This article first appeared in the June 19, 2014 edition of the Vermont Standard.
By Katy Savage, Standard Staff
Faye Dudley had always wanted to be a teacher. She was a lifelong learner and active community member who served on the Woodstock Union High School board and volunteered for the King’s Daughters and Sons.
Dudley died in February 2013 after a 12-year-struggle with Alzheimer’s.
In her memory, Bruce Dudley, who died the same year as his wife in July, created a scholarship to be awarded to one student planning to pursue a career in education and another planning to pursue a career in the health field each year. The scholarships are for $5,000 each.
Dudley attended to the University of Vermont with a full four-year scholarship to get a degree in education, but she never finished because after one year of college, she married Bruce.
“I think he wanted to recognize the interests that she had in education in general but also the personal pursuit of that that she had,” Dane Dudley said of his father.
The Faye A. Dudley Memorial Scholarship is not just for straight-A students or for those with low income. The scholarship is geared toward student’s desire and what they plan to give back to the community.
The awardees have to finish one year of college and then present their grades and the subjects that they’re going to sign up for the following year to the King’s Daughters. Each student’s school then receives the money at the start of their sophomore year.
The first recipients were announced at a ceremony last week. The scholarship was awarded to Anna Ramsey, who will be attending Colby College next year to study biology and pre-medicine and Brendan Geiger, who will be studying English literature at Wheaton College next year, to one day become a teacher.
Geiger was inspired by his current high school English teacher. One of the reasons he was awarded was because he wrote on his application that he wanted to come back and serve the small town he grew up in, said Marilyn Spaulding, a volunteer of King’s Daughters, who reviews scholarship applications.
“If there’s anything that we can do for young people to stay in Vermont, it would be wonderful,” Spaulding said.
Both of the Dudleys were active community members. Bruce Dudley was president of the Woodstock National Bank, which is now TD Bank. Faye was on the high school board chair in 1967 and worked at Norman Williams Public Library and worked part-time at Woodstock schools.
“She loved kids,” her daughter, Kathy Dudley said.
Faye was born in Woodstock, got married and died in Woodstock. She spent the last seven years of her life at Mertens House. That’s part of the reason the scholarship awarded to a health student.
“My father and the family just recognized that they had done a great job of taking care of her,” Dane said.
Bruce died in July. He was able to set up the scholarships before he passed away, but he wasn’t able to see them come to formation.
There was also a scholarship created for Bruce Dudley by the Upper Valley Stamp Club, a group of stamp collectors that Bruce founded about 14 years ago. The family didn’t find out about he scholarship until awards night.
“They were very community-oriented people so to see this come back to the community — is exactly what they wanted,” Dane said.