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Donald William Dudley


11/07/1934 - 07/07/2015 Obituary
Donald William Dudley Obituary
Don Dudley of Taft passed away in Bakersfield Tuesday July 7, 2015 at the age of 80. Born November 7, 1934 in New Castle Texas, he was the second youngest of seven siblings. His parents were Martha Della Byrd Dudley and Arthur Eugene Dudley.
He was a highly respected coach at Taft Union High School and his greatest coaching memory was in November 1970 when his team defeated Garces for the SSL Championship.
Dudley graduated from Fresno State University with a Bachelor's degree, teaching credential and married his high school sweetheart Ruth Mae (Ball). Ruth passed away in 2010 after 54 years of marriage.
A veteran of the US Army, Dudley received an honorable discharge in 1960 .He was an instructor, football, and swimming coach for Taft Union High school for 15 years. He later became a building contractor and building inspector for Kern County. He was an expert in all construction phases including framing, cabinetry, stucco, flatwork and masonry. He was a jack of all trades, and quite possibly a master of some.
His recreational passion was riding motorcycles. He and his wife logged over a million miles on four different bikes. They wore out two BMW's; then, switched to a Goldwing, wore it out and traded for a Goldwing trike. Then, they rode the trike until they couldn't ride any longer. One trip took them to the Panama Canal. They completed the Alaskan Highway and covered the entire lower 48 of the United States. They would ride up to 500 miles just to get a cup of coffee.
He was preceded in death by wife Ruth and his parents Arthur and Martha. He also lost: brothers J.W., Gene, sisters Ethel, Elizabeth and Vera. He is survived by brother Ken of Lemoore, son Rich and wife Dottie of Taft. Also, son Robert of Ventura, daughter Jamia and husband Steve Marcell of Bakersfield. He was the proud grandfather of Clayton Dudley and great-grandchild Kayleigh Ruth.
Services will be held at the Lori Family Mortuary 1150 4th Street Taft on Saturday, July 18 at 10 am. A luncheon will follow at OT's Cookhouse 205 North 10th, Taft, CA 93268.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 12, 2015
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