Dec. 14, 1920 Mobridge Walworth County South Dakota, USA
Oct. 29, 2006 Mobridge Walworth County South Dakota, USA
It was an eventful life that Nellie Mable Fudge lived. She graduated as the valedictorian of her Timber Lake Class of 1938 and went on to earn a degree in stenography at the Mitchell Business College.
After her marriage, in 1946, Nellie, her husband Frank and their three children were in a storm cellar at their residence west of Timber Lake when the buildings were totally destroyed by a tornado. Fortunately they escaped unhurt.
As a rancher's wife, Nellie helped her husband raise livestock and still found time to enjoy barn dances and square dancing.
Nellie began working with the South Dakota Department of Family Services in 1957 as a secretary. She was hired as a caseworker in 1976 and retired from that position in 1986. Upon her retirement, James Ellenbecker, secretary for the Department of Family Services, wrote, "Nellie is a concerned, conscientious worker and we will all miss her presence."
In her later years Nellie talked of her love for the job in Dewey County while working for the Department of Social Services. She touched the lives of many who still remember her.
Nellie's health began to fail in March of 2005 and she entered the Beverly Healthcare Center in Mobridge. After her health improved in the summer of 2005, she moved to her own house in Mobridge. By September 2006, she was suffering the ravages of Alzheimer's disease and again entered the Beverly Healthcare Center.
Nellie died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006, at the Beverly Healthcare Center in Mobridge at the age of 85.
She was born to Roy William and Ruby (Hamilton) Perry in Mobridge on Dec. 14, 1920. She grew up on the family farm 10 3/4 miles southwest of Timber Lake, attending a rural country school before going on to high school in Timber Lake.
She often reminisced about living in town during the winters, as the weather conditions were so severe they were often unable to get to school from the farm. She thoroughly enjoyed her childhood and often talked about her special love for her brother "Bud," who was her protector and involved her in his daily life including chores, working with horses, and hunting. She always adored him.
After graduating from Business College, Nellie worked for a time with Fett Implement in Timber Lake until her marriage to Emmet "Frank" Fudge in Mobridge on June 1, 1941. They became the parents of eight children.
Their first home was north of Firesteel. In 1943, they moved one mile west of Timber Lake. They moved to the present Fudge ranch two miles west of Timber Lake in 1947. Until Frank's death in May of 1988, they farmed and raised livestock together..
Following Frank's death, Nellie relocated to Big Horn, Wyo., and began ranching with the help of two of her sons. In 2005 Nellie returned to South Dakota to continue her rural lifestyle, including raising cattle.
She loved to fish and enjoyed reminiscing about the family fishing trips.
Nellie is survived by all eight of her children, Darlene Cole of Savage, Minn., Frank Roy Fudge of Pierre, Millard Fudge of Clear, Alaska, Ken Fudge of Orofina, Idaho, Jim Fudge of Big Horn, Dean Fudge of Big Horn, Judy Anderson of Moorhead, Minn., and Randy Fudge of Mobridge/Timber Lake. She is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Lucille Skaug and Edie Cook, and her brother, Leonard "Bud" Perry.
Funeral services for Nellie were Thursday, Nov. 2, at United Parish in Timber Lake. Pastor Dave Heintzleman officiated. Burial was in the Timber Lake Cemetery under the direction of Kesling Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Pat Kjellsen was pianist and Chris Fudge was soloist for "Nearer My God to Thee." The congregation sang, "The Old Rugged Cross."
Casketbearers were Mike Fudge, Zack Fudge, Tanner Fudge, Bob Chamberlin, Richie Chamberlin and Reatta Anderson. All Nellie's family and friends were honorary bearers.