The spirit of a very good man was freed from his body when Dan Dudovick died peacefully at Agrace Hospice in the early morning of March 30, 2022. Dan faced his death as he lived his life— with equanimity, courage and grace, supported by his devoted wife Ellen Langrehr, his loving family, and steadfast friends.
Dan was born in Anaheim, California on April 23, 1948 to Margaret and Frank Dudovick. He always considered himself a California guy even after moving to Wauwatosa with his family, where he grew up with his brother Gary and sister Deb.
Dan was a natural athlete and developed a love of outdoor sports at an early age. This led to his first job after high school at a local sporting business, Sea and Ski, where Dan worked and played with a group of kindred spirits. During his lifetime, he enjoyed many activities including Alpine skiing in Austria and the US, and sailing on the East Coast and Great Lakes, initially out of the Milwaukee South Shore Yacht Club. He was a member of a Chicago to Mackinaw race crew, and had later sailing adventures with Ellen, who became his first mate. He and Ellen discovered that they made a good team on a tandem bicycle and rode “Black Beauty” in the San Juan Islands and down the coast of Washington. He and Ellen also enjoyed backpacking in the Colorado Rockies.
Throughout his life, Dan was blessed with creative energy and a desire for lifelong learning. Dan enjoyed photography, including black and white dark room work, building miniature model ships, and building and flying radio controlled airplanes. For many years, Dan enjoyed exploring Europe with Ellen and her brother and sister-in-law, Rick and Audrey Langer, and he and Ellen also traveled widely in the US. After retirement, Dan took up watercolor painting and digital art with the same enthusiasm and skill and enjoyment that he demonstrated in all his endeavors throughout his life.
Dan had strong leadership qualities and a solid and steady demeanor. He was conscientious and capable. During his service in the Army Reserves, he won an Outstanding Achievement Award and later he held leadership positions in several companies, including Petrie’s Sporting Goods, before starting his own computer business in the early years of Apple. Dan was a founding member and director of Prairie Moraine Friends, a volunteer group dedicated to restoration of Prairie Moraine Park, the beloved off-leash dog park in Verona. Few things gave him more joy than walking his golden retrievers at the park.
Dan was a warm and caring friend. He would greet you with a big hug and a bigger smile. He was genuine and self-deprecating, even when it came to his artistic skills like photography and watercolor painting.
Dan expressed gratitude for having a devoted wife, loving family, wonderful friends, the affection of 7 golden retrievers over a span of 35 years, and meaningful and varied employment. Dan is survived by his wife of 40 years, Ellen Langrehr; brother Gary Dudovick, sister Debra Keller, nieces Elizabeth Dudovick (Zoran Vasiljevic) and Kitty Dudovick and nephews Daniel Keller and Matthew Keller (Emily). He will also be missed by his beloved golden retrievers Ben and Violet.
Among the loved ones who passed before he did are his parents Margaret and Frank Dudovick, sister-in-law Ellen Welch and brother-in-law Patrick Keller.
The family offers heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Dennis Maki and Dr. John Rice for their expert, dedicated, and compassionate care of Dan. We also thank the Interventional Radiology team at UW Hospital and the team at Agrace Hospice for their caring support of Dan on his journey.
Dan found great joy in his work with wonderful colleagues at Prairie Moraine Park. For those who wish to honor him, it was his request that contributions be made to Prairie Moraine Friends, Inc, online at: https://prairiemorainefriends.org and click on donate or via check sent to Lorna Goshman at 6909 Pilgrim Rd, Madison WI 53711.
Dan, we made a great team: You were my keel and I was the wind in your sails.
We will always be together in spirit.