WESTBY — Arthur “Bud” Blaine Rudrud, 97, of Westby died Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, at the Norseland nursing home in Westby.
He was born Sept. 13, 1919, in Vernon Cty, town of Clinton, to Hjalmar and Agatha (Mortenson) Rudrud. He attended Bloomingdale Grade and Westby High School.
He was known for his baseball pitching skill in his youth, playing on local teams, the La Crosse All Stars, and the Will Rogers Air Base Eagles in Oklahoma City, Okla., during his stateside military service.
Blaine enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps Sept. 19, 1941, and served with the 97th Bomb Squadron /47th Bomb Group in North Africa and Italy during World War II. He was honorably discharged as staff sergeant Sept. 9, 1945. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and VFW; proud of his service and grateful to have returned, he never glorified, but remained ever mindful of the horror, brutality and sacrifice of war.
On Sept. 26, 1947, he married Carol DeWitt at the Bloomingdale Church. They purchased a farm near Bloomingdale, later adding acreage from his neighboring home farm. There they reared their family and farmed until retirement. They sold the farm in March 2000, and moved to the new home they built in Westby. Blaine served on the Bloomingdale school board and the board of trustees of the Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church.
Blaine’s love of sports, particularly baseball, continued throughout his life. He was an avid Brewers fan and rarely missed watching a game. He cared for the land and the animals that lived on it. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and time spent with his family.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, of Westby; children, Alan (Ken Kelleher) Madison, Wis., Kathryn Dipert, Walkerton, Ind., and Mary (Alan Meyer), Sun Prairie, Wis.; grandchildren, Brenda (Tom) Egli, Sun Prairie, Brian (Stephanie) Meyer, Ramsey, Minn., and Randy (Lezley) Pontius, Brook, Ind.; great-grandchildren, Travin, Blaine, and Lilah Egli, Carsten, Kylian, and Kendalyn Pontius, Jack and Luke Meyer; sister, Alice Alderman, Madison; and in-law,; Elwood Rickman, Portland, Ore., and Beverly Rudrud, La Crosse, Alice Thompson, Soldiers Grove, Ann and LeRoy Manke, Westby, and Douglas DeWitt, Rapids City, Ill.; cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Doris (Berglund), Hazel (Bergh), Howard, Inez (Rickman), Ralph and David; and in-laws, Chester Berglund, Archie Bergh, Laurie Rudrud; mother and father-in-law, Clifford and Bernice DeWitt, Lila and Arvo Miller, Laverne Thompson, and Linda DeWitt; grandson, Edward Pontius; and son-in-law, Douglas Dipert.
The family thanks the Norseland staff for their compassionate care during his short time there; Dr. Calkins for his warm-hearted care and home visits; Deidre Morrison and Diane Baker for their many visits and drives out in the country. Special thanks to friends, Terry and Dale Whiting and Pete and Michelle Engh.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, at the Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Main in Westby. Pastor Wollman of Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church will officiate with a burial with military rites in Coon Prairie Cemetery, Westby. Friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church or a charity of choice.
On-line condolences may be offered at www.vossfh.com. The Vosseteig Funeral Home of Westby is serving the family, 608-634-2100.