Officer dies playing hockey, remembered as family, community man

By J. PATRICK PEPPER
Times-Herald Newspapers
HEIGHTS — A city police officer died July 5 of an apparent heart attack while playing hockey in Livonia.
Cpl. Ted Dudley, a 22-year veteran of the force, reportedly complained to teammates of chest pains before collapsing on the bench. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the lifelong resident with a defibrillator, but were unsuccessful. Dudley is survived by his wife, Jamie, and daughters Tess, 16, and Tara, 14.
Dudley graduated in 1982 from Robichaud High School, where he starred on the varsity baseball team. He enrolled in the Dearborn Heights police academy in 1986 and became an officer a year later. Dudley’s most recent position was working the front desk at the Dearborn Heights Justice Center.
Chief Lee Gavin, the best man at Dudley’s wedding, said he would remember his childhood friend and longtime colleague as a family man with a strong sense of community.
“Ted was all about his family first, and then serving the community that he always called home,” Gavin said, adding, “he was really kind of a rarity in this day and age when a lot of officers don’t live in the communities (where) they work.”
Dudley’s death was tied to one of the things he loved most in life: hockey. The Detroit Red Wings were Dudley’s favorite team, and in recognition of this passion, he was buried in a Steve Yzerman jersey.
Funeral services were held Friday at Penn Funeral Home in Inkster and were followed by burial at Cadillac Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Westland. To ensure all city officers could attend, several Dearborn officers volunteered to pick up an extra shift and patrol Dearborn Heights during the service.