Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

Former resident Rudd dies at 90

 

Maxine Rudd

Maxine June Rudd, 90, a former Haines resident who served as a World War II flight instructor, died in Seward on July 6. She had Alzheimer’s disease. A family gathering is planned for May to scatter her ashes with her husband John’s and their cat Spot’s over the Chilkat River, daughter Carrie Kinison said. “Mom wanted her ashes to go out the window of a plane.”

Rudd enjoyed nature and animals and took to Haines, where she already had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “Mom thought Haines was beautiful and loved watching the wildlife right before her eyes. She really enjoyed the salmon and eulachon runs.”

Rudd was born to Red Oak, Iowa farmers Zella and Ben Rogers on March 9, 1923. When her father and twin brothers enlisted in military service during World War II, she wanted to join, too. Her opportunity came on a poster seeking women for the war effort who could type 80 words per minute and owned their own machine. “Mom could type pretty good, so she got on a bus with her typewriter,” Kinison said.

Rudd worked for the allies in Washington, D.C ., and then joined the Marines for four years, serving as a flight instructor. “She always talked about her life on an Iowa farm and how flat the land was. She would climb up on the chicken house roof to get a better look. Airplanes were fascinating to her, and I suppose she always wanted to fly one. Women were not allowed to fly in the military but were allowed to teach men how to be fighter pilots,” Kinison said.

Maxine married Army sergeant John Rudd on March 11, 1946. They were married 64 years. The Rudds settled in Huntington Beach, Calif ., where he worked for McDonnell-Douglas building commercial jets, as well as their own small aircraft in his backyard shop. They were both avid pilots.

Maxine cared for their five children, including twin boys, and took community college classes in subjects from marine biology to Bonsai gardening. She grew varieties of shrubs and flowers, as well as exotic fruit trees in their yard. She made sure her children saw the swallows return to the mission at Capistrano and the blue whales at Laguna.

Rudd also worked as a clerk for 17 years at the Huntington Beach post office, joined her husband in operating a New Mexican motel for five years, and spent another five years on the road in a motor home with John and Spot the cat before pulling into the Haines Senior Village. Here, she attended Senior Center lunches, volunteered at the museum, was involved in the Presbyterian Church and the Salvation Army, and helped her daughter with the fair’s most lovable dog contest.

“When I came into town she always insisted that I bring my dogs into their home. A sweet gentle spirit was my mom,” Kinison said. Declining health precipitated Rudd’s move to the Seward facility.

In addition to her husband, son Alan Rudd preceded Maxine in death. She leaves daughters Carrie Kinison of Haines, Robin Peterson of Washington, Linda Teauge of New Mexico, and son Taylor Rudd of California; granddaughter Shanah Kinison, grandson Jeremiah Kinison, and great-grandchildren Ocean and Ezra Nash and Jordon Kinison all of Haines. Rudd had 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.