Dick Dudley, Wausau business leader, dies - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dick Dudley, Wausau business leader, dies

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Richard Dudley, a pioneer in television and a well-known businessman in the Wausau area who has a downtown office building named after him, has died. He was 89.

Dudley's son, Robert, said his father died Tuesday.

Nancy Dudley said her husband was always optimistic. Any time he was asked how he was, he would say, "I am perfect," the circumstances didn't matter, the widow recalled.

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple said Dudley had suffered some recent health problems. The family said his funeral will be next week.

Dudley was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1989. His career included leadership roles at WSAU radio and the early years of what is now WSAW-TV.

Dudley, the chief executive officer of Dudley Investors, was important to Wausau and always found a way to give back to the community, Tipple said.

Brian Stezenski-Williams, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Wausau area, said Dudley, the father of four grown children, either personally or through his foundation donated at least $250,000 to the Boys and Girls Club since 1997.

"He was a kid who grew here in Wausau and he remembered the good and bad of that and he wanted kids to succeed like he did," Stezenski-Williams said. "We are one of many organizations he chose to support."

Dudley was about making Wausau a better place and he used us resources to help make that happen, Stezenski-Williams said.

"He was definitely a character. He just had a tremendous amount of energy. He was a great story-teller. He was a true Wisconsinite, very down to earth, a great sense of humor, fun-loving. You know, no pretenses," Stezenski-Williams said.

In 2007, the 10-story, 160,000-square foot downtown Dudley Tower opened. With space for 500 workers, the tower was recognized as the tallest building north of Milwaukee and Madison, according to published reports.

In March, Dudley announced he would provide on undisclosed sum of what he called "venture funding" to acquire the financially troubled American Legion Golf Course in Wausau and allow entrepreneur Dan Maas to revamp the restaurant, bar and golf operations.

Dudley, a World War II veteran, was a longtime member of American Legion Post 10.

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