New Moon” mobile home and, for a short time, worked at the Glasco Corporation in Muncie.

On August 13, 1959, a daughter, Christine Terese, was born at Ball Memorial Hospital. In June 1961, Vernon graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. The following fall, he began teaching auto mechanics and eventually became head of the industrial arts department at Washington High School. In addition to his teaching duties, he began work on a Masters degree in education and worked part time beginning at Gilbert's Men's Clothing Store. He taught at Washington until 1971 when he transferred to John Adams High School and took the position of industrial cooperative training coordinator.

The following years he participated in many organizations related to his work and to the community: the Vocation Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), Indiana Industrial Cooperative Training Association, and the local Sertoma Club. For several years he served as Executive Secretary of the St. Joseph County 4-H Fair, and as a chairman and committee member of the Holy Family Catholic Church annual summer festival.

Upon his retirement from the South Bend Community School Corporation in 1993 after 33 years, Vernon became an instructor at Drive Rite driving school. He spent many retirement days during the spring and summer months playing golf with good friends at Beechwood golf course. In the winter, he moved on to the Scottsdale, Arizona courses and played many rounds with other “snow birds” and family members. In addition to his golf interest, he and Barbara frequently traveled to California throughout their marriage, spending memorable time with family and friends.

During the years of 2001, 2003, and 2005, Vernon and Barbara traveled to Germany. During one visit, Vernon returned to Erlangen, to his former Army barracks to rekindle pleasant memories of his two-year service time.

Vernon was a devoted fan of IU basketball (especially during the Bobby Knight era) and Notre Dame football. His dedication expanded in recent years to the ND Women's basketball team. From childhood, Vernon supported the Chicago Cubs and celebrated with great enthusiasm the 2016 World Series Championship.

Vernon is survived by his wife Barbara of 61 years and his daughter, Christine (Andy Raucci). Also, Vernon is survived by sisters-in-law, Donna Barulich (Paul) and Twyla Dudley; niece, Sara Barulich (Patrick Myers); nephews, Michael Barulich and Michael Dudley (Cindy); grandniece, April Dudley; grandnephew, Austen Dudley (Briana); and great-grandnephews, Giovanni & Cameron Dudley.

His parents, his sister Frances, and brother Gerald Dudley preceded him in death.

Visitation will be held 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in ST. JOSEPH FUNERAL HOME, 824 S. Mayflower Rd. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 13, 2019 in Holy Family Catholic Church. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the team at Miller's Merry Manor and the many others who provided care and comfort to Vern over the last few years.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Assoc. and the Habitat for Humanity. Condolences for the family may be made at

Published in South Bend Tribune on June 11, 2019

06/11/2019 JFC