Audrey Rud Ertelt

Obituary of Audrey Rud Ertelt

Audrey Ann Rud Ertelt died on January 8, 2023, in her home and surrounded by her family.  Audrey was born to John and Ella (Sletten) Rude on her oldest sister’s birthday, Good Friday, March 25, 1932.  She was delivered by a midwife on her family’s farm in Divide County, in northwestern North Dakota.  She was the fifth of six children in her family.


Audrey grew up on the family farm and attended elementary school in one room country schools, with one teacher for all grades.  She graduated from Grenora High School and was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from Trinity Hospital School of Nursing in Minot, ND.  This initiated a life long career in nursing, and provided her with a rich diversity of experiences in the medical field, and that stimulated her perpetually curious mind.  She briefly pursued work outside the medical field, but always returned to nursing.


In 1956 she was married to George Rud, by a Pastor Ruud, in what a journalist friend termed “A Rud, Rude, Ruud Affair.”  They settled in Enderlin, ND, where they raised their three children and where Audrey provided medical care for her community, often without the benefit of a doctor’s assistance.  After the death of her husband, Audrey lived in Fargo, ND for five years before relocating to Phoenix, AZ in 1984.  She married Roman Ertelt in 2000, and they made their home in Ahwatukee until her death.


Audrey was preceded in death by her parents, her five siblings and her first husband.  She is survived by her husband Roman, her children, George Rud, Connie (Mike) Atkinson, and Kristi Elliott, one adored granddaughter, Amelia (Arthur) Elliott Ferrari, and her father Jim Elliott, all residing in Phoenix, AZ, fifteen beloved nieces and nephews, and too many great nieces and nephews to count.  At 90 years old, Audrey’s curious mind was regularly in full display; learning to quilt, making jewelry, checking her email, or clicking links to the breaking news of the day.  And as she approached the end of her life, she exhibited the same strength, devotion and faith she displayed throughout her life, and her family is grateful for her enduring example.


A memorial service to celebrate Audrey’s long life will be held at Mountain View Lutheran Church, in Phoenix, AZ at 2:00 PM on February 4, 2023.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, or to the charity of your choice, in Audrey’s name.