2018 Bridge Builder - Sybil Fudge Dewhirst

Mrs. Sybil Belle Short Fudge Dewhirst was chosen for the Athens Bible School 2018 Bridge Builder Award. She is the widow of
Benjamin Lee Fudge, one of the school’s three founders. The award had to be awarded posthumously as she passed away just four days prior to the graduation ceremony. She had planned to attend Elementary Awards Day and the last senior led chapel as well as graduation and did know that she had been chosen for the award. She was excited and was choosing what she would wear and considering what she would say. 
Mrs. Fudge, as she is or has become known to most of us, was about 20 years old when she worked together with her husband to begin our school that was first called, North Alabama Bible School. She taught at the school for a short time and was very involved with it until Bennie Lee’s untimely death from pneumonia in 1972.
Since then, she has lived a full life, been an excellent mother to her children, lived in California, Ohio, and other places. She married a second husband with whom she enjoyed life until he passed away.
  Mrs. Fudge was the daughter of missionaries in South Africa and came to Abilene Christian College where she met Bennie Lee. She came to North Alabama when they had originally planned to return to her native Rhodesia to work as missionaries.
She was here when the school began and recently had returned to Athens to be nearer to some of her children. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, she spoke at the faculty in-service, attended the new campus groundbreaking ceremony, and the ABS 75th anniversary celebration. She was a most important figure in our school’s history and will be sorely missed. Her son, Robert, and daughter-in-law, Dianne accepted the award on her behalf.