Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008
MCCOMB — Services for Gloria White Dudding, who died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, at Heritage House Nursing Center, in Vicksburg, will be at 9 a.m. today at Church of the Mediator with the Rev. David Lemburg officiating.
Burial will follow at Hollywood Cemetery under the direction of Hartman Funeral Home in McComb.
A gathering will be held at 11 a.m. at the parish hall.
Mrs. Dudding was born Oct. 20, 1925, in Clarksdale, the daughter of William Lawrence White and Tycelia Johnson White. She was a proud graduate of the McComb High School class of 1943 and held a bachelor’s degree in English from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in speech from Mississippi College.
She was a native of McComb and an avid Mississippi theater supporter and community activist. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, and participated in community theater as an actor and director throughout Mississippi for almost four decades. She was the organizing president of the Pike Little Theater in McComb and the Clinton Community Theater, three-time vice president of the Mississippi Little Theatre Association, secretary and member of the board of directors of the Natchez Little Theatre and Cleveland Little Theater and three-time president of the Vicksburg Theater Guild.
Mrs. Dudding appeared on stage dozens of times in various theaters, including the Pike Little Theatre in McComb, the West Lafayette, Ind. Little Theatre, the Natchez Little Theatre, the Cleveland Little Theater, the Clinton Community Theatre, the Vicksburg Theatre Guild, Natchez Stage 67, Jackson’s New Stage and the Sardis and Greenwood little theaters. She directed a half dozen seasonal productions for community theatres in Natchez, Cleveland, Vicksburg and Clinton, as well as the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vicksburg and All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg.
Later in life, she wrote a number of plays, some of which were produced in state community theaters, including “The Villain from Vicksburg,” “SM 102,” and “Clinton: A Clear Spring Rising.” She also wrote several sexual abuse awareness short plays for the Mississippi Children’s Home that were staged extensively in the Jackson area.
Active in community affairs, Mrs. Dudding formed a foreign film club in Cleveland, served as president of the Cleveland Lioness Club, was a member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and as chairman of Indian Affairs for the Natchez Civic and Welfare Club she spearheaded local efforts to give the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians park status. She was president of both the Natchez and Clinton newcomers clubs, served on the advisory board of the Clinton Public Library and chaired a steering committee to form the Arts Council of Clinton, which she later served as president.
An Episcopalian, she was active in various Episcopal parishes and served regularly as a lector and in other leadership roles. During her retirement, she became a tutor for the McComb Adult Literacy Council and then its president. She was presiding secretary of the McComb Nautilus Club, gave regular book talks to local nursing homes and became an active member of McComb’s Quilting Society Book Club and the “13” Club.
Mrs. Dudding loved to read and watch movies. She kept up with current events, learned to use a computer and played Scrabble and bridge whenever she could.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ben Dudding, an Entergy production executive; and siblings, William L. White Jr. of Arlington, Texas, Audrey White Soule of Larkspur, Calif., Dawn White Christensen of Forth Worth, Texas, Robert White of North Carolina and Sharon White of McComb.
Survivors include her daughter, Janet Dudding Kaihatu and husband, James, both of Bryan, Texas; her son, Hank Dudding and wife, Mickie Anderson Dudding, of Memphis, Tenn. and Gainesville, Fla.; granddaughter, Kristi Walski Hall and husband, Andy, both of Vicksburg; great-grandchildren, Gloria and Sam Hall; and many devoted friends who helped care for her in her later years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Big Print Section of the McComb Public Library, Vicksburg Public Library, the Big Print Section of the Mississippi Library Commission, the Hospice “Providence” or the McComb Church of the Mediator Parish.