SIDNEY -- Christine Alice Benson Dudley passed on to her Heavenly rest Friday, July 27, 2012, surrounded by her loving family at Lakewood Continuing Care Center after a period of declining health.
She was born February 19, 1924, in the Sidney farmhouse she resided in until her admission to Lakewood in February.
Christine, the fourth of five children born to Harold and Ella (Cowan) Benson, grew up in a close-knit, devoted, Christian family. She graduated from Williams High School in 1942. She attended Gordon College, Farmington Teachers' College, Gorham Normal School and graduated from Providence Bible Institute in 1947.
Christine taught school in the old, one-room school houses; first, in the Cowan School in Sidney, and later, in Belgrade. She married Fred Dudley of Smithfield on April 18, 1953, and soon gave up teaching full-time to become a wife and mother. Together, she and Fred raised 4 children, returning to substitute teaching as the youngest reached school age. In 1972, she took a full-time job as a personal care aide and CRMA at Cowan's Boarding Home, currently Snowpond Residential Care, for 17 years, retiring in 1989.
She adored her grandchildren and spent many hours "teaching" them during her retirement years.
Christine was most often found in her garden, growing a variety of vegetables and beautiful flowers. Friends and neighbors came back year after year for her delicious corn. She was a staunch Republican and enjoyed following politics.
She was a member of the Oakland-Sidney United Methodist Church for more than 70 years.
Christine was predeceased by her parents; three sisters, Catherine Benson, Grace Benson, and Ruth Bulmer.
She is survived by her husband, Fred, of 59 years; four children, Carol Brann and husband, Dennis, of Vassalboro, Richard Dudley and wife, Donna, of Dresden, Linda Graham and husband, David, of Waterville and Sidney, and Esther Dudley, of Waterville; four grandchildren, Leslie Tardiff and husband, Derek, of Waterville, Sarah Dudley and partner, John Mraz, of Watertown, N.Y., Joshua McKechnie of Waterville, and Kyle Dudley and wife, Erica, of Melbourne, Fla; three great-grandsons, Jacob Couture, Cooper Tardiff and Eben Dudley; one brother, Rev. Howard Benson and wife, Eva, of Bangor; one cousin, Clara Kierstead, of Waterville; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Funeral Home and Cremation Services. There will be no visiting hours. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at the Oakland Sidney United Methodist Church on West School Street in Oakland, with burial immediately following in Pine Grove Cemetery in Belgrade. A gathering following the service will be held downstairs at the church in Oakland.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Christine's memory to Oakland Sidney United Methodist Church 20 West School St Oakland ME 04963. Web site: www.wheelerfh.com