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Joan Wommack Dudley

March 8, 1931 - January 8, 2021

Joan Wommack Dudley, dedicated wife, mother, friend and neighbor, has entered the life eternal promised by her Lord and Savior. Her earthly being — but certainly not memories of her — passed away early Friday morning, January 8. She was 89 years old.

Affectionately known to her family and friends as Pokey, she was the widow of Owen F. Dudley Sr. of Scotland Neck. Her sister, Jeanette W. Rountree, and a son, John E. Dudley, preceded Pokey in death. She is survived by two other sons, Owen F. Dudley Jr. (Sue) of Naples, Fla.; and George H. Dudley (Kathy) of Wake Forest. Also surviving are John’s widow, Janet B. Dudley, of New Bern; four grandchildren, Michele D. Ward of Morehead City, J. Brooks Dudley of Durham, the Rev. G. Howard Dudley Jr. (Meg) of Dunn, and David “Rob” Dudley of Wake Forest. She also had three great-granddaughters, Mary Stuart Ward of Morehead City and Lindsay and Julia Dudley of Dunn, whose youth delighted Pokey each time she saw them.

A member of the Hancock family of Halifax County, Pokey was reared on the farm at Hill’s Cross Roads. As a child, she earned her nickname from the southern pronunciation of a polka-dotted dress she loved to wear. “Pokey dot” later morphed into “Pokey.”

Joan, who insisted that her name should be pronounced Joann, graduated from Scotland Neck High School and began her marriage of 64 years to Owen. She applied her intuitive self-taught accounting skills in jobs at a grocery store and in business ventures developed by her husband. The two of them also found a way to pay for higher education for their sons. Pokey and Owen enjoyed some of the pleasures of “the good life,” enabling themselves to travel abroad on several occasions. They also enjoyed retreating to their condo at Atlantic Beach.

Most of all, Pokey was devoted to family and friends, and her personality delighted many people. She was resilient in times of trouble, holding fast to the core elements of commitment, dedication and determination.

Due to COVID the family will have a private service.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Letchworth Chapel is handling arrangements for the Dudley family and online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

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