Dudley Eugene Stefhon was a decorated Air Force and Army veteran, and beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather. After engaging in a long, hard fought battle against congestive heart disease, Dudley went to be with our Lord on Jan. 27, 2013. Dudley was born on Oct. 5, 1934, in Booneville, N.Y., to Hubert H. and Norma Joslin Stefhon. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Larry Stefhon; and his son Larry James Stefhon.
He left New York to join the Air Force, and in 1957 married Delfina Marie Martinez whom he met while stationed at Walker Air Force Base. Dudley served our country for more than 20 years in the military. The first half of these 20 years he spent flying Cold War missions all over the world with the Strategic Air Command as the crew chief of a B52 bomber. He completed his service as a first sergeant in the Army Reserve before military retirement in November 1984.
In addition to the military, Dudley was a skilled mechanic and ultimately retired from the city of Roswell. He was always loyal and patriotic to his country and proudly flew the American flag at his home in Hagerman, where he lived with his family since 1965. He was a member of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, and enjoyed spending time with his family, his dog Toby, and friends. Dudley was an avid hunter and fisherman, master pool player, and in his later years, loved to play board games with family and friends. His competitiveness brought an air of humor and levity to those fortunate enough to play games with him and he will be missed by many.
Dudley is survived by his wife of 55 years Delfina; five children, Pat Stefhon and his fiancé Lisa Leer, Dora Batista and her husband Matthew, Mary Ann Burr and her husband Marvin, Henry Stefhon, and Gerry Stefhon and his wife Machele; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his sisters, Eleanor Farr and her husband Brad, and Beverly Polk and her husband James and their families; and numerous nephews and nieces.
A rosary and vigil Mass will be held Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by his funeral at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, 206 S. Texas St., Hagerman. A military burial with full honors will follow graveside at the Hagerman Cemetery. His body will lay in repose for viewing at Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed atballardfuneralhome.com.