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Obituary: Rudolf, Frances Collins

Age 94

RUDOLF, Frances Collins Oct 4, 1918 - Feb 20, 2013 After a wonderfully active and interesting 94+ years, Frances Collins Rudolf peacefully passed away, surrounded by her five children Mary Jo Rudolf, John Rudolf (Nancy), Claire Murphy (Bob), Matt Rudolf (Amy), and Monica Ferris (Steve). Affectionately known as Fran, she is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, four great grandchildren and two sisters. Her son Jim and husband Kermit preceded her in death. A devoted wife, mother and community volunteer, Fran challenged her children to be continually curious, to always think critically, and — most importantly — to get involved in life and give back to others. She was a woman of deep religious faith, love of family, and strong work ethic. A cracker-jack bridge player and lover of books, she had a sharp wit, an avid interest in politics and world affairs, and a ‘willingness to share her opinion’ that made her fun to talk with. One thing for sure, there was never a gathering event with Fran and Kerm Rudolf that wasn’t full of laughter, fun and interesting conversation. Frances left an impression on all who met her, and will be deeply missed by her loving family and friends. The daughter of Rose O’Brien and James Collins, Fran grew up on the family farm in Kewanee, Illinois with her brother Jim and three sisters Pat, Dorothy, and Rose. An avid student, she attended Villa de Chantal boarding school and in 1940 graduated with honors with a degree in library science from Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois. After college she served as supervisor of the National Youth Administration extension library project, setting up libraries in many Illinois counties. She held leading roles in several community theater productions, such as the comedy “George Washington Slept Here.” Fran met Kermit in Decatur, Illinois where he worked as a journalist for the Decatur newspaper after graduating from Northwestern University. They married in 1943 while Kerm served in the Army during World War II. After the war, Fran and Kerm moved back to Spokane where Kerm worked as a sportswriter for the Spokesman Review while he attended Gonzaga Law School at night. Typical of many post WW II families, Fran took the lead in raising their growing family, very active at St. Augustine’s parish [and later Sacred Heart parish] and many local charities and organizations, including the Good Shepherd Auxiliary, Woman’s Bar Auxiliary, Greater Gonzaga Guild, and Poor Clare Nuns. She served as an early board member of the Spokane Christian Coalition. Fran and Kerm were lifelong Zag fans, and Gonzaga University supporters, where Kermit served as legal counsel for many years. A mass of Christian burial will be held at Sacred Heart Church Friday March 1, 2013 at 3 p.m., immediately followed by a reception in the parish hall. A family inurnment ceremony will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Catholic Charities of Spokane, Hospice of Spokane, or your local Hospice organization. The family is grateful to the staff at Rockwood Manor for the loving care provided to our mother at the end of her life.