Nature 28

Sara "Bitsy" B. Dudley

July 7, 1935 ~ February 17, 2021 (age 85)


Sara “Bitsy” B. Dudley, 85, of Beaufort, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Bitsy was born on July 7, 1935 in Beaufort to George and Sara Brooks and grew up on the town’s historic Front St. She attended Beaufort High School and graduated from East Carolina University. Her passion for education began there. She championed and pioneered programs in Gifted and Talented Education long before it became recognized as an integral part of any successful school system. She was active in both the NEA (National Education Association) and the NCAE (North Carolina Association of Educators) where she provided a strong voice for increased funding for GT programs and other important issues to teachers and students in Carteret County and across the state.

Bitsy Dudley was also the celebrated author of a popular children’s book on Cape Lookout National Seashore as seen through the eyes of a small local family; she was also a co-editor of the southern-style cookbook LET US KEEP THE FEAST published by the Churchwomen of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to education, children’s books, and Southern Haute Cuisine, Bitsy was a seasoned world-traveler. At the height of the Cold War she made a trip to the former USSR as a member of a cultural exchange group. Her students were often surprised at the special field trips she arranged. An especially popular destination was Colonial Williamsburg. And of course, closer to home there was always “The Cape.”

Bitsy was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Paul’s in Beaufort. She taught Sunday School there, organized events such as the annual Bizarre, directed nativity plays, and spent countless hours in the kitchen preparing food for church suppers or meals to be distributed to the elderly or disabled. Charitable and philanthropic work came naturally to Bitsy. Both it and her church life was a central focus for Bitsy and therefore her family. She will return to St. Paul’s a final time Friday, February 19th. 

Bitsy will be inurned in a private ceremony there.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Bitsy is survived by her high school sweetheart and husband of sixty years, Donnie Dudley Sr.; son Donnie “Don” Dudley Jr; sister-in-law Debbie Dudley Byrd; and nephew Jamie Byrd.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the charity of your choice.

Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at

Arrangements by Noe-Brooks Funeral Home, Morehead City, NC.

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