Helen C. Dudrey, 92, of Union Gap, Washington, passed away at Landmark Care Center on November 3, 2012. Helen was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, at her grandparents’ home on November 25, 1919, to Everett W and Helen (Ludwig) Guilford. The summer after she was born, the family moved to Wyoming traveling via covered wagon, where her father purchased a ranch in Kara Creek near Sundance, Wyoming.
As a young woman Helen grew up on a ranch and often rode a horse to school. After completing the eighth grade she started to work for a family in town, this allowed her to attend high school as education was something that she took great pride in. Often times the weather prevented her from making the trip back to the ranch for weeks at a time. She graduated from high school in 1937 and went to work full time for the social security office as a secretary. She later attended the Black Hills Teachers College (now the University of Wyoming) and graduated with a teaching degree and taught in a one room school house.
She married Joseph Dudrey on January 21, 1938, in Deadwood, South Dakota, after a whirlwind romance. They lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Sundance, Wyoming, and Fort Polk, Louisiana, before moving to Washington State in 1952. They spent one year in Sunnyside before moving to Union Gap in 1953. Joe and Helen were married for 53 loving years, until his passing in 1991. She continued to live in the family home in Union Gap after his death until declining health required her to move to Landmark.
Mom enjoyed being a homemaker; she loved having big family dinners. Her homemade chicken and noodles were everyone’s favorite. She always had hot coffee and a plate of goodies ready for anyone who stopped by. She was a Bluebird leader and volunteered for the Cancer Society, March of Dimes, United Good Neighbors, and the PTA. She was an avid reader and enjoyed crossword puzzles. The most important thing in her life was her family, which she had a great love for. Her grandchildren were the center of all her affection. She loved playing games at Holiday get-togethers. She bowled on a league for many years and loved to travel. Later in life Helen was a librarian at the Union Gap Library. She attended the Yakima Bible Baptist Church and was a cancer survivor.
She is survived by her daughters, Joellen (Jim) Bennett, Sheila (Ernie) Russell, all of Yakima; six grandsons, Mike (Janet) Daniels, Mitch Daniels, Ralph Bennett, Andy (Lorie) Russell, Tom (Melissa) Russell and Joey Russell; two step-granddaughters, Rindy (Paul) Russell-Hutchinson and Landa Jeffery; fourteen great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; one sister, Karen Schwartz and one brother, Jim Guilford.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Joe; and brother, Gene.
The staff of Landmark treated Mom like family during these past two years. She considered it her home. Conchita, Karen and Joey gave our mom special loving care.
Funeral Services will be conducted Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 11 a.m., at Keith & Keith Terrace Heights Chapel. Concluding services and burial will follow at Terrace Heights Memorial Park. To share a memory of Helen, visit www.keithandkeith.com.
She blessed so many with her generous spirit and loving nature.