Joe Dudley has decided its time to spend more time with his family and maybe play a little golf.
The Madison County Senior Center director is retiring April 30.
Dudley was named director in April 2008, following the sudden passing of long-time director Eloise McCurley, who died from injuries sustained in a car crash.
Though he took the reins during a difficult time for the staff and for the Center’s members, he said he feels good about what he’s been able to accomplish.
Being a “jack of all trades” at the Center prior to becoming director was an invaluable experience, Dudley noted. “When I took the job on I knew where everybody was (on the bus route, for Meals on Wheels) and I could also fill in anywhere when needed and I still do,” he said.
He still remembers the first day he walked into the Center nearly a decade ago.
“I’d just retired from Reliance after 32 years and started a lawn business,” he said. One day after finishing up a grass cutting job, he came home and spotted an ad in the newspaper for a Senior Center bus driver.
“The paper was just lying there, open to that page, as if it was meant to be,” he recalled. “I’d known Eloise for many years, so I got cleaned up and went over there.”
When he walked in, McCurley looked up from her desk, smiled and said, “Joe, how are you doing? I hope you’re here to apply for the bus driver job.”