Rolyn John Ludens

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December 23, 1953 ~ March 21, 2023

Rolyn Ludens, 69, Davis, SD, passed away on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, after a brief battle with liver cancer.

A small Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 10:00am, at Bethel Reformed Church (45957 281st St., Davis SD, 57021). All are welcome to attend and share their memories and stories about Rolyn. In lieu of flowers, his family encourages you to donate financially to Ava’s House, 1320 W 17th St Sioux Falls, SD 57104 (checks can be made out to Ava’s House) where he received loving and thoughtful care in his final days.

Rolyn John Ludens was born December 23, 1953, to John and Ronelle (Poppinga) Ludens, the eldest of four children (Charlotte Lounsbery, Deb Jorgensen, and Lynden). He first attended country school and later enrolled in Centerville Public School. Rolyn loved his cows and showed them during 4-H events. While in high school, he played football and participated in track; shot put, discus, and relays (not his favorite part).

After graduating high school in 1972, Rolyn enrolled in Mitchell Area Vocational Technical School and completed the Agricultural Marketing and Management course. He then returned to the family farm near Davis, where he worked for the next 20+ years. While farming, he also worked part-time as a police officer for Hurley, SD. After moving away from the farm, he owned a landscaping business, helped develop Somerset, SD, worked security for Rapid City Regional and Keystone Treatment Center, and worked as a pumper in the oil fields in Gillette, WY.

In 1984, he began dating the mother of his children, Cathy (Larsen) Thomas. Rolyn and Cathy grew up only about a mile apart, but went to different high schools; never spending much time together. Rolyn instantly became a loving stepfather to her two children, Nicholas Larson (Rogers, MN) and Leslie (Larson) Huber (Irene, SD). A few years after getting married, Rolyn and Cathy welcomed their first daughter together, Katie (Ludens) Moser (Aurora, CO), and a few years after her birth, they welcomed their second daughter, Hannah (Chicago, IL). 

Rolyn loved many things in life like sci-fi and western movies, classic cars, bird watching, classic rock, sweets, and card games; but very high on that list was hunting. He would hunt anything from badgers to black bears. Although most of his hunting was done in South Dakota, some of his more memorable trips were to Montana and Colorado. He enjoyed fishing and later in life “hunting” agates. 

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