Helen Dudman

Dudman remembered

BLUE HILL — Driving a battered yellow Volkswagen convertible, Helen Sloane Dudman rolled into downtown Ellsworth nearly 40 years ago to start a new chapter in life.

The Washington Post’s former executive women’s editor, who died at age 93 on Monday, Feb. 19, at Parker Ridge retirement community in Blue Hill, was excited. But she also was a little nervous about her new professional venture: owning and operating the CBS Radio Network affiliates WDEA-AM and WWMJ-FM in the Hancock County shiretown and WEZQ-FM (FM 92.9) in Bangor.

No stranger to Maine, the newswoman and her journalist husband, Richard, and daughters, Iris and Martha, had spent summers on Little Cranberry Island since 1958.

Six feet tall, Dudman was comfortable in her own skin, as they say today. The Northwestern University graduate had headed public relations at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) during the late 1970s in Washington, D.C. She also had directed publicity at the Post-Newsweek radio station chain.

Named Maine Broadcaster of the Year in 1991, she led efforts to open trial courts to photographers and electronic media while at the helm of Dudman Communications Corp.

At the heart of Dudman’s life was her happy marriage to her tenacious journalist husband, who died on Aug. 3, 2017, at Parker Ridge. They were married for 69 years.

“She [Helen] was extraordinarily intelligent, strong in her views, and committed to making Maine an even better place,” Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday in a statement. “I so valued her friendship over the years as did my mother with whom she became close friends.”



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