Norma Jean Dudney, a long time resident of Hamilton, MT, went to meet her Heavenly Father on March 15, 2021, at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. She was a feisty and independent 95 years old.
Norma was born on Sept 5, 1925, in Holton, Kansas, to parents James and Florence. She lived in Topeka with her parents and older siblings Scott and Eva Mae. The family relocated to Los Angeles in 1940, where Norma worked in the music department of a large department store. In 1947, on a visit back to Kansas, Norma met a cowboy named Ray Dudney. They married soon after and spent the next 50 years together until Ray’s passing in 1997. Together they raised three strong daughters.
Norma had a lifelong love of music and a beautiful voice. She sang in choirs and as a soloist for 50 years. In 1957 she and Ray learned to Square Dance and enjoyed it so much that Norma became a Square Dance Caller. She became in demand and came a busy professional, calling all over California. In 1972, the family moved to Hamilton, where she helped start a new square dance club called Belles and Beaus. She called for another 16years, traveling all over western Montana, northern Idaho, and was even invited to perform and call at the World’s Fair in Spokane for hundreds of dancers. She was the first woman to ever do so. She and Ray met many lifelong friends, and it was a joy of her life.
Norma was a woman of many talents and interests. She had a natural curiosity and a keen appreciation of life. She was a formidable domino opponent, a superb knitter and seamstress, and an extraordinary cook, as those who were fortunate enough to taste her homemade noodles or fried chicken can attest! Her recipes certainly happily live on through her children and
Norma had a strong Christian faith from the time of her childhood. She was a member of the Nazarene church of Victor. She always felt blessed and loved by her church family, as well as a wide circle of friends.
Norma is survived by her three daughters, Marva Johnson, Sandra Sims, and Joni Schmidt, grandsons Mark and Brien Wilson, Zachary and Lucian Dahy, as well as four great grandchildren, Spencer,Shane, Seth, and Elisa Wilson.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, a private graveside service will take place at Riverview Cemetery.
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