Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Al Dudycha

October 28, 1952 - January 26, 2023
Paw Paw, MI


Life Story Visitation

Thursday, February 2, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870

Where food, drinks, and stories will shared.

Driving Directions


Friday, February 3, 2023
11:00 AM EST
Freshwater Community Church
600 East Michigan Ave
Paw Paw, MI 49079

A lunch will be served immediately following the service at the church.

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Freshwater Community Church
600 East Michigan Ave
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Al was a wonderful husband, caring father, steadfast brother, and loyal friend to so many. His devotion to family, strong work ethic, and commitment to Christ are only a fraction of the ways he lived his life exemplifying his loving heart. Al leaves behind a warm collection of memories that will be cherished by all who knew him.

His story began in 1952 in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Alan Wayne Dudycha was born on October 28th to Elden & Juyne (Shaw) Dudycha. The baby of the family brought much joy and happiness to his parents and three older siblings, Sandy, Dennis and Vicki.

Al grew up in Portage and lived a happy childhood. He was always on the go and flirted with the typical adventures of a young boy. Whether accidentally starting a forest fire, unintentionally getting stabbed by a bayonet while goofing around with a friend, or losing his toe during a mishap with a planer in high school shop class, Al’s brushes with danger left him feeling like he could handle anything that came his way. He also spent significant time at the Long Lake roller rink showing off his moves and hanging out with his big sis, Sandy. The two of them were especially close while growing up. Although he continued to enjoy roller skating, his true passion soon turned to everything cars. He loved studying different models, fixing them up, and hanging around at the race track. Al has had a lifelong passion for cars ever since his early years.

After graduating with the class of 1970 from Portage Central High School, Al joined the United States Army. During his time serving, he was stationed in Germany and worked on military tanks. Al enjoyed his time and made some close buddies during these years. Once back in the states, he met the love of his life, Sue, through a mutual friend. Hitting it off from the start, they wasted no time and joined in marriage on February 11, 1978 at the Presbyterian Church in Paw Paw. Together they raised three wonderful children, Shannon, Heather, and Adam on Almena Road, where Sue still lives.

As a father, Al was always very supportive. Active and involved, he enjoyed pulling the kids behind a boat on the water or a snowmobile on a freshly coated trail. He attended all of their special events and cheered them on from the sidelines. His philosophy on parenting was to always include fun! He and Sue raised their family with a strong foundation of faith. Al had a close relationship with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For many years, he felt blessed to share in His mercy and was never afraid to be vulnerable around others. Al wore his heart on his sleeve and genuinely cared about others. A strong provider, he worked as a truck driver yet left this profession to spend more time with Sue and his children. In order to do this, Al changed careers which led him to Eaton, where he was able to put his mechanical skills to use in a different way. He remained with Eaton for twenty-five years and made many lasting friendships with his co-workers. He enjoyed the pace of the work that often required him to fix machines or problem-solve something that could be done more efficiently. His warm personality, commitment to his faith and family, and strong work ethic are legacies that will live on in his children.

Retirement offered Al more time to tap into his hobbies. In 2005, while he was still at Eaton, Al and Adam bought a front engine dragster together with the sole purpose of getting it ready for the track. Al was delighted to be back drag racing on the same track he spent time at in his earlier years. He enjoyed their time at Martin Speedway and relished the opportunity to tweak their car to advance to optimum levels for speed and safety. Al could literally fix anything! He would often find a way to make a treasure out of someone else’s junk; including cars. Al always had a vision and used his ingenuity to create something that he or someone else could enjoy. He had a real passion and gift for projects and repairs. As the years went by, Al and Sue welcomed seven grandchildren into their family. He was especially grateful for the many special moments they shared together. He loved to attend his grandkids sporting events, cheering loud and proud for each of them. He was a positive role model to each of them, taking great pride in everything they did. He was influential in his grandson, Seth’s decision to join the military. Al was known to freely tell them he loved and was proud of them as well as giving out multiple hugs and kisses at every visit.

Al was a Godly man who always made his family a top priority. There is no doubt that his fun-loving personality and selfless ways will be deeply missed. His laughter was unique and contagious and his sense of humor was the highlight of any family occasion. Blessed with a faithful heart, he lived and loved without limits. May his family hold his memories dear to their hearts and be sustained in the blessed assurance that he is now with his Savior.

Al died suddenly at the age of 70 on Thursday, January 26th due to a single-car accident. He leaves behind his wife, Sue, and their children: Shannon (Luke) Brown, Heather (Jason) Barr, and Adam (Michelle) Dudycha. Grandchildren: Zachary Barr, Kayli Barr, Seth Barr, Kale Brown, Ellie Brown, Porter Dudycha and Seely Dudycha. Brothers and sisters: Sandra (Guy) Dennehy, Dennis (Joyce) Dudycha, and Vicki (Wiley) Johnson.

Please join us for a visitation where stories can be shared on Thursday, February 2nd from 5:00-7:00 pm at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Highway in Paw Paw (269)657-3870. His celebration of life will begin at 11:00 am on Friday, February 3rd at Freshwater Community Church, 600 E. Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw, followed by a luncheon. Visit Al’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos, as well as to sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Freshwater Community Church.