John Dudeck, Jr, age 94, of Sunset Ridge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Bloomsburg went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, January 19th. Born in Beaver Township on Aug 10, 1924, he was the son of the late John and Hazel (Witchey) Dudeck. He was in failing health for the last three years; prior to residing at Sunset Ridge he lived in Beaver Township for over 90 years.
He graduated from Beaver Township High School in 1942. John enlisted in WWII in May 1943 and achieved the rank of Staff Sargent with the US Army Fighting 69th Infantry Division. He was a proud veteran and war hero. On Feb 29, 1945 he was wounded in action in Germany (Rhineland) and honorably discharged on March 21, 1945. From his hospital bed in England, he wrote: “The first thing I want to say is I don’t want anyone who may read this to get the idea that I think I am the only man in this war. Thousands of others are fighting in the same way I did and we’re all fighting for the same causes.” For his bravery and service, he was awarded the Purple Heart, the WWII Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Kane Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was active in the American Legion, and as president of the Bloomsburg chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association of Pennsylvania. Although war experiences were, at times, difficult for John to talk about, he accepted hundreds of requests to educate local school children, visitors to the Bloomsburg Fair, friends, family, and others he came in contact with by sharing stories, photographs, and other memorabilia.
John was an accomplished draftsman and successful business owner. He purchased the Precision Drawing Company (from W. Cordts, of Easton), re-named the business Precision Art and Photo (Berwick), and together with his wife and son, offered a large line of drawing, photo, engineering and blueprint services. In addition to the work they did on a daily basis, they also especially enjoyed many years as a Bloomsburg Fair vendor, where their booth in the Industrial Building was crowded with repeat customers, who, in addition to their purchase, often received a “treat bag” from Jean filled with candy and art-related goodies.
He was civic-minded as evidenced by his participation as a founding member and supporter of the joint Bloom-Beaver School, and election to the Bloomsburg Area School Board, where he served for a total of 23 years, including as President of Board. John was also an active and life-long member of the UCC congregation of St. Peter “Hager’s” Church, Bloomsburg. He cherished his friends in Christ, and spent many hours teaching Sunday school and performing other acts of service. He spoke often and with great appreciation for the kindness and support he received from many in his congregation, particularly during times of loss and great sadness. During his retirement he also enjoyed many hobbies and friends including fishing and vacationing in Canada, and making (and giving away) beautiful and unique earrings and other costume jewelry.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, D. Jean (Wanich) Dudeck, his son John “Jack” Dudeck III and daughter-in-law, June Dudeck, and his brother, Deacon Larry Dudeck. He is survived by extended family and countless friends and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
His funeral will be held Wednesday, January 23rd at 11 am in Saint Peter UCC Church, Beaver Valley Road, Bloomsburg. Burial will follow in Harger’s Cemetery. Friends may call at the church from 10am to 11am. Harman Funeral Homes & Crematory (West), 1265 Rock Glen Road, Rock Glen is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in his name to: St. Peter United Church of Christ, Attention: Lois Williams, 114 Beaver Valley Road, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. Online condolences may be entered and more information is available at www.harmanfuneral.com.
Donations may be made to:
St. Peter Union Church C/O Lois Williams
114 Beaver Valley Road, Bloomsburg PA 17815