Helen Rudy was born 21 January, 1929 on the Graf family farm north of Langenburg, and left the world of the living quietly in her sleep 22 December, 2020 at the Extendicare Elmview long-term care home in Regina.
Helen was the fourth of seven children, the third daughter of Gustav Graf and Hedwig (Fieseler) Graf. Before young Helen’s first birthday, the family had left the farm and settled in Langenburg, where Helen grew up, received her schooling and met and married the love of her life and husband of 50 years. Helen married Jack Rudy on 7 April, 1946 and in the four years that followed, was mother to two sons, Bill and Jim. Jack and Helen were both very active members of the community until 1958 when Jack was offered the post of general manager with Bicknell Freighters of Calgary and the family packed bags and moved to Alberta. Within a year Helen had begun working at billing, book-keeping and a range of office tasks and for 10 years worked alongside her husband Jack until they decided it was time to part ways with the company and move on. It was 1969. With their two sons fully fledged and gone from the family nest, Helen and Jack left Calgary to spend a year working in Winnipeg while making up their minds on where they would re-settle to finish out their working lives. In 1971 they moved home again, this time to Kelowna BC where there was a growing community of folk from Langenburg who had followed fortunes westward. Their lives continued in the Okanagan valley for a further twelve years until Helen’s retirement, Helen employed as an accountant in two chartered accounting firms and Jack as an accountant at Arena Motors.
Helen was hard-working and conscientious all her able life but with her husband, she also shared a passion for the outdoors. They had toured and golfed and fished and camped throughout their careers and for several years had a second home in the foothills of the Rockies on the banks of the Red Deer River. In BC they continued to tour, exploring the rivers and lakes of BC’s interior, and then following retirement in 1983, they relocated to Eagle Bay on the shoreline of Shuswap Lake. In many respects it was a dream come true, but middle age for them was ending and fond memories and thoughts of the hometown, of being near again to old friends and family, weighed down to tip the balance. Once again four years later they pulled up stakes, but this time to complete full circle a journey begun 28 years earlier.
Reintegration into hometown life was fairly seamless and Helen and Jack led a lifestyle similar to that of many other retired couples in Langenburg, enjoying their retirement in the company of friends and family while supporting the community when and where able. They continued to travel as well, with occasional winter holidays in Arizona and California and trips to Europe to visit their son Jim who had settled in northern Spain. In 1989 they became grand-parents when in April grandson Sam was born, adding new impetus to life at home and travel abroad. Then in May 1996, rather suddenly after a brief but severe illness, Jack passed away and Helen found herself on her own. Thus it was twice in her life she had suffered the sudden loss of someone so near and dear, the first time being when her son Bill was carried off in September 1973 by a rampant cancer after less than a fortnight in hospital.
With support and solace from family and friends, Helen overcame her grief a second time and re-established her life. She continued to take her turn in routine tasks at St. Paul’s Lutheran church where she’d been baptised and confirmed in her youth, continued her participation in social activities and her support of services in the community, continued to play golf until her arthritis got the better of her, continued to travel to Spain to visit her grandson and family and continued living on her own until it was no longer feasible to do all that is necessary to keep house. After a brief stay at Westhaven Manor in Langenburg, Helen moved in 2015 to Mutchmor Lodge in Regina, a more adequate residence for the autonomous at her age, and finally in December 2016 to the long-term care and nursing facility, Extendicare Elmview, where she lived out her days under the kindness and care of committed professionals and in the comfort of a home away from home.
Those left to cherish her memory and the memory of her stories, her consideration, her laughter and ever-winning smile are her son Jim, daughter-in-law Nieves and grandson Sam; sister-in-law Janet; brothers-in-law Fred (Dorothy) and Lorne, and, as well, her many close nieces and nephews and their children; and finally, those who remain of the many friends she’d made across the better part of a century.
The funeral Service will take place at a later date with interment taking place in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Langenburg.
The family of the late Helen Rudy wish to thank Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service, Russell for taking care of the arrangements.
To send flowers to Helen's family, please visit our floral store.