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Marcella E. Ludens, 100, of Springfield died Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the Good Samaritan Society in Tyndall. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at the Emmanuel Reformed in Springfield. Burial is in the Emanuel Reformed Cemetery, rural Springfield. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 12-2 at the church. Peters Funeral Chapel of Springfield is in charge of arrangements.

Marcella was born May 6, 1923 to Frank and Mary (Cansky) Cacek in Tabor. She was baptized at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Tabor. When she was two years of age, the family moved to St. Paul, MN for several years and then returned to Tabor to live in the same home. Marcie attended public school and graduated from Tabor High School in 1941 and one year later graduated from Southern Normal College in Springfield with a teaching certificate. She taught Elm View rural school in Yankton County for one year. During WWII, she was employed in the accounting department of Shell Oil Company and later in the finance department of the U.S. Post Office in Great Bend, KS before returning to South Dakota in 1946. Marcella married John C. Ludens June 18, 1946 at which time she made profession of faith at the Emmanuel Reformed Church in Springfield. She served two terms as the President of the Women’s Guild, was a fifty year member of the Willing Workers Circle, taught Sunday School, and sang many years in the church choir.

John and Marcie lived west of Springfield during their ten years of farming. In 1953, she was the last teacher of the Running Water Elementary School before its closure. In 1956, they moved into town. She served as secretary at St. Mary’s School for Indian Girls for one school year when she was offered employment at Southern State Teachers College, where she remained for nearly 28 years as Administrative Assistant to the Head Administrator as the Institution went through name changes. She continued her education during that time and graduated with her bachelors degree in Business Composite in 1976. After the closure of USD/S, she completed her employment at USD/Vermillion and SD School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls before her retirement in 1985. Marcella was inducted into the USD/S Pointer Hall of Fame in 2004.

She was a member of the SD Rural Carriers Auxiliary, holding county and sate offices, followed by a five-year term on the national board, serving as national president in 1968. Marcie received both National Heart Association and SD Heart Association recognition award during her presidency for her chosen Auxiliary projects, which raised over $12,000. She held a number of leadership positions in area organizations, namely American Legion Auxiliary Dwight Wood Unit #132, DAV Auxiliary, Dakota Club, and Czech Heritage Preservation Society.

Marcella was the first woman elected to the Springfield City Council in its 100 year history in 1970. She was also on the Springfield College Museum Committee, City of Springfield Scholarship Committee, Tyndall Good Samaritan Center Advisory Board, Springfield Dakota Senior Meals Advisory Board, Bon Homme County Food Pantry Board, Western Fraternal Life Association, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, National Education Secretaries, and American Association of Universities Women and Sweet Adelines.

She enjoyed music, dancing, playing cards, and singing solos at NRLC conventions, and many area activities: church, patriotic, and Czech programs. Sen. Karl Mundt presented her the sheet music for the song “Pledge of Allegiance” when she visited his office in Washington, D.C. in 1967 and she was proud to use it many years, including a solo on an Alaskan Cruise in 1997.

Marcie and John enjoyed traveling before and after retirement until John’s death in 1996, shortly before their planned 50th wedding anniversary celebration. She is survived by her two sons Rennie (Rae Brown) Ludens of Burlington, IA and M. Richard (Cynthia Koupal) Ludens of Springfield; grandsons: Jonathan (Meredith) of Mediapolis, IA, Michael Ludens of Springfield, David (Ashley Sterling) Ludens of Springfield; three great-grandchildren: Lance and Greysen Ludens of Mediapolis, IA and Chloe Ludens of Springfield; and three step-great-grandhchildren: Eli, Jacob, and Amelia Grier of Mediapolis, IA.

She was preceded in death by her husband John; parents; sisters Helen Bubb and Hattie Kraut; brother William; stillborn sister Annie; stillborn brother Blasé; and granddaughter Amber Ludens.