KARLA KAY DUDDEN, of Grant, NE, passed away in peace Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at the Perkins County Hospital.
Karla was born December 29, 1950 in Julesburg, Colorado to William and Lucille (Miller) Pidgeon. She graduated from Julesburg High School with the class of 1969 and attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley where she obtained her teaching degree. Her teaching career took her from Cherry Creek Schools to Brule Public Schools and finally to the Grant Elementary Middle School (GEMS), where she would teach for the remainder of her career. Karla retired from teaching in 2010, after 32 years of teaching.
On June 3, 1978, Karla was united in marriage to Larry Dudden of Venango, Nebraska. The pair were married in Englewood, CO. In 1989, Karla and Larry were blessed with their daughter, Lesley Kay, their pride and joy. As a family, they spent many happy years participating in Barrel Racing contests and Junior Rodeos throughout Nebraska and Colorado.
Karla was a kindred spirit who made it a point to live life with joy, love, and friendship. She encouraged her daughter and her students to do the same. Her example, one of unwavering support for those closest to her, was often the tipping point in big decisions in the lives of those who looked up to her. When Karla was met with adversity, her spirit and depth of character always had a way of shining through and transcending the challenges. Her love, laughter, encouragement, support and authenticity underscore a life lived well and with purpose.
Karla loved traveling, and was blessed to take several wonderful trips with her family and friends. She enjoyed golfing and playing cards as well as music and dancing. There was rarely an incident where Karla wasn't part of the life of the party. Karla was a longtime member of the Grant United Methodist Church, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and the American Legion Auxiliary. She loved her students and was passionate about being an educator and bringing out the best in her kids. She was an avid Denver Bronco fan. Karla's presence will be missed by many, but to quote one of her favorite authors, J. K. Rowling, "...know this, the ones that love us never really leave us."
Karla was preceded in death by her husband, Larry and her parents.
She is survived by her daughter, Lesley Kay Dudden of Washington D.C.; brothers-and-sisters in law Dan and Virginia Dudden, of Denver Colorado; Dan and Cheryl Kaup of Ft. Collins, Colorado; as well as by her nieces Amber Kaup and Katherine Dudden, both of Denver, Colorado and nephew Bret Kaup, his wife Megan Kaup, and their two daughters Emerson and Collette of Timnath, Colorado. She is also survived by her many friends, colleagues, and students.
A memorial has been established in Karla's memory for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Condolences may be shared at bullocklongfuneralhome.com, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.
Services will be Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the Grant United Methodist Church with Pastor Elmer Armijo officiating. Burial will be in the Venango Cemetery.
Memorial book signing will be on Friday, September 9, 2016 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant.