Elizabeth Duddles

Obituary of Elizabeth Duddles

Mrs. Elizabeth Wolcott Duddles, wife of David Crocker Duddles, died Thursday morning at The Pines Nursing Home at Carolina Meadows.


Mrs. Duddles was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on October 31, 1932.  Her parents were the late William Lloyd Wolcott and Tressa Mae Good Wolcott. Her father was pastor of the Free Methodist Church in Richland Center. She attended school through ninth grade in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


Elizabeth, known as Beth to family and friends, graduated from West High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota with top honors and won a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor of Science from the College of Education.  After her marriage to David Crocker Duddles, Beth taught in Kenai, Alaska in the Alaska Territorial School system. Her students were from homesteading families from the "lower forty-eight," from military families of the nearby Wildwood Army Base, and from native Russian Athabascan families.


In preparation for teaching in the Belgian Congo, Beth did studies which she completed with distinction at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, and L'Ecole Coloniale in Brussels, Belgium. In the Congo she taught at the Institut Chretien Congolais - a teacher training and university preparatory school. Graduates from that school became leaders in the Equator Province of the Congo.


The political turmoil in the Congo and the illness of their baby daughter caused the family to return to the United States and to locate in the Napa Valley of California, where Beth and her husband raised their three children, Gayle, Nathan, and Craig, and taught in the public schools. Beth had a leadership role in the beginnings of the Christian's Women's Club, Young Life, and the Creekside Church in Napa. Beth, and her husband, David, enjoyed their thirty-seven years of living and teaching in the Napa Valley.


In recent years, Beth lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to be near her daughter, Dr. Gayle Thomas, and her family. She was a member of the Chapel Hill Bible Church. She enjoyed sacred and classical music - playing the piano and harp. Her children and grandchildren were a great source of joy and comfort. Psalms 138:8 "The Lord will fulfill his purpose in me" gave her great assurance.


In addition to her husband of 63 years, Beth is survived by her children, Gayle, Nathan, and Craig; her grandchildren, Nathan, Erin-Beth, Lucas, Justin, Ian and Jordan; and her sister, Carol.


A memorial service was held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 2:00pm in the Christ United Methodist Church, 800 Market Street, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516.  Officiating was be Reverends Suzanne Holtman, and Randy and Kathy Russell.  A private burial was held at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery.