AUSTIN—Arthur Ray Dudley, Jr. passed away peacefully, October 5, 2017 with his family at his side. He was born January 2, 1924 in Dallas, TX to Arthur Ray Sr. and Ila Francis Dudley.
Ray attended North Texas Agricultural College (Now, UT Arlington) from 1941 to 1943, thinking he had his life all planned out until Pearl Harbor was bombed. He left school to join the United States Army Air Corps to serve in the European Theatre during WWII.
March 23, 1945, then 1st Lieutenant “Skipper” Dudley was brought down by enemy flak on his 22nd bombing mission near Dijon, France. He was a prisoner of war for approximately 6 weeks. After being returned by the Germans in a prisoner swap, he was honorably discharged. Ray was awarded the Air Medal, with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, a Purple Heart, and European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars.
Soon after coming home, Ray was accepted into The University of Texas’ College of Engineering where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. In 1986, the College of Engineering awarded Ray with the Distinguished Graduate Award for his accomplishments in the engineering profession, public service, and “Unselfish loyalty to the University of Texas at Austin”.
After graduation, he went on to work for Humble Oil & Refining in Baytown, TX. In 1959 he was hired by Tenneco Oil Co. and worked his way up to Senior Vice President. He retired in 1987. Post retirement, he and wife, MaryJane launched ARRAY Enterprises, Inc. allowing him to continue his career in the petroleum industry, consulting for Petro Fac and serving on the board at Valero Energy.
Ray was a dedicated member of his church, teaching Sunday school at First Baptist Church in Galveston. Later, he was one of the founding members of Immanuel Baptist Church where he served as deacon chair, taught Sunday school, and served in several other leadership roles. In 2004, Ray & MJ moved to Lakeway where they were active in Lakeway Church, as Stephen Ministers. Ray was a private pilot and he enjoyed flying with his best co-pilot, MaryJane. Outside of his dedication to the Lord, flying was his passion.
Waiting to meet Ray in heaven are his mother and father. He is survived by his sister LaVerne, wife MaryJane, his children, Carolyn Truelove and husband Randall, Brian Dudley and wife Susie, Elaine Wagner and husband Steve, Lianna Mills and husband Eric, and Toni Svrcek and husband Jamie. Also survived by Ray are his grandchildren, Molly Shields and husband Ben, Colin Dudley and wife, Sandy, Meg Dudley, Nick Wagner, Patrick Wagner, Lianna Mills, Jr., Madison Mills, Oliver Mills, Ila Jane Malott, Calloway Malott. Great grandchildren, Colin, Garrett, Callie, and Austin.
A memorial service honoring Ray will be held October 30th in Austin, TX at the Zilker Clubhouse at 1:30pm.