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Mary Celestine (Celeste) Lucid Dudley of Gloucester, died on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, at age 96 after a brief illness.

She was born in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 1923, the daughter of Leo Michael and Ethel Celestine (Ryan) Lucid, and she grew up in Batavia, New York.

She earned an undergraduate degree in English from Marymount College (now Fordham University) in Tarrytown, New York, and also attended Cornell University where she studied poetry. She pursued graduate studies in English at Boston College until her marriage.

While at Cornell University, she met Louis Roane (Jack) Dudley, and they were married in 1948. She was widowed in 1987, and preceded in death by her infant twin daughters and by her siblings, James R. Lucid, Dr. Morgan L. Lucid and Eugenie M. Lucid.

She is survived by her children, Mary Ryan (Dudley) McCarthy, John Louis Dudley (Holly), and Dr. James Roane Dudley (Carolyn), and is survived by eight grandchildren, James R. Dudley, Peter D. McCarthy, John R. Dudley, Rebecca A. Dudley Atalay, Catherine G. Dudley, Sarah C. Dudley, James S. Dudley and Christine E. Dudley. She is also survived by 11 nieces and nephews. She treasured and was blessed by the love and affection of many wonderful people, having continued to make new friends throughout her life, and she used her writing talents to keep them close to her heart.

Mrs. Dudley was a teacher in Batavia, New York, Rochester, New York, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Quezon City, Philippines. These locations were often dictated by her husband’s naval career, and upon his retirement and their move to Gloucester in 1969, she resumed her teaching career in the Gloucester County school system. After her retirement from teaching, she assumed an active role in the Gloucester-Mathews League of Women Voters and in the Virginia League of Women Voters. She also worked as a legislative assistant for Dr. Harvey Morgan during a portion of his tenure as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

An avid gardener, Mrs. Dudley completed the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service education to become a Master Gardener, and she authored a weekly gardening column for the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal for 14 years. She volunteered in the gift shop at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital and in the Gloucester County school system.

She was generous with her sewing, knitting, quilting and needlepoint, and she continued creating and completing new projects until just days before her death.

She was a member of The Church of St. Therese in Gloucester and joyfully shared her faith in God’s love. She put her faith to work as she introduced adults and young people to the good news of holy scripture, and she gave eloquent expression to the need for justice and peace in our lives. A memorial service there is planned for a later date.

The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Sanders Nursing Home for their kindness during Mrs. Dudley’s stay.

Andrews Funeral Home of Gloucester is assisting the family with arrangements, and online condolences may be offered on their website at

Memorial gifts may be made to The Church of St Therese, 6262 Main Street, Gloucester, Va. 23061, or to Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, Md. 21403.