LaVina Rudek was born on February 3, 1931 in Turtle Lake, North Dakota the first of four children of Jacob and Caroline (Berg) Schock. She died on February 21st just days after celebrating her 92nd birthday with family, friends and staff at Bethany on 42nd in Fargo. Her early years were spent working on the family farm with her sister and brothers and at her aunt’s restaurant in Turtle Lake while attending high school. It was there she met the handsome and charming relief agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad, Larry Rudek, who left her a dime tip for the 5-cent cup of coffee he ordered every day. How could she possibly say “no” to such a big tipper when he proposed?
Larry and LaVina were married in Little Falls, MN, on July 21, 1949. Their first home was in Jamestown, ND where their first two daughters, Patricia and Pamela were born. Larry was then transferred to the small town of Tuttle, ND, and where three more daughters were born; Paula in 1955; Vicki in 1956 and Valerie in 1957. Tragically, Paula succumbed to hyaline membrane disease and lived only a few days. It was a loss LaVina carried with her the rest of her life.
In 1960, the family moved to Maddock, ND, where they lived until 1976. Larry and LaVina were very active in the community and at St. Williams Catholic Church and had many good friends there. In 1976, they moved to the Brainerd lakes area where they owned and operated Big Pines Resort on Island Lake near Emily, MN. While operating the resort required great effort during the summer months, the Rudeks made lifelong friends from all over the country, many of whom returned year after year.
In 1990 Larry and LaVina moved to Marion Lake, near Perham, MN where they lived until settling in Dilworth, MN in 2000. They were long time members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead. In 2016, they moved to Bethany on 42nd where LaVina remained after Larry passed away in 2018.
While not having an extensive formal education, LaVina was well-informed in many aspects of life and keeping a happy home. She taught herself to sew and through the years sewed clothes for herself, her children, including a wedding dress and several bridesmaids’ dresses-not to mention an abundance of Barbie doll clothes and 23 cheerleader outfits! When living in Maddock and the children were in school, LaVina was a loyal and indispensable employee of the Haukness Department store for many years. Patrons came to rely on her for her keen sense of style and fashion. She was a phenomenal cook and baker who made the best “Scotcheroos” and brownies around! Above all, she truly was a lady who never said a bad word about anybody, anytime.
Among the many who will miss the grace and feisty spirit of this beautiful woman are daughters Patricia (Eric) Monson, Fargo; Pamela (Dean) Sorensen, St. George, UT; Vicki (Michael) Zager, St. Cloud, MN; Valerie (Randy) Johnson, Lafayette, LA; Sister Ella Lockrem, Bismarck, ND; Grandchildren Eric Sorensen, Matthew Sorensen; Jasmyne (Collin) Cormier; Alyssa (Lukas) Bernard; Rebecca Ellingson; Kirstyn Johnson; Michael (Michelle) Monson; Jessica Monson; Great-grandchildren Erica; Keagyn; Cash; Cole; Graham; Jack Lawrence; Mamie; Adlie; Eleanor Dell; Zach and Caden. Eagerly waiting for LaVina and to welcome her into heaven were her husband, Larry; granddaughter Rachel Ellingson; her parents, Jacob and Caroline Schock; daughter, Paula; and brothers Alvin and Loren.