Arlene Jean Rudolph, 89, formerly of Gackle, ND, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. She was surrounded by her children, at her son’s home, in Bismarck, ND where she was under Hospice care.
Arlene was born to Emil and Hulda (Fey) Meidinger on their family farm southwest of Fredonia, ND in McIntosh County, on February 12, 1934. She had 1 sister and 6 brothers. Growing up, she attended country school through the eighth grade. As a young girl, she dreamed of being a nurse or an airline stewardess and traveling the world that she studied about. Instead, a few years later at her cousin’s wedding in Lehr, she met Darwin Rudolph. He proposed to her on her parents’ farm when he came home from the Service. On July 19, 1953, in front of 150 people, they shared their vows and married at the Berlin Baptist Church in rural McIntosh County. She said Darwin was always there for her in the good times and bad. They took many vacations to the Black Hills, California, Washington State and Washington, D.C. in their 66 years of marriage.
They resided on a farm 8 miles northwest of Fredonia, ND where they farmed and raised 6 children. Arlene said there was always something to do and places to go, but she held close to her heart the joy of having a good and loving family. As a young farming family, they continued taking vacations and boating on Sunday afternoons. Her kids spoke of her hatred for snakes, her love of gardening and canning, coffee with friends, and that she loved to keep a tidy home.
Life got even sweeter for Arlene with the addition of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren, who she enjoyed cooking and baking for, and playing board games with. She said, “Grandchildren are very special. They bring so much joy and happiness into our lives; listening to them talk of things they like to do - each in a different way…It is a gift of God for each and every one, seeing them grow up and enjoying time with them.” Her prayer for all of her kids and grandkids was, “That you will be blessed in what ever you choose in your lifetime, and succeed with great joy, and that God will be with you whatever you do. Always seek God first and he will direct your way.”
In 1999, Arlene and Darwin retired from the family farm and moved to Gackle, ND. In 2021, she moved to the Heritage Center in Jamestown, ND. She was a member of the Berlin Baptist Church, the American Legion Auxiliary, Gackle Senior Center, and served for many years at Julie’s Country Cafe in Gackle. She was even honored as Gackle’s “Hometown Hero” for her smiling face and services cleaning the laundromat and clinic.
Arlene will be remembered by many as being always cheerful, always smiling, ready for company, and being the Energizer bunny. Her greatest treasure in life was her family, who will always remember her for being their number one fan. She was at every event she was able to attend, including proms, ice skating shows, Twins baseball games, concerts, piano recitals, graduations, bridal and baby showers, baptisms and weddings. She will be remembered for her ketchup noodles, keeping onion bagels in the freezer and hot fudge in the fridge, fleischkuechle in the field, strudels for holidays, apple juice for one set of grandkids and orange juice for the other… She was the best travel companion and never complained about any of life’s hardships.
Arlene is survived by her children, Julie (Don) Metz, Gackle, ND; Colleen (Randy) Lebahn, Jamestown, ND; Robin (Billy Joe) Brown, Woodbury, MN; Gene (Vickie) Rudolph, Fredonia, ND; Carmen (Mike) Polson, Crystal Springs, ND; Arno (Colette) Rudolph, Bismarck, ND; 13 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; 1 brother-in-law, Orion (DeLoris) Rudolph, Ashley, ND; and many grandchildren in-laws, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Darwin; her parents Emil and Hulda; 6 brothers Lloyd, Norman, Kenneth, Vernon, Vergil, and Jack; 1 sister, Joyce; and 1 great-granddaughter, Maggie.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to the Jamestown Heritage Center, Gackle Legion Auxiliary, or CHI Health at Home Hospice-Bismarck.