Turtle Creek railroad supervisor preached perseverance
Whether Army Sgt. Dick Dudley was supervising construction of pontoon bridges across the rivers of France and Germany during World War II or coaching sandlot football in Turtle Creek, he did it with a sense of accomplishment.
"Dad was respected by the GIs who served with him as Army engineers moving troops and supplies across the rivers and streams," said his son, R. Keith Dudley of Monroeville.
"Dad's mandate to his men, his children and to those who worked with him on the Union Railroad was 'Stay with it, get it done, and always do the right thing.' "
Richard H. "Dick" Dudley, a retired assistant train master and yardmaster for the Union Railroad of U.S. Steel, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, in Juniper Village of Forest Hills. He was 85.
Mr. Dudley was a hard worker, and that enabled him to advance to supervisory positions, his son said.
"Dad knew the work and what was required of him. It was Dad's job to move the trains and material and to make sure they were put on the right tracks.
"On one occasion, he cautioned a young executive trainee that the cars that the trainee ordered to move had too much of a load and would never navigate a sharp bend.
"It happened. The cars toppled over, and then the cleanup began."
Born and raised in Turtle Creek, Mr. Dudley was one of two children of Howard and Anna Dudley. His father was employed by Westinghouse Electric Corp.
In 1942, after graduating from Turtle Creek High School, where he was a star quarterback on the football team, Mr. Dudley entered the military, bypassing a chance to play college football.
"Dad had excelled as the quarterback for the high school football team and had been awarded a football scholarship to the University of Michigan," his son said.
"It was my father's love of sports that enabled him to became active as a football coach for the Turtle Creek Athletic Football Association.
"Not only was Dad a role model for the young men he coached, he was a role model for his children. We were all involved in sports, and two of us became high school football coaches."
In addition to his son R. Keith, Mr. Dudley is survived by three children, Dennis Dudley of Shaler, Jeffrey Dudley of Midland, Mich., and Jill Sabol of North Strabane; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Jean Philpot of Columbia, S.C.
His wife and high school sweetheart, Betty Rees Dudley, whom he married in 1945, died Feb. 26, 2008.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Jobe Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., Shaw and Triboro avenues, Turtle Creek, where services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.
Interment with military honors will follow in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park, North Huntingdon.