Obituary for Beverly Lou Dudeck
Beverly Lou Dudeck was born on December 4, 1926 in Wabash, Indiana and was called Home to God on February 20, 2022. She was the youngest of four girls, with one sister, Marilyn, having already died before Bev was born. When Bev was four months old, her birth mother died. Her two older sisters, Billie and Wanda, were moved to the care of an aunt and Bev was moved to Michigan, near Charlotte, to live with her paternal grandparents. A neighbor to the grandparents knew of a family able to raise an infant, so in June 1927, Bev became Beverly Lou Parker, the daughter of Clarence and Olga Parker. Bev liked to tell the story of her first few nights with her mom and dad; she was so little, a dresser drawer was her crib for the first few days. The Parkers lived in Mulliken, and as Bev has written, life went on. Bev attended Nickle School for eight grades and then graduated from Grand Ledge High School. Bev will tell people she worked “here and there”, but she worked for years at Brown Corporation in Ionia and ended her work years at Lear’s Supermarket in Portland. Bev was first married in 1946. She married again in 1951, to Richard (Jack) Dudeck. She loved to talk about the cross-country motorcycle trip she and Jack took for their honeymoon – Jack on the bike and Bev in the sidecar. Jack worked at Portland Products and he tolerated her owl collecting and she went along with his steam engine hobby. They were quite a pair, being married for 40 years, before Jack was called to Glory in 1991. After Jack’s passing, Bev began what she called her “missionary duty”, driving other seniors to various appointments and to her weekly Monday night supper at the Congregational Church. Bev finally sold that bright Gold Mustang a few years ago, but she sure had fun behind the wheel of that car!
Bev loved to travel, doing so in groups or with one or two friends. She kept every ticket, brochure, and souvenir from all of her trips. She loved to go to garage sales, estate sales, and second-hand stores, always on the look-out for owls. She was a prodigious “journaler”, jotting notes every night in a variety of notebooks. She kept company with Walt Sprague until Walt’s death; they would go to lunch or hit the garage sales; anything to share time together. Bev liked to work crossword puzzles, enjoyed puttering in her yard until her mobility lessened, and made sure to send birthday and Christmas cards to the regulars on her list. Bev was honored in 2007 by the Portland Chamber of Commerce as its Outstanding Citizen of the Year for her volunteer efforts. Bev was a long-time member of the Portland Nazarene Church and also enjoyed services at the Portland Congregational Church. While Bev was raised with a knowledge of her adoption, it wasn’t until she was an adult that she was able to reconnect with Billie and Wanda, and after re-establishing this relationship, the three sisters became very close, with Bev visiting both often and hosting Wanda in her home for weeks at a time.
Beverly was predeceased by her parents, Clarence and Olga Parker, her loving husband, Jack, and by her three sisters, Marilyn, Billie, and Wanda. She is survived by her niece, Barbara (Steve) Kassel of Orangevale, CA, and by her cousins, Ruth Ann Mellios of Mulliken, Charles Kahle of Portland, and Diana Reneken of Kalamazoo. She is also survived by other second and third cousins connected to the Parker and Dudeck families. Bev is survived by members of the Willemin family – Ellen, Ralph, Mary, Nancy, Steven, Luann, Thomas, and Sherri. In addition, Bev is survived by her Maynard Road neighbors and by everyone she touched in the Portland community by her kindness.
A service will be conducted at Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge St., Portland at 11:00 am on Friday, February 25, 2022 by Rev. Dr. Marilyn Danielson, with a graveside service to follow for those that wish to attend at Portland Cemetery. Friends may call at Lehman Funeral Home an hour before the service. Bev’s family and friends wish to thank the staff members at Portland Assisted Living and Memory Center for the superb care provided to Bev. For those wishing, donations in memory of Beverly may be made to Heart to Heart Hospice or to the Ionia County Humane Society. On line condolences may be made at www.lehmanfuneralhomes.com