Rudy Gingerich

Monday, May 13, 2024

For years the lights of Rudy Gingerich’s tractor could be seen on summer nights baling hay on his farm near Bruneau, Idaho. Rudy loved to bale at night, watching the stars in the dark sky, and the sun rising in the early morning. He baled tons of hay in his 71 years. But on May 6, 2024, Rudy Ray Gingerich left his tractor and hay fields behind. He passed quietly away at home, surrounded by the family he loved.

Rudy began life in Twin Falls, Idaho, a son in a farming family and the youngest of six children. He lived in Filer until his early teens when his family moved to the farm near Bruneau. It was a beautiful spot with a view of the Snake River.

Growing up on the farm, Rudy helped his dad and rough-housed with his brothers. One winter when Rudy was older, he traveled with his parents to Brazil. It was a wonderful experience, and his life-long love of traveling was born. Rudy continued his education at Western Mennonite High School in Salem, Oregon making many friends, including his future wife.

After graduation from Western Rudy attended Hesston College in Kansas, but he was never away from the farm for long. Rudy loved the adventure and freedom of riding motorcycles both on the farm and on trips experiencing different parts of the world. On one ride, an accident left him with a brief bout of amnesia. Though he couldn’t remember much, he did repeatedly mention the name of a girl he knew at Western, Colleen Martin. Rudy wrote Colleen a letter, and a short time later they were married on September 23, 1978 in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Their love story lasted almost forty-six years until his passing. His marriage to Colleen and welcoming his two children, Maureen in 1983 and Dylan in 1986, were high points in Rudy’s life.

His career in farming took off when Rudy formed a partnership with his older brother, Verlin. He was always proud of their farm partnership and how well they worked together. For over fifty years Rudy and Verlin raised cattle and crops of hay, beans, mint, wheat, and corn. In 1988 the Gingerich brothers added substantially to their property holdings with the purchase of the River Ranch which later became Rudy and Colleen’s home.

Despite being a busy farmer, Rudy had several hobbies and interests. These included traveling, photography, skiing, scuba diving, motorcycle touring, bee-keeping, and wine-making. He liked to grow things and built a vineyard which produced award-winning wine. He was a man of many talents and spoke both German and Spanish.

Rudy was also a good friend and neighbor. He took time with people and was genuinely interested in what they had to say. He was an optimist and rarely showed anger or frustration. In the broader community, Rudy served as a Bruneau Fire Commissioner and on the Farm Bureau board. He was most relaxed though, with his family and siblings. He liked to laugh. He enjoyed sitting and reading or listening to old rock music. Rudy’s presence and his bright, positive spirit will be greatly missed by his family.

Rudy leaves behind his wife, Colleen; his daughter, Maureen Gingerich and granddaughter Nora Gingerich Bergey; his son Dylan Gingerich and his wife Tricia and grandsons Cooper and Miles Gingerich; his siblings, Kermit Gingerich (Vernabelle) from Hesston, Kansas; Verlin Gingerich (Ella) from Mountain Home, Idaho; Donell Gingerich (Francis) from Nampa, Idaho; Dolores Brubaker (Ervin) from Pocatello, Idaho; and Mary Beth King (Loren) from Wake Forest, North Carolina–as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

The Gingerich family invites friends to a celebration of Rudy’s life at the Elks Lodge in Mountain Home on Friday, May 31 at 4:00 p.m. After a brief commemorative service, lite refreshments and a time of informal gathering will follow from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bruneau Fire Protection District, P.O. Box 243, Bruneau, ID 83604 or World Central Kitchen ( Arrangements are under the care of the Cremation Society of Idaho