John was born on Sept. 15, 1936 in rural Sarpy County southeast of Papillion to Henry and Clara Rudolph. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Papillion. His father passed away suddenly in 1949. John learned to farm at a young age by helping his brother in order to provide an income for the family. John graduated from Papillion High School in 1954.
John met Dolores “Dee” Stender at a dance and later married on November 22, 1958 at St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Millard. John enlisted in the Army Reserve, 172nd Transportation Division, and attended basic training at Fort Leonard Wood. After almost six years, the Division was not called into action and John was honorably discharged.
John and Dee rented farm ground west of Bellevue, and became the parents of four children. Farming became a way of life. John did custom combining and had a commercial grain and livestock hauling business. He could be called to haul sheep at midnight, clean out the truck and then be ready to haul corn within a few hours. You could always count on John. The crops always got planted, tended to and harvested. His main goal was to provide for his family.
In 1973, John and Dee purchased a farm northwest of Dunbar and moved the family to Otoe County. Soon after, Dee’s father became ill and passed away and John added the Sarpy County farming operation to his life. The trip up Hwy. 50 became a routine for the couple for the next 30 years. As busy as he was, he still found time to take Dee polka dancing, holiday steak fry’s with Sarpy County friends, and attending various events and activities for his kids and grandkids. John also helped Dee host several tours in the United States and Canada over a 25 year span.
John’s lifelong love of farm auctions became his hobby and clerking for Sisco & Vrana Auctioneers for many years was a dream come true.
John was 4-H leader, served on the council of Luther Memorial Church and spent 24 years on the Otoe County Ag Society Board.
He was president of the board for many years and was involved in the building of the Kimmel Event Center on the fair grounds. All while farming and having a cow/calf herd. In 2017, the couple moved to Syracuse. You can take the man off the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the man.
John was an avid reader of every farm magazine, became the groundskeeper for their home at 1657 Oak St, volunteered at church, enjoyed meeting other farmers for coffee most weekday mornings, playing Governor’s Poker on his I-Pad, and volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels . You could still find John out on the farm, even as recent as Oct 17th running the combine.
John is survived by his wife, Dee; sons: Mike (Vanessa)-Dunbar, Dan (Cindy)-Lincoln, Jeff (Brenda)-Gothenburg, Sandy (Jerry) Deters-Missouri; Grandchildren: Cassie (Eric)Boos, Brandon, Travis (Ashley), Alex (Laura), Megan, Jasen (Laneya), Brett (Krystal), Jessie Rudolph, Jake and Jack Deters; Great Grandchildren: Paxton and Beckett Rudolph, Brooks and Drake Boos, Alec, McKenzie and Peyton Winney; Sister-in-law: Gloria Rudolph-Kansas; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, infant Harold, Ray, Harry, Otto; sisters, Eleanor Penke and Eileen Simonsen; brother-in-law, Harlan Stender; nephew, Earl Rudolph.
Dee and family wish to express their sincere appreciation and thank you so much for attending John’s visitation/memorial service in this time of COVID.
Memorials are suggested to be sent to the family for later designation.
Arrangements By: Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, NE
Condolences to www.fusselmanallenharvey.com
Posted online on November 16, 2020