Donald Ray Ludemann, 80, loving husband, father, and grandfather, of Redfield, SD, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on February 1st, 2024. Don was born November 15th, 1943, in Lynch, NE to George and Ruby Ludemann.
Don spent his childhood in New Mexico and later moved to South Dakota. While working for a rancher in Blunt, he went to a barn dance and asked a sweet 14-year-old girl to dance, and he knew that this was the girl he was going to marry. He returned to New Mexico and three years later at a rodeo in Fort Pierre, they reunited. It was love at first sight and were married for 57 years. Their love for each other flourished with five children, Scott, Rowdy, Shawna, Dustin, and Shane.
Don worked at numerous jobs around South Dakota. Some include Cass Clay Dairy, Terry Thomas Communications, ranching, and truck driving. He later began his own fencing business until he retired. Once retired, Don took up many hobbies including carpentry, woodworking, blade smithing, and leather working. He was always busy making treasures for the ones he loved.
For all his life he enjoyed buying, selling, and training horses. He was very proud to be in several movies and artists rides with his friends and horses. Don was very passionate about rodeo; he competed in bareback riding and bull riding and won many competitions. He was also a very avid team roper. He loved horses and made sure to pass his love of horses and rodeo onto his kids and grandkids.
Don dedicated his life to his family, being a boxing coach, rodeo coach, and life coach. He always had the best advice for everyone as his words were always encouraging and inspirational. Competition was one of his great strengths and showed it by playing poker with his family and friends. He taught those who were part of his life to always do their best, and never give up.
Those who knew and loved him would describe him as a myth and a legend. Don was always known to take any fight to another level and was often described as the Iron-man.
Survivors include his loving wife, Mavis Bernice Schlegel Ludemann; his children: Scott (Rachel) Ludemann and their children Tanner, Kaden, and Skyler of Fairburn, SD, Rowdy (Stefany) Ludemann and their children Blake and Bristol of Carlton, MN, Shawna (Jay) Marzahn of Redfield and their children Jerika (Cooper) Gordon of Tulare SD, and Shyann, Tegan, and Paige Marzahn of Redfield, Dustin Ludemann of Redfield and his children Summer and Breana of Huron SD, and Shane (Jessica) Ludemann and their children Coy and Dakota Rose of Fort Pierre, SD; his great-grandchildren: Gage Ludemann, Kemberlynn, Haylynn, and Locklynn Gordon, Teely Marzahn, and Beckitt Ludemann; his sisters: Kayla (Leslie) Luna of Silsbee, TX and Marva Ludemann of Port Neches, TX; and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents George and Ruby Ludemann; his sister Luetta Lovatt; his grandchildren Shaye Roberson and River Ludemann; his nephew J.R. Schlegel, his father- and mother-in-law Robert and Bernice Schlegel; and his brothers-in-law: Gary Schlegel, Terry Shantz, and Lynn Peters.
Don’s visitation, with family present, will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 9, 2024, at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield. A prayer service and time of sharing will begin at 7:00 p.m.
His memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Redfield. Helen Jane Paxton will officiate. A reception will follow at Jay and Shawna Marzahn’s shop (17171 392nd Avenue, Redfield).
Both the prayer service and memorial service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website below Don’s obituary. Hyke Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements (www.hykefuneralhome.com).