Roger L. Dudley Sr.
Roger L. Dudley Sr., 78, peacefully returned to the arms of the Lord on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019.
Born on April 27, 1941, to Lemuel and Elsie Dudley, Roger grew up in Milwaukee and attended Custer High School, where he was well known for his love of cars and perhaps a bit of street racing. He worked as an auto mechanic for lifelong friend Bob Winiger, and then as a truck driver for Commercial Propane. He married his next-door neighbor, Merna (nee Jones), on September 7, 1962.
In March 1963, he was seriously injured in a go-kart accident, smashing his ankle and breaking both of his legs. He endured many painful surgeries over the next 55 years to correct problems in his legs and back as resulting from the accident, and he suffered from constant, chronic pain and two near-fatal bone infections. During these early years, his sons Roger Jr. (“Bud”) and Michael were born. A few years after the accident, the family purchased a farm in Amherst as a getaway home, eventually moving there permanently around 1968. His daughter, Merry, was born in 1973, around the same time Roger began working for Wayne Feeds with a mobile mill and feed service. He eventually drove milk truck for Amherst and the surrounding area.
During his years working with area farmers, Roger met many wonderful people that he always remembered fondly. He loved nothing more than to visit with his “old customers.” He also made it a point to travel to Milwaukee several times a year to see his friends and show his family his old “stomping grounds.” Roger’s favorite time of year was deer hunting season, when his friends and family would travel from Milwaukee and northern Illinois to spend 10 days at Dudley’s Deer Camp. The guys would hunt, eat, and play cards – thanks to the hard work of Merna, his sister-in-law Betty, and his three children. He also loved Thanksgiving and Merna’s turkey dinner. Roger will forever be remembered for his love of singing, traveling, quoting movies, and playing cards. He loved dogs, car shows, bonfires, presents, desserts, and candy.
Roger is survived by his wife, Merna; children Roger Jr., Michael, and Merry all of Amherst; grandchildren Sam (Tara Tepp) of Amherst, Macy of Neenah, and Ian of Amherst; and his great-grandchildren, Chloe and Jase. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and sister, as well as his great-granddaughter, Evelyn.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 24 at 11:30 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Amherst, WI. Pastor Dwight Anderson will officiate. A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at 11:30 a.m. at the church. The Jungers-Holly Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bethany Home of Waupaca for their excellent care during Roger’s lengthy illness.