For her participation in and support of the Sully County Fair for three-quarters of a century, the Sully County Fair Board named Lila Ludwig the 2020 Friend of the Fair.
When she was presented with her award prior to the bull riding event at the Sully County Fair grandstand Friday evening, the following was read aloud by fair board member Gerri Carpenter.
“A lifelong resident of Sully County, Lila Blaisdell was born to Claude and Charlotte (Kitchen) Blaisdell on June 18, 1936.
“Lila was a born homemaker, always cleaning and cooking. When her dad carved on his canes, she was right there with the broom and dustpan to sweep up the shavings. She beautified the playhouse by dying the curtains with indelible ink. The curtains (and her hands) were a lovely shade of purple for a long time! She also had her first lesson in food preservation but soon found that a mud cap was an inferior seal. Lila was a big help to her mother in all ways and took a turn occasionally at rocking her younger sisters to sleep. She was very efficient and often held their eyes shut to hasten the job along.
“Lila joined 4-H as soon as she was old enough and through the years spent many hours on demonstrations, judging teams and dress revue. One year, the family never hungered for “lattice-top cherry pie” -thanks to the cherry pie contest
“A student of Sully County country schools, Lila graduated Onida High School in 1954. After graduation, Lila took a secretarial course from South Dakota State University and worked for the South Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles in Pierre for several years.
“On June 8, 1958, she married a classmate, Newell Ludwig, and moved to Blaine Township to live on the Ludwig family farm southeast of Onida where they spent their entire married life. Lila lost Newell September 25, 2015. From this union, Newell and Lila have four children, David Ludwig, Sue Stotz, Starla Luoma, and Danelle Youngbluth. In addition, Lila has 12 grandkids and 14 great-grandkids.
“A long time extension club member, Lila held many offices and helped in the many projects her club undertook. She was named Sully County Fine Lady in 1985.
“Lila has been a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church in Onida for 62 years. She has served as Sunday School teacher and superintendent, Vacation Bible School teacher, Deacon, and church financial secretary.
“Lila believes that she began bringing 4-H exhibits to the Sully County Fair in 1944, and has continued to enter items in the Women’s building to the present day.
“After her children were old enough, Lila became a 4-H leader and spent 19 years helping the neighborhood children with many varied projects that are learned through a 4-H club.
“Lila is a founding member of the Homestead Quilt Guild in 1996 and continues to make quilts today.
“The Sully County Fair board would like to congratulate Lila for her participation in activities of the fair for over 75 years.”