Cover photo for Shirley Johnson Dudzik's Obituary
Shirley Johnson Dudzik Profile Photo

Shirley Johnson Dudzik

May 20, 1927 — April 6, 2024

Warner Robins

Shirley Johnson Dudzik died peacefully the morning of April 6, 2024, at The Phoenix on Lake Joy Road in Warner Robins, Georgia. She was just a few weeks shy of her 97th birthday.

 

The eldest of two children born to John Milton and Lula Johnson, Shirley was born in St. Josephs, Missouri on the same day Charles Linbergh began his historic flight across the Atlantic, May 20, 1927. Her parents and her younger brother Dick preceded her in death. In her lifetime, Shirley also endured the passing of three husbands and three grandsons.

 

During the Depression, the family relocated to Grossse Pointe Woods, Michigan, where Shirley attended middle and high school. A popular girl of grace and style, Shirley was no "mean girl"; she made it a point to reach out to marginalized classmates to make sure they were included in school and social activities. It's a characteristic she refined and maintained throughout her life. 

 

Future generations will be forever indebted to the seating chart employed by a University of Michigan professor in the Fall of 1945. It was through that twist of fate that "Johnson" was assigned a seat next to "Jones". A pre-med student recently returned from The War, the future Dr. Edwin Jones stayed mostly silent throughout the semester, before offering Shirley a ride home for the holidays. They were married in September of 1947. Shirley left school to support her husband's medical studies and later remained home as their children were born. She remained active outside the home, however, participating in PTA, organizing Girl Scout activities and other community projects, including a drive to install a stoplight at a dangerous intersection near a school.

 

Dr. Jones died in July of 1973, but the couple's four children survive: Leslie Cleary (Mike) of Harrison, Arkansas; Richard (Dana) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Carol Chandler (Steve) of San Pedro, California and Nancy Deighan (Chris) of Warner Robins.

 

Survivors also include step-daughters Joni Meyer (Don) of Minooka, Illinois and Peg Schickedanz of Bloomington, Illinois, sister-in-law Margaret Johnson of Michigan, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

 

Shirley loved dinner parties, playing Bridge or anything else that offered a chance to enjoy a glass of Reisling and good conversation. It was during one of these occasions that she met her second husband, Jerome Schickedanz. The two married and moved to Jerry's farm in Chenoa, Illinois. The adjustment to farm life wasn't always easy, but Shirley made the most of it for the love of Jerry and the benefit of her youngest daughters who moved with her. He passed in 1990.

 

After a time, Shirley found love again and married Frank Dudzik, a retired Marine. They remained together until his death in 2012.

 

Shirley moved to Warner Robins in 2011 and, while living at Summers Landing, set to the task of organizing mixers, Bridge parties and Happy Hours like a Michigan dormitory RA. She developed many enduring friendships in that time. 

 

Shirley was a good, good person. She put her faith into deeds, often at her own expense. Conversations with her could be difficult because she eschewed small talk, preferring discussions of significant issues; even with relative strangers. But how else could they become friends?

 

All are invited to a memorial service April 9, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. at McCullough Funeral Home in Warner Robins, Georgia. Ms. Shirley's ashes will later be interred with her first husband in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.

 

The family expresses its gratitude to the staff and crew of the Phoenix at Lake Joy, Hospice workers and especially Aisha Fain, who provided care and comfort to Shirley for many years. Who does it? Shirley Dudzik!

 

In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family asks you keep your loved ones close.

 

Go to www.mcculloughfh.com to sign the Online Registry for the family.  McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Johnson Dudzik, please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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