Darlene Opal Ruud, 88, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, formerly of Hills, died Friday, March 19, 2021, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 25, with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. Burial will follow at Flowerfield Cemetery in Hills.
The link for the live-streamed funeral service is www.hartquistfuneral.com
Darlene Ellefson was born on Jan. 16, 1933, to John and Della (Lewis) Ellefson in Hardwick. Darlene was raised on the family farm. After completing eighth grade of country school, she began working on the farm. She later obtained her GED. Darlene received her confirmation on Oct. 6, 1946.
On Dec. 30, 1951, Darlene married Robert Ruud at Bethany Lutheran Church in Luverne. While her husband, Robert, was in the Air Force, the couple lived in Gulfport, Mississippi, Columbus, Ohio, and Merced, California. After Robert was discharged from the Air Force in 1954, they moved to Worthington and then to Minneapolis. They moved around frequently through their adult lives due to Robert’s employment with IBM. Residences included Marquette, Michigan (1958-1960), Sioux City, Iowa (1960-1964), Mahopac, New York (1964 - 1991), White Plains, New York (1991-2005), and finally back to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to be closer to family (2005-2021).
Darlene spent much of her life as a housewife, raising their six children. When their two youngest children were in high school in the mid 1970s, Darlene joined the workforce as an account administrator with Sears and IBM Employees Federal Credit Union.
Darlene was a founding member of Grace Lutheran Church in Jefferson Valley, New York (1964-2005). She sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and was a member of the administration. She was actively involved as a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls (2008-2021) where she participated in Bible study and volunteered in various capacities.
Darlene volunteered at the senior service center, was a donor to the Humane Society, and was involved with Sons of Norway since the mid-’70s. She sponsored children from Honduras and families through Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
She enjoyed bird watching, crossword puzzles, embroidery, crochet and maintaining her houseplants. She also enjoyed puzzles on the computer while listening to audiobooks or her daily devotions, and she loved pets.
Darlene enjoyed socializing with friends and taking road trips with her family. She visited 49 states (only missing Hawaii) with her husband, Bob. She eventually traveled to Hawaii with her youngest son, Eric, and his family.
Darlene is survived by her children, Joel (partner Elizabeth Nicholson) Ruud of Atlanta, Georgia, David (Janis) Ruud of Holmes, New York, Stanley (Lisa Rae) Ruud of Edina, Jason (Mary) Ruud of Plymouth, and Eric (Melissa) Ruud of Savage; 14 grandchildren, Jeffrey, Cali, Andrew, Holly, Kirsten, Karly, Evelyn, Dana, Christopher, Vincent, Grace, Kayla, Jessica, and Jacob; four great-grandchildren; sister Jessie Wenzel of Luverne; sister-in-law Beverly (Ruud) (Bill) Simpson of Sioux Falls; and brother-in-law Stuart (Kay) Ruud of Brooklyn Park.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert Ruud; daughter Rhona Ruud; sisters Mattie Petersen and Ruby Dibbern; infant sister LaVon; and parents-in-law Elmer and Irene Ruud.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne.