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Lois Brown Dudley
October 15, 1928 ~ September 12, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Lois Brown Dudley, 94, of Burke, Virginia, passed September 12, 2023. She was a quiet beauty whose small stature sometimes hid her inner strength and her even bigger heart. Lois was born on October 15, 1928, to Bennie and Julia Brown in Washington County, Tennille, Georgia. She was the third of four girls in the family.
Growing up and having met and married a hometown young man, Andrew C. Dudley, Sr. who was in the Army, Lois left the comfort and security of her home in the early 1950’s and moved across the world to Germany! While in Germany she gave birth to two of her three children, well away from the support of family and friends. Her first child had already been born prior to their leaving to go overseas. That’s bravery and that’s love!
Lois recognized her love of cosmetology through working with hair while in high school. So passionate for her craft, Lois became a licensed cosmetologist before obtaining a high school diploma. Shortly after completing their tour in Germany and returning to the U.S., Lois’ father died. Lois and her children joined her mother in Georgia while Andrew completed additional military assignments. During this time, Lois and her younger sister, Juanita who was also a licensed cosmetologist opened the Two Sisters Beauty Salon in Macon, Georgia. They became Black women entrepreneurs well before that definition was coined.
Eventually, Andrew received an assignment to Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, and there the family called home for nearly 55 years. True to her passion and to her craft, Lois opened the Dudley’s Hair Salon adjacent to their home. She skillfully balanced her business with her home life. In other words, she mastered time management before it was a thing to do!
Lois, Mama, Mommy, Grandmother, Auntie was always perfectly coifed. Her style was simple and classic from her head to her toes. Nothing out of order. Seeing Lois was like a checklist of seeing what one must look like before walking out of the house. Her style spoke volumes to her attention to detail. No one could compete with her meticulous ways.
A faithful and devout Catholic and believer, Lois was a walking and talking example of what it means to be faithful to God! She knew with every fiber of her being what God can do and will do. Her consistency in prayer during her lifetime, and her devotion to God gave rise to a never wavering faith in Christianity and in Catholicism. She was unshakeable and unmovable in her love and belief in God even after the loss of her beloved husband, who was only 49 years old when he passed away in 1979, her mother, her cherished and only son and all of her sisters. Lois never remarried.
Lois Brown Dudley has impacted the Brown and Dudley families in ways that will be passed on through generations. Even in her final days and hours, she showed us compassion and grace and graciousness. More importantly, she showed us what the true definition of faith is by practicing it each and every day! We are ever blessed to call her “Ours."
In May 2022, Lois left Georgia and moved to Virginia to live with her daughter and son-in-law. On the early afternoon of September 12, 2023, Lois said good-bye to us and went on to be with the Lord and her loved ones who had already gone on before, in eternity. She leaves behind her two daughters, Wanda Dudley Popham, Monica Dudley Neeley (Louis); daughter-in-law, Shenida Dudley (Andrew Dudley, Jr. deceased); special niece; Veronica Grant; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters in-law, Willie and Mary Ann Nelson, Claudine Dudley, Carl and Dora Dudley; and a host of nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023, 11 am with visitation from 10-11am at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2607 Lumpkin Road, Augusta, GA 30906. Interment immediately following mass at Mount Olive Memorial Gardens, 3666 Deans Bridge Road, Hephzibah, GA 30815. In Lieu of Flowers: Donations may made to the American Cancer Society.