Frederick “Fred” Herman Ludtke, 89, a long-time resident of Bennettsville, SC, passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at his residence in Laurinburg, NC, after a brief illness.
Fred was born May 26, 1933, in Joliet, Illinois, son of the late Herman Ludtke and Lena Haase Ludtke.
In addition to his parents, Fred was predeceased by his sister, Betty Louise Ludtke, and his long-time love, Wilma Jackson, meeting up with Wilma in Heaven, exactly one year to the day after she went back to her Lord.
Though other memories may have faded, Fred keenly remembered all the details of his time in the military. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953-1955, stationed in Germany. This experience afforded him the ability to travel and see many parts of the world.
After his military discharge, he utilized the G.I. Bill to attend college at Southern Illinois University, obtaining a degree in accounting. He began his career at Emerson Electric, later Marley Electric, retiring in 1998. Sister Betty joined him in Bennettsville upon her retirement and they both served as faithful members of the Lutheran Church of the Living Word for many years. In the absence of remaining family after Betty’s death, Fred was “adopted” by church friends Emerson and Dinah Veler and became a beloved part of their family known as “Papa Fred” to their children and grandchildren.
Fred always put others first and never failed to express his gratitude for each small gesture, gift, or act. His eyes would light up with joy at visitors, especially Emerson, who for the last 5 years, was his “person”.
Thank you for the good times, dear friend, the long rides enjoying the conversation and the scenery, the evenings watching Jeopardy, the stories you told about your life, the kindness in your every word and action, your broad smile, the sparkle in your eyes, and the cheerful hello, every single time. God didn’t make many people like you and knowing you has been a blessing.
Fred is survived by the Veler and Jackson families, forever in their hearts.
Please join us in celebrating his life at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at the Lutheran Church of the Living Word, 1899 Lake Drive, Laurinburg, NC.
Graveside services will be held on a later date at Lincoln Memorial Park in Aurora, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Fred’s church or to Scotland Regional Hospice, P. O. Box 1033, Laurinburg, NC 28353.
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