A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. at the St. James Church in Woodstock for W. Bruce Dudley who passed away on July 18 at the Woodstock Terrace, after a short battle with cancer. At Bruce’s request, his body was donated to the Anatomical Gifts program at Dartmouth Medical School.
He was born in St. Johnsbury, son of Beatrice (McGoff) Dudley and Eugene P. Dudley on Jan. 18, 1923.
Bruce attended Orleans, Morrisville and Woodstock public schools and graduated in 1940 from Woodstock High School. Following graduation, he attended Concord, N.H., Business College for six months, and then worked in multiple First National Stores until enlisting in the Army Air Corps in August 1941. He did his basic training at Daniel Field, Augusta, GA. In February 1942, he was shipped to Brisbane, Australia and subsequently to Cairns, Australia and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. In December 1942, he was flown back to Wright-Patterson Air Base in Dayton, Ohio and then went to the Douglas Aircraft factory in Santa Monica, Calif. to evaluate the production and shipment of C-47 and other aircraft parts to the South Pacific.
Upon his return to Brisbane, Australia, he was transferred to the headquarters of the Far East Air Service Command and stationed in Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, and then in Manila, Philippines. In August 1945, he was flown to Greensboro, N.C. and then honorably discharged in September as a Master Sergeant. At the time of his discharge, Bruce was recommended for promotion to Warrant Officer as well as a direct commission. He was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Medal/Ribbon with four battle stars, American Defense Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal/Ribbon with one battle star, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit citation, World War II Victory Medal, Vermont Veterans Service Medal and Vermont Distinguished Service Medal.
In December 1945, Bruce began working at the Woodstock National Bank as a “teller trainee.” During the summers of 1959-61, he attended the ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers, The State University and completed courses at home, graduating in 1961. After several promotions, he was elected President/CEO and a Director of the Bank in 1963, retiring in 1988 after 42 years of service. He then served for one year as a Trust Officer for the Howard Bank of Burlington.
On Sept. 10, 1949, Bruce married Faye Ida Ambrose, daughter of Harrison and Irene (Clark) Ambrose and they had three children.
During his tenure at the Woodstock National Bank, he was President of the Vermont Bankers Association; President of the Rotary Club; Director of the Woodstock Union High School; Treasurer of the Woodstock Country Club; Chairman of the Board of the Windsor Central School District; Treasurer of the Woodstock Public Health and VNA; Trustee of Woodstock Foundation, Inc.; Village Trustee of Public Funds; one of three Town Trustees of Public Funds; Trustee, Vestryman and Verger of St. James Episcopal Church; Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Shareholder Advisory Committee; member of The Woodstock Masonic Lodge, Chapter, Vermont Commandery; member of the Ora Paul Post, American Legion and a Shriner for 50 years.
He is survived by his two daughters, Christine (Dudley) Gilbert and husband James of Brookfield, and Kathryn Dudley of Woodstock; and son Bruce Dane Dudley and wife Susan of Wethersfield, Conn; sister Priscilla (Diette) Salem and husband Charles of Bennington; brother Frederic Diette of Bernardsville, N.J. brother Leslie Dudley and wife Suzanne of Key West, Fla. brother Dwight Dudley of Orleans, and sister Betsy (Dudley) Curtis of Derby Line; and grandchildren: Alexander Gilbert of Brookfield, Kevin, John and Katherine Dudley of Wethersfield, Conn.; Jessica (Gilbert) Carpenter, and husband Nicholas and great-grandchildren Nolan and Blake of South Royalton; plus many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife Faye Ambrose Dudley who passed away in February, siblings Scott Dudley, Philip Diette, Patricia (Diette) Courtney, and Alan Diette.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Kings Daughters And Sons at P.O. Box 765, Woodstock, 05091, to be added to a scholarship fund established in memory of his wife, Faye Ambrose Dudley.
The Knight Funeral Home in White River Jct. has been entrusted with arrangements.
Condolences to Bruce’s family can be expressed at – www.KnightFuneralHomes.com.
This obituary first appeared in the August 1, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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