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Gudger, Thomas Franklin "Frank"

Gudger, Thomas Franklin "Frank"

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SALISBURY Thomas Franklin "Frank" Gudger of Salisbury passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at the age of 103. Mr. Gudger was born Sept. 5, 1915, the seventh of ten children of Ada Gouger and James Craig Gudger in South Iredell County, between the towns of Mount Mourne and Davidson. Frank graduated from Davidson High School and attended Davidson College before going to work at the Cascade Plant of Burlington Industries in Mooresville. Afterwards he joined Duke Energy and worked in their Personnel and Safety Department for 30 years. He oversaw construction phases of numerous well-known power plants throughout the region. During World War II, Frank served his country proudly in the Civil Air Patrol. Frank loved to tell the stories of hiking the Appalachian Trail with his Duke Power friends. He also enjoyed hiking the mountains of North Carolina and Virgina with his wife Dellene. They attended numerous Elderhostels and took many extended trips across the United States. He was a very skilled wood worker and crafted 19 grandfather clocks from scratch during his retirement years. He hand-carved "monkeys" from peach seeds using a trusted pocketknife and took joy in sharing those treasures with loved ones as he finished them. His passion for the outdoors led him to become a master gardener and a lover of horses, which he had on his farm. He was an active member at Centre Presbyterian Church where he grew up. He taught Sunday school at Centre and Fairview Methodist Churches in Mount Mourne and was active as a Deacon and Elder at First Presbyterian Church, Salisbury. He enjoyed singing in the choirs at Centre and Fairview, and 15 years at First Presbyterian Salisbury. He was awarded an "honorary life membership" in the Presbyterian Women for making 13 banner pole holders for the Mid-Atlantic Synod of the PCUSA. Having lived well over 100 years, he loved to talk about the "changes" he had seen in the world over his lifetime. There were many times over the years that his family was entertained with his historical, vivid, and often humorous stories. He was a patriarch to the family, mentored family, friends, and employees, and behind the scenes blessed many more without them ever knowing. Mr. Gudger is survived by his wife of 36 years, Dellene Lyerly Markey Gudger of Salisbury; one daughter, Dianne Gudger Dement of Raleigh; four stepchildren, Garland Markey Morton of Lynchburg, Va., Beverly Markey Rodgers of Salisbury, Charlie Markey of Charlotte, and Andy Markey of Evergreen, Colo.; one sister, Elizabeth Gudger Knox of Mooresville, three grandchildren; four stepgrandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were six brothers, Dr. James Roby Gudger, Jesse McClaren Gudger, George Craig Gudger, Charles Armour Gudger, Robert Wilson Gudger, and Joseph Patton Gudger; two sisters, Ellis Louisa Norvell, and Ruth Isabelle Howard Sigmon. Memorial services for Mr. Gudger will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 308 W Fisher Street, Salisbury Monday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m., with Dr. Randy Kirby and the Revs. Josh & Lara Musser Gritter officiating. Private inurnment will be in the Columbarium at First Presbyterian Church following the service. Visitation will be held immediately following the inurnment in Lewis Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church. Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Gudger family. Online condolences may be made at

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