Funeral Service for Kathleen Grace Ludens

December 15, 2021 • Pastor John Thornton

Kathleen Grace Ludens, 85, died on Sunday December 12, 2021, surrounded by her family. Kathleen grew up in Leota, Minnesota. She was the second of five children born to Bert and Lena Doppenberg. Her siblings were Alice Hoff (Calvin), Gladys Apol (Dal), Gary Doppenberg (Donna), and Donna Hanenburg (Daryl). They lived on a farm and she loved her life with her family. She married Jim Ludens in 1960. They moved to Centerville, South Dakota where Jim took his first teaching position. They had a daughter, Nancy, and then moved to Orange City, Iowa where she spent the next 50 years. Her daughter Amy was born there and Kathleen enjoyed being a mother. She was a member of Trinity Reformed Church serving in various roles. She was active in her community. Kathleen was defined by her faith and she demonstrated her God-given talents throughout her life.

Kathleen’s unique journey is a testament to her love of learning. She was an avid reader and had a curiosity for understanding people. She and her husband Jim devoted their lives to education. She did not get to finish high school, but was not deterred and later in life she completed high school and cosmetology school. She then decided to go to college. She received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern College. She worked as a pregnancy counselor for Bethany Christian Services but again she longed to learn more. She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Social Work. She specialized in mental health counseling. She worked for Bethesda Christian Counseling receiving her Clinical Social Work private practice license.

Following retirement she and her husband Jim enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends. She was a die-hard Twins fan. She was always interested in getting together for coffee and dessert. They moved to Sioux Falls in 2011. She was a volunteer for both the Avera Cancer Institute and Avera Behavioral Health.

Kathleen will be remembered for her listening skills, her humble sweet spirit, and her insatiable curiosity. She had an elegant and graceful style. She was always up for deep discussions and she enjoyed getting down to the heart of matters. If you spent time with Kathleen she could be a force, inspiring one to become all of who they could be. She will be missed by so many as a caring clinician, colleague and friend.

Kathleen was Jim’s best friend, the perfect wife. She was a wonderful mother to her daughters Nancy and Amy and their husbands, Jerry and Al. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoyed Kathleen and she found such fulfillment in her times with them. She will be missed by her friends and family but what a blessing it was to have her in their lives.

Grateful for sharing her life are her husband, Jim Ludens, daughters Nancy Wise-Vander Lee (Jerry), Amy Laboranti (Al), grandchildren: Rachael Breck (Violet and Sully Breck), Rachel Halford (Tyler Halford), Eric Vander Lee (Robby Vargas), Brooke Wise (Seth Buck) and Lindy Wise.

Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, Bert and Lena (Hofkamp) Doppenberg; and two sisters, Alice Hoff and Gladys Apol.

The family would like to thank Dr. Neil Brummond, her physician, Trail Ridge and Good Samaritan Senior Communities who cared for her in the last year of her life.

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