Margaret “Peggy” Hatcher Dudney

Published 4:10 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

KNOXVILLE — Margaret “Peggy” Hatcher Dudney, formerly of Chattanooga, Tenn., passed peacefully into our Father’s arms on November 8, 2018 after an extended illness.
Peggy was born in Sarasota, Fla., on December 23, 1926. She grew up in the Tri-Cities area of East Tennessee and graduated with the highest GPA from Cloudland High School in 1945. Subsequently, she attended the Baroness Erlanger School of Nursing on an academic scholarship, earning her RN degree in 1950, followed by a BS in Pre-Professional Social Work from UT Chattanooga in 1955. She received her MS in Nursing Service Administration from Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1963. She served in many roles during her nursing career, including being Director of Nursing at both Erlanger Hospital and TC Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga where she also served as Director of Nursing Education. At Erlanger, she was responsible for the establishment of the OR Scrub Tech program and opening the first coronary care unit. She subsequently worked as Director of Personnel and Training at Nashville Memorial Hospital while attending the Nashville YMCA Night Law School, completing her JD in 1975. She received a gubernatorial appointment to serve as the first Executive Director of the Medical Malpractice Review Board of the State of Tennessee. She subsequently worked as a consultant for the State Public Health Department in Medicare Certification.
Peggy went into private law practice in Chattanooga for several years before accepting a position with Provident Life Insurance. With Provident, among other duties, she travelled across the country developing Wellness programs for large national corporations. She retired to take on the care of her elderly mother, after whose death she taught Nursing Law at UT Chattanooga and served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. She was a member of multiple civic, social, and professional organizations, serving in leadership positions and on multiple organizational Boards. She was a charter member of the Nursing Service Administration Division of AHA and was elected Boss of the Year in 1967 by ABWA and Woman of the Year in 1973 by Women Executives International. Her commitment, leadership, and support of the Baroness Erlanger Hospital Nursing Alumnae Association spanned several decades.
For all who knew Peggy, she was a vivacious, compassionate, and energetic person who was faithful to God and loved her family, friends, and profession. She was full of life, lighting up any room she entered. She was a great dancer with an eye for interior design. She gave freely of her time and treasure to family, friends, and charities. She brought enthusiasm to everything she did, from antiquing to line dancing to the many Fraternal Order of Eagles events she attended.
Peggy is predeceased by her parents, Sarah Rebecca Mae Holtzclaw Williams and Alf Hatcher; stepfather, Tom Williams; sisters, Kate Ashley and Edna Wise; stepbrother, Charles Roger Williams; brother-in-law, Conway Hopson; first husband, John Pearson; niece, Marlene Hopson; and nephew, John Hopson.
She is survived by daughter, Tina Dudney (Mike McCormack); granddaughter, Hannah McCormack; sister, Evelyn Hopson; nieces, Carlene Silliman (children Lisa, Joni, Craig), Greta Riddle (Randy), Patricia Terry and Judy Lee Hampton; nephew, Victor Hopson (Nancy); great-niece, Victoria Hopson Kimbrell (Heath); great-nephews, Richard (Laura) and Harold Riddle; and multiple other dear friends and extended family members.
Her family wishes to express gratitude to the medical and nursing staff of UT Medical Center for the superb and compassionate care they delivered over the years, particularly the staff of 9East, MCC, CVICU, Heart Hospital, as well as the UPCC staff to include Dr. Elise Schriver, UC staff including Dr. Hirsh, and UFP staff including Dr. Amy Stevens. We would also like to express thanks to the staff of Williamsburg Villas where she lived the past few years, and to Smoky Mountain Hospice and Zella and Mark Maleitzke, who cared for her during her last illness and provided her peace and dignity in dying.
A graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, November 16, at Happy Valley Memorial Park on Elizabethton Highway, Johnson City, Tenn. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Margaret Dudney to UT Medical Center Development Office, 2121 Medical Center Way, Suite 110, Knoxville TN 37920 for the Margaret Dudney Bedside Nursing Education Gift Fund. Condolences may be sent to the family on our website at
Memorial Funeral Chapel, 212 North Main Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643, is serving the Dudney family.

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