Thomas B. Ludgate

Posted 4/21/19

July 23, 1920 - April 21, 2019

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Thomas B. Ludgate


Thomas B. Ludgate, 98, of Sioux Falls, SD and formerly of Flandreau, SD passed away on Easter morning, Sunday, April 21st, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Village in Sioux Falls, three months from reaching 99 years.

Thomas was born on July 23, 1920 in Fort Dodge, IA to Francis Ludgate from Downpatrick, Ireland and Josephine Butler of Fort Dodge. After graduating from Corpus Christi High School, he followed in his father’s footsteps and studied veterinary medicine at Iowa State University, graduating in 1943. In 1944 and having to borrow twenty dollars for a bus ticket, Thomas ventured to Flandreau, never knowing his summer stay would become a lifetime.  In 1947 he entered into a partnership with Harry Halverson that lasted until 1962 when Thomas Jueschke joined the practice. Thomas was united in marriage to Ruth Schultz of Flandreau in June 1952. Together they raised four children. While in Flandreau, Thomas served on the Civic and Commerce Board and was a member of St. Simon & Jude Catholic Church. After thirty years in practice, Tom retired and in 1979 he and Ruth moved to Sioux Falls.  Retirement brought new interests, including  serving on the board of Sioux Vocational Services (now Achieve), the board of the Dept. of Social Services, the Career Service board under Gov. Janklow, Rotary West, and was charter member of St. Michael Parish. His family, his work and agricultural interests were his hobbies, but more than those, he was a prolific reader and homespun philosopher, as every book on the family’s shelf was filled with underlines, comments and quotations.  Thomas thoroughly enjoyed the relationship he had over the years with the land and the people, and often said in reminiscing about his long life in South Dakota “it is always the people that I remember.”

Thomas is survived by his wife of 67 years: Ruth, Sioux Falls; their children: Janice of Vermillion, John and Brian, of Sioux Falls and Diane and husband Steve of Cameron, Montana; four grandchildren: David (Claudia) Kitzler of Marietta, GA, Kelly (Tom) Whisinnand of Omaha, NE, Suzanna (Greg) Beran of Lincoln, NE and Jennifer (Matt) Wassenberg of Omaha; and four great grandchildren.

Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John, sister, Frances and son-in-law, Werner.

Private family services will be held with burial in Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Cemetery, Flandreau, SD.