Dudley Smith Bell, of East Burke, Vermont, died Friday, March 11, 2022, in Berlin, Vermont, five days short of his 90th birthday. Dudley Hurlburt Bell was born March 16, 1932 in Middletown, Connecticut. On the way to earning a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a Master of Science in Physical Education/Organization and Administration, Dudley captained the basketball team in his final year.
His freshman year he shared a room with Harry. Dudley was a member of the USPTA since 1959 and was inducted into the New England Division Hall of Fame. He taught PE and directed athletics for a year at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon.
Dudley taught tennis for 40 summers, commencing his junior year at college, at the Country Club of Pittsfield, Mass., and the St. Johnsbury Kiwanis Club.
In 2006, Lyndon State College named the tennis courts and museum after Dudley, who spent over 40 years as a professor, department head, coach, and athletic director. Arriving in 1959, he joined a two-person physical education department and helped form the alpine skiing team. In 1962, he was appointed Director of Physical Education and Athletics. This year’s New England Basketball Hall of Fame class included his 1964 squad. Lyndon State College celebrated his 1966 track & field squad.
Vermont State Colleges launched five new teacher preparation programs in 1967, including a B.S. in PE. Dueley and his family spent the late 1970s traveling around Europe and the US in a VW van. In 1986, Dudley launched the country’s first Tennis Management B.S. including practicum and internship. Many of his pupils became famous tennis players. On the side, Dudley continues to teach a tennis skills lesson.
Dudley was a year-round athlete. He competed in 28 events in track and field, racquetball, basketball, and softball! He planned a January golf vacation to Myrtle Beach for 20 years. He grew up rooting for the Cleveland Indians and was a regular on the UVM men’s basketball team’s bus.
The New England Division of the USTA recognized Dudley and his family ‘Tennis Family of the Year’ in Newport, R.I.