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Carl Dudley, 76

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

April 24, 2009

Carl Dudley, retired professor at Hartford Seminary and a leader in the city's West End, died Wednesday. His memorial service will be Saturday at 3 p.m. at Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland St.

Below is an announcement of his death from the Hartford Seminary, followed by a remembrance written by his son and a statement from Mayor Eddie A. Perez.


Professor Carl Dudley passes away; memorial service on Saturday

We are sharing the very sad news that Carl S. Dudley, a colleague and retired professor here at Hartford Seminary, passed away on Wednesday. Carl was Professor, Emeritus, of Church and Community in the Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religion Research. He was one of the founders of the discipline of congregation studies and a national expert on small churches.

Here is a brief remembrance written by his son Steven, followed by information on a memorial service for Carl on Saturday and suggestions for your donations in his memory. Please join us in prayers for Carl and his family.

Carl Dudley, 76

Carl Safford Dudley, Presbyterian minister; author, co-author or editor of 16 books about church and community relations; community leader and activist; vivacious neighbor and faithful friend; devoted and loving husband; and energetic father, died in his Hartford, CT, home on Wednesday morning of complications due to cardiac amyloidosis, in the company of his wife and children.

He was 76 and is survived by his wife, Shirley, sister, Jay Goldspinner, his five children and nine grandchildren.

Reverend Dudley spent a lifetime in the ministry, organizing churches from Buffalo, New York, to St. Louis, Missouri, and rallying communities from Selma, Alabama to Hartford, Connecticut.

While often described as a maverick for his unorthodox ways and his open challenges to the status quo, it was Dudley's discipline and perseverance, as well as his understated pragmatism, which made him a great leader in the church and the community.

Dudley's ministry started and ended in the home, where he created a space for both his family and friends to flourish in his presence. He will be missed by many.



Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez has issued this statement in response to the passing of Carl Dudley, who was president of the West End Civic Association for nine years. Mr. Dudley died Wednesday morning at the age of 76.

Mayor Perez says, "Hartford has lost a change agent for social justice. Carl helped WECA strengthen its voice in the community and thus gave residents a stake in their neighborhood. He was a professor, an author, and an activist. But most importantly, he was a devoted family man and friend. He will be missed."

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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