Dudley Penton

Published 4:01 pm Friday, December 2, 2016

Dudley Penton passed away on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, at the age of 84.

Robert “Dudley” Penton was born in Bogalusa in February 1932 to Lena and Alvin Penton. He grew up with sisters, Bonnie (Morris) and Irma (Mitchell); and brothers, Willie “Junior” and BIlly. Dudley joined the U.S. Air Force as a young man, and was stationed in Washington, D.C. There, at a drug store soda fountain, he met and fell in love with Dorothy “Dotty” Sherry. His first date was walking her home, closely watched by his future father-in-law who followed close behind. After their marriage and birth of his first child, he brought his family home to Bogalusa, where his family grew to three boys and one girl.

In his late 20s, he found his salvation and calling in a Baptist church choir, led by his friend Pastor Jack Smith. He began his Christian service using his beautiful voice praising his Lord. He went back to school and completed his high school education before attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. There he met many good friends and began serving churches in Louisiana and Mississippi — both as staff music director and leading weeklong revivals.

After completing seminary, he served as Music, Youth, and Education Minister to churches in Georgia and North Carolina. One of his most memorable times was leading the youth choir at Holloway Street Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., going on many choir tours and mission trips. At a church in Asheville, N.C., he was again moved to do more. He become ordained as a minister and relocated to western Pennsylvania to start new churches as a Baptist Home Missionary.

He returned to Georgia in his 60s to be closer to his family, pastoring churches in Portal, Statesboro and Vidalia. He moved in his final years to Atlanta to spend more time with his grandsons. Still active in the church, he found a place as associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, Ga. His last move was to Brighton Gardens, where he was nicknamed “the Mayor” — welcoming new residents, sharing stories, telling jokes, and being friends with many residents and staff.

Wife Dotty, and sons Bobby and Jim preceded him in this journey. His memory will remain with brother Billy, son Steve, daughter Alice, son-in-law Bill Galerstein, grandsons Robert, Nathan and Josh Galerstein, and granddaughter Melissa Wenzel.

Graveside services will be held at Holmes Cemetery in Talisheek, at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, with the Rev. Dennis Allen officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Mission Dignity, Guide Stone Financial Resources SBC, 2401 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, TX 75201-1498.

Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

To view and sign the register book, visit online at pooleritchiefuneralhome.com.