Niela Rae Ludwik, 78, Garrison, died on June 6, 2019, at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garrison. Burial will be at in Drake at 8 p.m.
Niela Rae June (Kaibel) Ludwik was born June 9, 1940, to Norman and Rosie (Engel) Kaibel. She went to country school until the sixth grade before attending school in Anamoose and Drake.
Niela Rae married Eugene Ludwik on June 26, 1956, and had three children. They moved more than 20 times in the first couple years of their marriage. They lived in Fargo, Minot, Drake, and Santa Susana, Calif. In 1969, they moved back to North Dakota and farmed and milked 100 head of cows until their son Kevin took over the farm in 1984. They then purchased the Coleharbor Bar, bait shop and gas station and ran it together until Gene’s death in 1988.
Niela Rae operated the business by herself for one year. During this time, she was also a full-time bus driver for the Underwood school.
After selling the business, she became the secretary for the Augustana Lutheran Church in Underwood. She met Denis Hedstrom and soon combined families adding one more son and three daughters. They moved to a home on the lake by Garrison in 1996. She then drove bus for West River Transit and the Garrison school system.
She drove bus for the school until just weeks before her death and she always enjoyed the kids she drove for.
While living in Garrison, Niela Rae never let the grass grow under her feet. She was always on the go and was willing to help with anything at any time.
She was very active with St. Paul Lutheran Church. She was involved in the quilting group, bible study, and WELCA. In the community she helped at the Senior Citizens, Camp of the Cross, Rhubarb Festival, the church’s German supper and attended exercise classes. She also helped many people that were less fortunate.
Niela Rae is survived by her partner, Denis Hedstrom, Garrison; children, Roxanne (David) Kapanke, Underwood, Kevin (Donna) Ludwik, Van Horne, Iowa, Julie (Reginald) Faul, Dunnellon, Fla.; Denis’s children, Kristie (Michael) McEntire, Fairfax, Va., Linette (Frank) Laswell, Turtle Lake, Jennifer (Joe) Hall, Wilton, Michael (Laurie) Hedstrom, Bismarck; 25 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; sister, Sandra (John) Caudle, Dunnellon, Fla.; brother, Larry (Mary) Kaibel, Drake; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene Ludwik; parents, Norman and Rosie Kaibel; and brother, Norlan Kaibel.
To sign the online register go to www.garrisonthompson.com.
(Thompson Funeral Home, Garrison)