April 19, 1946 – November 1, 2023
James A. Dudy passed away on November 1, 2023, at the age of 77 years old. He is preceded in death by his father Steven J. Dudy, mother Leona Dudy, brothers Paul Dudy and Tom (Kathy) Dudy, and his brother-in-law Leonard Dworniczek. He is survived by his brother Michael Dudy (Suzie) and sister Patti Dworniczek (Lenny), nieces Carolyn (Garret) Adams, Kelly Dworniczek (Frank Baldassare), Janice Pipgrass and Sally Sethoff, and nephews Paul Dudy, Mark Dudy, and Craig Dudy.
Uncle Jim was a quirky guy, but as “quirky” is the defining characteristic of the Dudy clan, we loved his quirks. He loved Old Style, dogs, cars, the White Sox and the Bears. Boundlessly patient, he spent years tolerating the relentlessness of his nieces and nephews, whose favorite thing was to sneak up behind him and mess up his meticulously grown and coiffed comb-over. He adored and was completely dedicated to the meanest dog ever (“Sparky”, a fluffy, brown poodle from the gates of hell) that repeatedly bit each of said nieces and nephews.
He was loved and cared for intensely by his sister Patti and brother Tom, as evidenced by their daily speaker phone calls, which likely could be heard from space. He was so happy in his new apartment and especially loved Garrett and Carolyn who helped him move in, bought him beer, and would always happily take his late-night phone calls. He was very upset about Camp Lajeune, the price of gas, and the people who parked in front of his house. He loved Polish cooking — even though they charged WAY too much for golabki — and Thanksgiving. He was acutely fond of his nephew Mark, for reasons still a mystery, even to Mark. And he loved all of us back, just as much, in his own way.
Uncle Jim spent much of his life laboring under mental illness before there were treatments or compassion around such things. This illness cost him his ability to experience the wonder of marriage, children, career, and a million other things. His true nature was repressed and obscured by his illness, until his later years when he found the treatments and medication which brought him peace. And then we had the joy of getting to know the funny, caring, and sentimental man that he was. In honoring Uncle Jim’s memory, let us remember the importance of compassion for those battling mental illness and continue to support efforts that aim to bring solace, understanding, and acceptance to those who suffer. Uncle Jim was ours. He was imperfect and a bit broken, but generous and loving, and he was ours. And we love him so much and will miss him forever.