Grace Leonore Rudlang


Grace Leonore Rudlang 97, died peacefully in the care of her family on November 15, 2010.

Grace and her twin sister Gladys were born in Christine, ND on April 2, 1913 to their mother, Hannah Hoyem. Grace and Gladys had an older sister Harriet and older brother Melvin. Grace developed her strong work ethic from her mother, who worked hard in their small town to support her four children. Grace grew up true to her Norwegian heritage, learning how to make lefse, flatbread, sute supe, krumkakka, fattigman, sandbakkels, and rosettes at a young age.  She was also quite proud of her participation on her high school basketball team.

Grace met her husband, Percy, at a local dance and frequently told stories of how much fun they had dancing together.  To Grace, dancing was true happiness.  After getting married in 1933, Grace and Percy lived in outside Colfax, North Dakota in a one-room school house where Percy taught first through eighth grades, and Grace was a homemaker.   Percy eventually took a job with Great Northern Railroad as a trainmaster, moving around often and living in several Midwest cities ~ St. Paul, MN, Wilmar MN, Devils Lake, ND, and Grand Forks ND ~ which Grace always remembered and thought of with fondness.

Fourteen years into their marriage, Grace gave birth to their son Jon and the family eventually moved to the Seattle area.  Jon was a true blessing, bringing them years of pride as his parents.   As a young man, Jon married Linda and gave Grace and Percy the wonderful daughter they never had, who they truly cherished.  After Percy’s retirement, Grace and Percy enjoyed traveling to Norway, and spending time with their young grandchildren, and the family dog, Specsy.

Grace and Percy continued to dance together until his death in 1983. Throughout her life, Grace was devoted to her church where she spent countless hours volunteering in many different capacities.  She also enjoyed gardening and going on daily walks to stay fit up until 2004 when she broke her hip.  She adored her family and loved spending time with her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters.  She especially treasured the countless times her granddaughters would come over for frequent weekend sleepovers, very special time with grandma, and talk about paraphernalia.

Grace kept her Norwegian heritage alive by preparing and eating Norwegian delights throughout her life.  She enjoyed eating brokrube with her husband and son regularly.  Up until a few years ago she would proudly, and impressively, eat platefuls of lutefisk at the annual lutefisk dinner at the Sons of Norway with her family.

Grace lived alone since 1983, fiercely independent in her lifestyle, until she died in 2010.  Her mind was always sharp and she would passionately stay informed about local and national politics up until her final days – watching Meet the Press, reading Newsweek, and proudly sharing her opinions with her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Percy, twin-sister, Gladys, and many other close family and friends. She was dearly loved and we will miss her warmth and wisdom, independent spirit, devotion to family, and wonderful sense of humor. Grace is survived by her son, Jon, daughter-in-law, Linda, two granddaughters, Kristen (Chad) and Katie (Teddy), two great-grandchildren (Madeline and Elliott), and many dear members of her extended family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Grace’s name to Childhaven (https://www.childhaven.org/donate.aspx or 206.624.6477).

7 Responses to “Grace Leonore Rudlang”

  • linda says:

    Grace, yesterday we had our memorial to you at Percy gravesite. The sun was out and we all shared our love, our thoughts and our tears. For over 45 years you have been a part of my life, and I could not have had a more loving, caring mother-in-law. Thank you for all the big and little ways you enriched my life over those years. I will miss you! Love, Linda

  • Dianna Salmon says:

    I have only met Grace several times in my life – attending wedding showers, weddings, and a baby shower for her granddaughters! Although I didn’t know her very well, what I remember about her, while talking to her, was how much she reminded me of my godmother, Alice. Like Alice, Grace appeared to be spirited, straight-forward, and loved her family dearly. She was so fortunate to have a family who loved her and took such good care of her, especially in her later years. After so many years of being a widow, it is comforting to know that she has joined Percy in heaven. I knwo she will be sorely missed by those who loved her! Dianna Salmon

  • Katie says:

    Grandma, we love you and will never forget you. There are no words to truly explain the impact you’ve made on our lives. I miss you! Love, Katie

  • Kay Perman says:

    I feel blessed to have known her by celebrating with her at family events. I always tried to sit by her to talk because she was spunky and had a unique perspective on life. She made me think and she made me laugh. She was a lovely, intelligent, classy lady. Grace is a woman who truly personified her name.

    To the family,. . .I wish you the comfort of her memories in the days ahead Kay Perman

  • Tamra Patton says:

    I have known Grace since I was 2 years old. She was my ‘present Grandma’, since mine lived in S. Dakota. How wonderful she was for the young ones of our neighborhood. Such wonderful memories of Halloween visits and special treats, May day flowers and giggling in the bushes, learning to make krum kaka and rosettes and sute supe (which i still make every winter). Trains in the garage and malted milk shakes with Percy. What a truely special love and memory in my life.

  • Warren says:

    Grace and my mom were twins. Grace was there for her sister 21 years ago in her last months and Grace remembered every one of those days with great clarity ever since. After losing my mom, there came a time I was able to see Grace frequently. Every visit was also another visit with my mom. The past ten years of times with Grace have been both a continuing privilege and a wonderful pleasure. I learned so much about my mother from Grace. She said she enjoyed my visits and I know I felt loved and honored to be with her. I think she felt closer to her sister when she was with me. I know she reminded me of my mother in how she looked, walked, talked and thought. For several years we worked together on the family history and discovered new connections in Norway and in surprising locations in the USA. She was fascinated in discovering the new relatives and had a wonderful time in a family reunion in North Dakota. I think every day of the wonderful woman she was and how fortunate I was to have so much time with her. She lived her life with wonderful grace, exceeding kindness, firm convictions, and unending love. I love her and will miss her more than I can say.

  • Maureen Crowley Kerce says:

    I just today (3-8-11) found out from my mom in No. Dak. about Grace’s passing. I am shocked and saddened that we will not be able to visit her again. My mom was her first cousin and in 2007 my mom, sister, and I travelled together to see our family in the Pacific Northwest. Of course Grace and her family were among the ones we visited, and we thoroughly enjoyed that visit. I remember seeing Grace from time to time as I was growing up. Mom and her sister, my Aunt Ardyce, were in great awe of Grace’s beauty, carriage, talents, and other gifts. Their admiration spilled over onto my sister and me. After our 2007 visit, Grace graciously wrote me requesting we do it again, and we honestly wanted to work that out, but unfortunately it was not to be. We will greatly miss her and send our deepest sympathy to all of her family. I hope that they still check on this website regularly because I don’t have their home addresses to write them personally.

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