Obituaries Gretchen Ludeman

Gretchen Ludeman, 69, died on Nov. 8, 2004 at her residence in Vermillion, after a long, hard fought battle with cancer.

Gretchen was born on July 27, 1935, in Portland, OR, to Al and Gertrude (Isensee) Wiest. She and her family moved to San Francisco, CA, where Gretchen attended elementary school and graduated, with honors, from San Mateo High School.

She attended Stanford University and studied nursing. In 1957, Gretchen married Darrell Ludeman. They relocated to Tyndall in 1958, and later moved to Vermillion.

Gretchen earned her B.S. in education from Southern College in Springfield and her master's in education from The University of South Dakota. As a teacher in the Vermillion School District for 35 years, Gretchen touched the lives of thousands of students.

Gretchen was actively involved in the South Dakota Education Association and the National Education Association. She served as board member for SDEA/SE Great Lakes Unit and was a member of the South Dakota Educators Political Involvement Committee and received a lifetime achievement award in 2000. Gretchen served as the NEA director for South Dakota for six years and during this time she was a member of the SDEA executive committee. She was a member of PEO, and the United Church of Christ in Vermillion.

Grateful for having shared her love, wisdom, and friendship are her children, Kathy Ludeman of Port Charlotte, FL, Rick (Monya) Ludeman of Bentonville, AR, and Sally Merrigan of Vermillion; her grandchildren, Danielle Griffin, Sarah Merrigan, Ricky Ludeman, Jordan Merrigan, and Rachel Ludeman; a brother, David Wiest; and a sister, Sally Cahill.

Gretchen will be missed by her numerous friends and teaching colleagues at Vermillion Middle School.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Darrell, and a brother, Rich Wiest.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hansen Funeral Home.

Memorial services will be held at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the USD Foundation, Dr. Darrell R. and Gretchen Ludeman Scholarship fund, Box 5555, Vermillion, SD, 57069.

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