Vernal Dudley Tuttle, Jr., 63, a resident of Los Chavez, passed away Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. Dudley was born Oct. 3, 1949 to Ruth Gaynelle Lawley and Vernal Dudley Tuttle Sr. of Portales, N.M. He was a 1967 graduate of Clovis High School, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1967 as an aircraft weapons mechanic. While serving three tours of duty in Vietnam, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and The Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters. In 1976, Dudley joined the New Mexico Air National Guard where he went on to become a full time aircraft armament technician. Dudley married Cheryl Lynn Anaya, of Albuquerque, in April 1979, and together they had four children. The family moved from Albuquerque to their current home in Los Chavez in 1987. Dudley was an avid fisherman and hunter, teaching his children the importance of safety and the love of the sports. Dudley was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Marshall Tuttle; stepmother, Nadine Tuttle; sister, Ann Baray; and son-in-law, Marshall Williams. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl; children, Yolanda "Lonnie" Tuttle-Williams, Vernal "Tres" Tuttle, III (Liz), Reed Tuttle (Katie), Traci Tuttle (Jeroen van der Ploeg); grandchildren, Kailee Rae and Payton Reed Tuttle; sisters, Yvonne Cobb (Ernie), Becky Determan (Steve); three nieces; and three nephews. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m., at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, with a gathering of friends and family to follow. Arrangements are being handled by the caring professionals at the Noblin Funeral Service Belen Chapel, 418 W. Reinken Ave., (505) 864-4448, where an online guest register is available at www.noblinfuneralservice.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 19, 2013