Dudley J. Thomas of West Chester, PA passed away on Saturday June 13, 2020 at the age of 80.
He and his bride, Mary Lou (Kaiser) Thomas were married for 53 years.
Born in Bethlehem, PA in 1940, he was the son of the late Harold H. Thomas and the late Ruth C. Wirtz.
Dudley served as a Supply Corps Officer in the United States Navy from 1961 until 1982. Over his 21-year career, he served in many different duty stations afloat and ashore. His sea duty included service aboard USS Lynde McCormick (DDG-8) and USS Halsey (CG-23). He finished his career at the Aviation Supply Office in Philadelphia and raised his family primarily in South Jersey. Following his retirement from the Navy, Dudley joined Boeing Helicopters in Ridley Park, PA as a logistics engineer, where he worked on the V-22 Osprey. He retired from Boeing in 2000.
Dudley graduated from Penn State University in 1961 and received his Navy commission after attending Officer Candidate School. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School while serving in the Navy.
Dudley was a dedicated family man with numerous hobbies and interests outside of his career. He coached little league and served as a Cub Scout leader. He was a talented vocalist and sang in several ensembles over the years including a barber shop chorus, the Greater South Jersey Chorus, St. Thomas More Choir, and The Cinnaminson Chorus. As a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Dudley was involved in community outreach activities and several Bible studies. He helped recruit future Naval officers in the South Jersey area as a Blue and Gold Officer for the U.S. Naval Academy. Later in life, Dudley volunteered as a docent on the Battleship New Jersey (BB-62) in Camden, NJ. He and his fellow docents enjoyed many “Dufferteers” golf outings.
Dudley’s hobbies included music, gardening, golf, stamp collecting, and travel. He enjoyed the beach, especially Ocean City, NJ, where he and Mary Lou hosted their extended family every year for the past 14 summers. His eight grandchildren will remember his dedicated attendance at numerous concerts, swim meets, plays, recitals, soccer games, and hikes through the Colorado mountains. He and Mary Lou traveled all over the United States and visited nearly every continent.
In addition to his wife, Dudley is survived by his daughter, Karen Tooke, and sons, Eric and Patrick.
He was preceded in death by his brothers David and Douglas.
Relatives and friends are invited to Dudley’s visitation on Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 10:00 am - 10:45 am at St. Agnes Church, 233 W. Gay Street West Chester, PA 19380; followed by his Funeral Mass at 11:00 am. For those unable to attend, the Funeral Mass will be live-streamed at 11:00 am.
Interment will be held in St. Agnes Cemetery West Chester, PA immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, FDR Station, PO Box 220, New York, NY 10150. www.alzinfo.org
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, PA 610-696-1181; www.DellaFH.com.
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The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation
FDR Station, P.O. Box 220, New York NY 10150