“Sharon’s thirty years of service and leadership at WAUS demonstrated great enthusiasm, skill, and commitment to excellence. She had a wonderful heart for others and a personality that couldn’t be matched.”
WAUS-FM general manager Sharon Dudgeon passed away on November 23, 2022, from injuries sustained after a fall.
A statement on the station’s website said that “Sharon’s thirty years of service and leadership at WAUS demonstrated great enthusiasm, skill, and commitment to excellence. She had a wonderful heart for others and a personality that couldn’t be matched.”
In her obituary, it was noted that “Sharon enjoyed all of life including the wonders of creation, the joys of cooking and knitting, traveling the world, and both the experience of live music performance and replaying recordings of those performances. All of this was done in fellowship with others, both face-to-face and alone behind the microphone while thousands listened; and all done in the Adventist traditions of Christianity, clearly fulfilling the command to Love God and Love People.”
During the memorial service held at Pioneer Memorial Church on Sunday, Dec. 4, her brother William Dudgeon remarked that he was proud of all his sister had done. “She accomplished things for God and used the gifts that He gave her to advance His kingdom and to draw others into a relationship with Him.”
In fond remembrance, her nephew Bill Dudgeon reflected on his aunt’s love language of quality gift giving; making sure he was well taken care of through seminary with food and a good pair of boots. “While I was in seminary, she bought me a bunch of suits so I could be prepared to go and be a pastor.” When he complained about her spending too much on him she told him, ‘Bill, there's no limits on the price of love.’
Sharon Jane Dudgeon, age 66 years of Buchanan, Michigan, daughter, sister, aunt, devout Adventist, musician, counselor, and General Manager of radio station WAUS died peacefully at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, with her family gathered around at Spectrum Lakeland Medical Center in Saint Joseph, Michigan following an accidental fall outside at her home the previous Thursday. Her family elected to enhance and extend the lives of others through organ and tissue donation to Michigan-Eversight and Gift of Life – Michigan.
She was born on April 30, 1956, in Oswego, New York to William E. and Jane A. (Roberts) Dudgeon, and was graduated in 1974 from the Pioneer Valley Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. She continued her education at the former Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, Massachusetts, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education in 1979, and began her professional life as a junior high school band director. Her primary performance instrument was the saxophone.
In 1986, she earned a Master of Music degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and began her radio career as Music Director at WAUS 90.7 FM with a format of classical music and inspirational programing. She moved-on to radio stations throughout the Midwest United States, returning to WAUS as General Manager and on-air personality in 1994. Through WAUS’s online web stream, and her participation at Adventist World Radio and Adventist Radio Network, the wonderful and unique voice of Sharon was heard around the world, a voice which clearly represented her cheerful personality and great smile.
Under her leadership, WAUS increased its region, listeners, and financial support, and in 2006 moved WAUS to brand-new purpose-built facilities, the John and Dede Howard Studios in the new Howard Performing Arts Center.
More recently, Sharon had completed courses and had been licensed in Michigan as a Limited Licensed Counselor, serving at a clinic in Saint Joseph.
Sharon was a member of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University, where she also organized and hosted vegetarian-oriented cooking classes. She gathered every Thursday with a group of ladies in their homes for knitting and fellowship. She was a member of VegMichiana which supports vegan and vegetarian lifestyles and was a member and Past President of the Berrien Springs/Eau Claire club of Rotary International. She previously served on the board of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and performed with the University Chorale and the University Singers.
At home, Sharon’s cooking skills featured a vegetarian fruitcake and a vegan cheesecake. She enjoyed travel, both throughout the United States, and European tours, the most recent of which included the country of Turkey and traveling on a yacht to the Greek island of Patmos. She was an avid birdwatcher, keeping binoculars always nearby, but also cared for her pet cats, Princess Meow and Chairman Meow.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Jane Dudgeon on January 17, 1981, and by a sister, Marcia Joy Dudgeon on September 3, 2011.
Surviving family includes her father, Pastor William E. Dudgeon of Buchanan; Sharon’s brother, William E. (& Cheryl) Dudgeon, Jr. of Grand Rapids, Michigan; a niece, Tricia Erin (& Tony) Krezinski and their daughter Eloise; a nephew, Pastor William E. (& Cali) Dudgeon III, and their daughter, Evalynn; and an amazing circle of wonderful friends, fellow musicians, and radio station supporters and listeners.
Katie Fellows serves as Lake Union Assistant Communication Specialist.