William Dudgeon (1949 - 2013)

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William I. Dudgeon

At 10:37 a.m., December 19, 2013, William "Wild Bill" Dudgeon, died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and daughters after a courageous, nearly 4-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

A visitation will begin at 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Sunday, December 22, 2013, at Miller West Funeral Chapel, 6200 W. 41st St., with the family present. A funeral service will be at 11:00 am Monday, December 23, 2013, at Peace Lutheran Church.

Bill was diagnosed on February 24, 2010, and doctors gave him only three to six months to live. He let them know in no uncertain terms that he had very different plans. At times we're sure he amazed, entertained - and probably irritated - his wonderful Sanford oncology team. Bill spent the last four years looking better than he had a right to, enjoying time with his wife and daughters, taking walks with his grandbabies and riding around the "Chadwick hood" on his canary yellow Catrike. Because he knew time was precious, Bill focused his energy on loving up his family, especially the granddaughters he cherished.

To say Bill was a character is the understatement of the century. He will be remembered for his humor (not always appropriate), quick wit, and general social butterfly-ness. He had the uncanny ability to remember details of every relationship he ever made and to come up with lifelong nicknames you felt blessed to receive. Through the years, Bill coached soccer for all of his daughters. He loved every minute of it, especially the relationships he built with his extended soccer daughters and their families. He was competitive and obsessive in his pursuit of learning everything he could about the game; yet he was so patient and nurturing when sharing that knowledge with his players. One thing that people remember, among many, is that he never left the field until every one of those girls was safely on her way home.

Throughout his life, Bill also enjoyed catching walleyes, hunting, reading and watching the Chicago Bears. But at the end of the day, his favorite activity was anything involving his family. He loved his girls so.

"Sweet William" was born June 14, 1949 in Ottawa, Illinois to Helen (Jones) Dudgeon and Dudley Dudgeon. As a young boy, his mother married Thomas "Sarge" Farrell. The family lived all around the United States as Sarge was a lifer in the Marine Corps. Ultimately, they settled down in Marseilles, Illinois where Bill graduated from high school. Bill enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969 and served honorably for six years, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was a medal-winning sharp shooter, and the Marines taught him Vietnamese in preparation for the war. However, in true Government fashion, they shipped him to Japan.

After his service, he settled in Sioux City, Iowa where he met his wonderful future-wife, Barbara Beck, while working at Barb's dad's company, Sioux Transportation. All eyewitness accounts confirm he was a shameless flirt - Barb didn't stand a chance. Bill's silky black hair, gorgeous legs, and a chest that rivaled Tom Selleck's sealed the deal. They married November 17, 1979 and made their home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He worked for American Freight for a number of years where he made friendships that lasted throughout his life. For several years up until retirement, he manned the Sioux Falls branch of Pioneer Transfer with many wonderful colleagues.

Bill's spirit lives on in his beloved wife of 34 years, Barb, his three daughters, Lyndsay (Luke) DeMatteo, Kelly Tadlock (Jerry Cook), and Meghan (Aaron) Bowar all of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He will be forever missed by his six granddaughters: Isla (Lyndsay), Maisy, Lily & Avery (Kelly), Rylee and Sadie (Meghan). Bill left before he could welcome the long-awaited grandson Meghan is expecting February 6, 2014. He is survived by his brother, Everett Dudgeon (Streator, IL), sister, Colletta Banks (Sioux City, IA), his mother-in-law Carole Beck, and many other beloved family members and neighbors. He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Tom Farrell, Dudley Dudgeon, and a son who came too early.

We will love you always.

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Funeral Home
Miller West Funeral Home
6200 West 41st Street Sioux Falls, SD 57106
(605) 361-6394
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Argus Leader on Dec. 21, 2013
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