October 17, 2018
Neil Dudney age 86 of Smithville passed away Tuesday evening, October 16, 2018 at Select Specialty Hospital in Nashville. Neil was born October 5, 1932 in Jackson County, to his parents, the late John Lyman and Ruby Mae Birdwell Dudney. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Joe Lester Dudney and Charles Clark Dudney. He graduated from Jackson County High School and received a BS in Agriculture from Tennessee Tech University. His first job with the government was a substitute rural mail carrier for 5 years with the Gainesboro Post Office. In 1957, he began work with the USDA Soil Conservation Services in Linden, TN. He later transferred to Lawrenceburg and then to Wartburg, TN. While working in Wartburg, he married Emma Jean Wilmoth on January 6, 1962 and they became parents of twin girls, Janet and Susan. Neil was transferred to Smithville in August 1967 working as District Conservationist. In 1979 he received a certificate of merit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for outstanding performance of duties, one of only two given in the state. In 1987 he retired from the Soil Conservation Service after 30 years. He has been involved in other areas of the community through the years. He served as a member of the Board of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, Board of Center Hill Academy and Lions Club. He helped make major improvements to Green Brook Park in 1979 and helped establish the Smithville Day School. Neil has been a member of the Church of Christ since being baptized at the Whitleyville Church of Christ in 1948. Since being in Smithville, he has served as a deacon for 12 years and an elder for 18 years at the Smithville Church of Christ. He was very involved with the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree from the beginning in 1972, where he began as a sound technician and later served as the President/Coordinator for 16 years until 2008. Mr. Neil Dudney was a man that loved God, family and community and dedicated himself to all three. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 56 years, Emma Jean Wilmoth Dudney of Smithville; twin daughters, Janet (Brian) England of Smithville and Susan (Brian) Berry of Cookeville; four grandchildren, Dr. Laura England (Brandon) Ross, Brandon (Sara) Shaw, Ethan (Rachel) Shaw and Dylan Shaw; two great-grandsons, Carson Shaw and Charles Ross; sister-in-law, Frances Dudney Crowder; niece, Linda Dudney and nephew, John Dudney. Funeral services will be conducted 1 PM Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Smithville Church of Christ with Bro. Dan Gulley officiating and burial will follow at DeKalb Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Thursday 4 PM until 8 PM at DeKalb Funeral Chapel and Friday 11 AM until the time of the service at 1 PM at the Smithville Church of Christ. In addition to flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Church of Christ Disaster Relief Fund or to the Smithville Church of Christ Work Camp. DeKalb Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.