Frank Simms Dudley Jr., an Eastern Shore real estate broker and property appraiser, died of complications after surgery March 3 at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The former Baltimore resident was 93.
Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Frank S. Dudley, a banker, and Edith Shriner, a homemaker. He lived on Roland Avenue and attended Roland Park Country School before graduating from Gilman School in 1939.
His studies at the University of Virginia were interrupted by his service in the Navy during World War II. A lieutenant, he commanded a sub chaser and initially patrolled anti-submarine nets off the New York Harbor and later off San Diego and San Francisco.
After the war, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Virginia, where he played lacrosse and sang in the glee club. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar after earning a degree at the University of Maryland School of Law. He never practiced but used his knowledge in the real estate field.
Mr. Dudley had spent his childhood summers at a family farm, Hemsley's Fortune in Queen Anne's County. In the 1950s, he moved to it permanently and opened his real estate and appraisal firm, Tidewater Properties, in 1956. His home office was on Clay Drive in Queenstown and he subsequently opened branches throughout the Eastern Shore. He did not retire and arrived at his office daily until last month.
"When I first started in 1964, he had an office in Annapolis and an office in Cambridge," said Barbara Whaley, a Kent Island resident with whom he worked for nearly 50 years. "He always encouraged his people to excel. He also challenged himself to do more, too. He was always learning. People looked to him because he was ethical and he gave an honest evaluation. He was also in the office to help others, whether it was a sale or an appraisal."
Friends said that Mr. Dudley worked extensively in real estate appraisals. In 1968, he earned the national designation MAI from the Appraisal Institute of Real Estate Appraisers. Among his clients was the Maryland Port Authority.
"He built a lifetime career on his strong reputation and expertise of commercial appraisals," said his son, Peter I. Dudley of Baltimore.
He was a member of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, the National Association of Realtors and the Maryland Association of Realtors. He was Maryland Realtor of the Year in 1980.
"He was very intelligent," said Ms. Whaley, the current owner of Tidewater Properties. "You could see the wheels in his mind working. He was always thinking. He never quit."
He served on the boards of Memorial Hospital of Easton, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum from 1978 to 1990, Horn Point Laboratories and Maryland Agricultural Society for the Eastern Shore.
He was an adjunct faculty member of Chesapeake Community College, where he taught real estate and appraisal work. He was active in the Queenstown Community Plan and its Citizen Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Maryland Club, Historical Society of Queen Anne's County, Academy Art Museum, Corsica River Yacht Club and Tred Avon Yacht Club.
He sailed, played tennis and golf, and rode horses.
"He enjoyed projects in his wood shop and remained active at work until his death," said his son, Peter. "He was a gentleman farmer and animal lover."
A business associate, William Fitzhugh Turner, recalled Mr. Dudley's work habits. "He would leave the office at 4:30 in the afternoon and say, 'I've got to get home and feed the horses.' He just really enjoyed his work. He might take a swim in his pool and then pick up an appraisal and start working again."
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. April 6 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 201 S. Liberty St. in Centreville.
In addition to his son, Mr. Dudley's survivors include his wife of 28 years, the former Lucia Brown; another son, F. Wick Dudley of Queenstown; a daughter, Clay D. Evans of Annapolis; four stepsons, Dan Lewis of Grasonville, Lev Lewis of Denton, Eric Hastings of Duluth, Minn., and Brewster Hastings of Abington, Pa.; two stepdaughters, Diana Abbott of Dundas, Minn., and Cindy Usilton of Tavares, Fla.; and five grandchildren. His 1947 marriage to Virginia Wick Ingels ended in divorce.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun