JESSE BURKS DUDLEY, JR.
19 August 1922 – 8 September 2012
Jesse Burks Dudley, Jr., died at his home in Santa Rosa on September 8 with his family by his side. He was 90 years old.
Born to Jesse Burks Dudley, Sr., and Florene Daughtry in Sayre, OK, he was raised in Goose Creek, TX. In 1941, while attending his first year of college, he joined the Army Air Corps, rising to the level of Captain. As part of his enlistment, he flew many types of airplanes, including B 25s, C-47s, P-41s, and P 47s, and an unarmed B-24. During the Korean War, he flew an unarmed C54 to carry wounded soldiers from Japan to either San Francisco or Hawai`i, as his orders dictated.
After WWII, he married Nettie, a Maui girl, and they settled on O`ahu and raised four children. He worked briefly as an air traffic controller until he started work with Hawaiian Airlines on 7 April 1947 where he remained for 35 years as a co-pilot, pilot, Chief Pilot, Assistant Vice President, and Vice President of Flight Operations, retiring in 1982. While working at Hawaiian, he flew the Emperor and Empress of Japan though the islands for which the Emperor presented him with a pair of cuff links on which were imprinted Japan’s emblem, the chrysanthemum. During that same time, he took and passed the CPA examination and worked, part-time, as a CPA. In 1994, he and Nettie moved to the Oakmont Adult Community in Santa Rosa, CA.
Predeceased by his younger brother Nick and sister Mary, he is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nettie Rocha Dudley; daughters, Joanne and Barbara Dudley of Santa Rosa, CA, and Valerie (Darrell) McFeron of Seattle, WA; a son, Michael (Mary Kate) Dudley of Seattle, WA, his sisters Fay (Benjamin) New and Jo Ann Tucker of Onalaska, TX, and his brother Herbert (Orlea) Dudley of Caldwell, TX. He leaves behind a multitude of nieces and nephews, four grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. He will be sorely missed.
A private burial with full military honors will be held at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Santa Rosa, CA, on Thursday, followed, on Friday, Sept. 14, by a memorial service, also in Santa Rosa, CA. The family requests that any donations be made to Star of the Valley Catholic Church, 495 White Oak Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, or to Memorial Hospice at 821 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Condolences available at
adobecreekfuneralhome.com Cheda & Lyons – Directors