Legends of Legacy Lodge: Meet Andy Dudzik

Written by Jeanie Mebane

JACKSON, Wyo. — Andy Dudzik, our resident accordionist, came to the Lodge this spring and has been entertaining us and filling our hallways with music ever since.

Andy creates his music without reading a single note, playing entirely by ear! He first learned to play using his brother’s accordion but got his own during his WWII days when the person who previously owned it asked him to play it. He was so good that she said, “The accordion is yours.”

Andy’s favorite music is a polka, especially Polish polka. Andy’s musical taste is influenced by his Polish heritage. His parents came to the United States from Poland in the early 1900s. They settled in an area about 35 miles north of Green Bay in northern Wisconsin where they raised twelve children, six boys, and six girls. Andy has five brothers and six sisters. 

The Dudzik’s lived in an unincorporated small area of around 300 people, which was called Krakow, named for Krakow, Poland. The town had a cheese factory, a pickle factory, and a grain elevator. Andy went to a Catholic parochial school in Krakow for eight years before becoming a carpenter and then a certified welder.

One of his biggest projects working as a welder was to weld together a car shredder. The shredder had 4-inch walls and rotating hammers that could shred cars and pickup trucks into recyclable pieces of metal.

Andy also bought a small farm in Wisconsin where he planted an organic garden. He grew potatoes, broccoli, corn, beans, and peas which he sold on-site by simply putting up a sign on the road past his place.

Andy and his wife Carol had two children, his daughter passed away and his son lives in the Thayne area. Andy moved to Wyoming a few years ago to be closer to his son. 

Music is important to Andy and his favorite song is “Ring of Fire,” frequently sung by Johnny Cash. Andy no longer sings but perhaps he will play it on his accordion for us!

Andy is a resident of Legacy Lodge. To learn more about this community, click HERE.

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