Kenneth J. (Ken/Kenny) Dudonis of Hillsdale, NJ passed away at age 80 on March 18th, 2023 peacefully at home surrounded by family. Ken was born on July 25, 1942 in Brooklyn New York to Michael and Anna Dudonis. After graduating high school in 1960, he joined the Army and was assigned to the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, where he served in Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall. He served honorably until his discharge in 1964. After returning home, he met and married the love his life, Carol in in 1967. Immediately after marrying, he joined the NYPD as a member of the newly formed Tactical Patrol Force. In 1969, he became a member of the NYC Bomb Squad where he attained the rank of Detective 2nd Grade. On St. Patrick’s Day, 1981, he was seriously injured in a bombing on Bleeker Street in NYC after heroically responding to a planted explosive. As a result, he retired as a highly decorated member of the force in 1982.
During his tenure with the NYPD, he earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from CW Post College. After his retirement from the police work, he became and educator specializing in identifying and combatting terrorist tactics. One of his proudest academic accomplishments was coauthoring the textbook, The Counterterrorism Handbook. Through several revisions it was used extensively in Criminology courses across the country.
Ken continued his career in security with Swiss Bank as a Vice President in Anti Money Laundering prevention before landing his dream job as an inaugural member of startup FoxNews’ “brain room.” His vast expertise in terrorism, policing, military history and strategy/ tactics was essential to support the station’s meteoric growth. He was “go to guy” for all reporters needing real time information and analysis during Americas 9-11 attack. He was on air several times as a subject matter expert and regularly engaged with on air personalities, public figures, high ranking military officers and others of influence. After 40 years and finally getting fed up with winter commuting to NYC, he retired in 2006.
Ken and Carol moved to Hillsdale, NJ in 2011, enjoying their new home among wonderful caring neighbors, yet he always considered Pearl River, NY his home. It is where where he lived for 35 years, raised his family, and made lifelong friends. He was the Commander of the John H. Secor American Legion post 329, was involved in Boy Scout Troop 36 helping several young men achieve the rank of Eagle. He helped coach multiple Pop Warner football teams and girls’ softball teams. He was avid reader and an expert in many topics involving military and industrial history. His subject matter passion was the Battle of Gettysburg.
He loved to golf, build models, collect stamps, paint, and write. Ken had a deep appreciation of wild life, taking customized trips to Yellowstone and the deepest reaches of Alaska’s natural beauty. He passionately rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, NY Giants, NY Mets and the Army Black Knights.
Despite all his accomplishments and heroism, Ken’s greatest source of pride was his family. Ken was predeceased by his parents, and is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carol ( McGarvey), his son Scott (age 54) and his wife Shirlin and their sons Kenneth and Matthew; daughter Kerri (Olsen) 52, her husband Erik and their daughter Amy, his older brother Ronald Dudonis, and loving extended family. His grandchildren where the light of his life and he would put up his ceremonial title of “World’s Greatest Grandpa” against anyone.
Should friends desire, contributions can be made, in Ken’s honor, to Tunnel to Towers.
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