NEWTON—Rudolph B. “Rudy” Willems, 79, died Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at the Harry Hynes Hospice Center of St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita.
He was born on Sept. 12, 1940, in Windom, the son of Jacob T. and Kathryn Buller Willems. Rudy was raised on a farm near Zimmerdale and moved with the family into Newton in 1959. He graduated from Newton High School.
Rudy married Beverly Ann Brainard on March 11, 1966, in Newton. They were longtime members of the Church of the Nazarene in Newton.
He went to work at the Santa Fe Rail Mill in May 1977 where he worked until retiring in 1990. During these years he also owned and operated Rudy’s Welding and Machine Shop in Newton, after retiring from the railroad, Rudy worked full time at the shop. Through the years, Rudy enjoyed car racing and was the driver of John Wiebe’s dragster for several years.
Survivors include his wife Beverly of the home in Newton; children William Dean Willems as well as Alan Janzen and his wife Gale of Hutchinson, Ks., Ruth Love of Canton, Ks., and Carol Sauerwein and her husband James of Newton; sister Helen Zielke and her husband Darrell of Seattle, Washington; 20 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; and one-great-great-grandchild.
Rudy is preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the Church of the Nazarene in Newton. Private inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton. The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with the Church of the Nazarene and Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice. Contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, KS, 67114.
Condolences may be left at www.broadwaycolonialfh.com.
Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.