Sara Treadwell Dudney

Sara Treadwell Dudney
Sara Treadwell Dudney


Sara Treadwell Dudney, 84, died peacefully on March 28, 2019.

Sara was born in Jacksonville, Florida on October 9, 1934 to Rainsford Fairbanks Glass Dudney, former University of the South Registrar, and Reverend Thomas Earl Dudney, former University of the South Director of Development. Sara was the great-granddaughter of Major George Rainsford Fairbanks, a lay founder of The University of the South, former Senator for the State of Florida, editor of The Florida Mirror, and author of the first History of the State of Florida.

Sara’s childhood was filled with joy living in her family home, Rebel’s Rest, on the Domain of the University of the South. She studied French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA and Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Sara met Lee Edward Ham while he was serving in the US Air Force in Paris. They eventually returned to Sewanee to be married in All Saints’ Chapel on May 19, 1956 and enjoyed the blessing of four sons.

While Sara raised her sons, she enjoyed serving in the Sewanee Pink Ribbon Society, Fortnightly Club, playing the piano and singing in the Otey Parish choir and the Sewanee Chorale, playing bridge, and served as the Assistant Editor of The Sewanee Review Quarterly. While serving on the Board of Trustees for St. Andrews School, she played a key role in the formation of St. Andrews-Sewanee School. Sara lovingly knitted numerous baby blankets which she gifted to family and friends.

Sara retired to Amelia Island Plantation, but quickly desired a return to a life of service. She was instrumental in building a new bookstore and hosting family for Summer Guest Period and Christmas at her beloved Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. Her final years were spent near family in Columbus, IN being cared for by the loving staff of Four Seasons Retirement Center, Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Sara was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Rainsford Dudney Lynch.

She is survived by sons Thomas Dudney Ham of Atlanta, GA, Lee Edward Ham (Donna) of Oldsmar, FL, John Ham Fairbanks (Melissa) of Columbus, IN, and James Ham Treadwell (Trisha) of Los Angeles, CA. Nonny’s angels were her eight grandchildren Jessica, Ian, Christian, Josephine, Spencer, Isabella, Niki, Katie, four great-grandchildren, and goddaughter Alyson Gooch Thorn.

Two services celebrating Sara’s life will be held as follows: Saturday, April 6, Visitation begins at 1 p.m. Service at 3 p.m. conducted by The Reverend Marc Vance at Four Seasons Chapel – Columbus, IN. Reception immediately following at Four Seasons. Saturday, May 4, service at 1 p.m. conducted by Reverend Thomas Macfie, University Chaplain, All Saints’ Chapel, The University of the South – Sewanee, TN. Burial in University Cemetery. Reception to follow.

Memorials may be designated to the Kanuga Conference Center Memorial in honor of Sara Treadwell Dudney, 130 Kanuga Chapel Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28739.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Final arrangements have been entrusted to Barkes Weaver & Glick Funeral Home.

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