(5/9/12) Gordon E. Rudkin, age 91, of Black River Falls, WI., died Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the Pine View Care Center in Black River Falls while under their care, and the care of Black River Memorial Hospice.
Gordy was born in the Town of New Lyme in Monroe County on July 14, 1920 to George and Vina (Brown) Rudkin. He was raised on the family farm near Shamrock, and he graduated from Black River Falls High School in 1938. Before graduation, he roomed in Black River Falls and shined shoes at the barber shop, "jerked sodas" at the former Lange's Drug Store, set pins at the former Knudson's Bowling Lanes, and trained as a surveyor with Ray Hurlburt.
He married Dorothy "Christy" Christopherson in LaCrosse, WI. on October 1, 1941. The couple lived their entire married lives in Black River Falls. Dorothy preceded her husband in death on Oct. 25, 1987.
He operated Lloyd's Cafe prior to entering the Army Engineer Corps and later the Air Corps. At the end of WW II, he returned from England and was discharged with the rank of Tech Sergeant.
He was employed at the former Sanford Produce for many years.
In 1953, he purchased a farm just North of Black River Falls where he raised chickens, hogs, beef cattle, and sold Funk's Seed Corn.
Gordy enjoyed bowling, playing cards, and trying to beat the casino at slots, but his real passion was farming.
Surviving are three daughters, Rachel "Suzy" Callihan and Mary L. Smith, both of Black River Falls, and Katy (Edward) Johnson, McLean VA., one sister, Geraldine "Gerry" Rudkin, Black River Falls, five grandchildren, Jennifer (Brian) Gates, Black River Falls, David (Kelli) Smith, Indiana, Bryant Smith, Black River Falls, Derek Johnson, Los Angeles, Ca., and Trevor Johnson, San Antonio, TX., three great grandchildren, Christopher (Vanessa) Gates, and Kendra Gates, both of Madison, WI., and Dakota Smith, WI., several nieces and nephews, and very, special friends Tim and Mary McCann of Black River Falls.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, a son-in-law, Kenneth Callihan, 3-sisters, Mary (Bert) Hahn, Doris (Albert) Phillips, and Zelda (Tremaine "Bert") Burchard, and a nephew, Duane Phillips.
Private family memorial funeral services will be held at a later date, and burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Black River Falls.
Torgerson's Funeral Service (715-284-4321) of Black River Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.