Ethel Maria Rudolph

July 20, 1923March 20, 2018

Obituary for Ethel Maria Rudolph July 20, 1923 to March 20, 2018

Ethel Maria Rudolph was born in Ashtabula, Ohio on July 20, 1923, one of seven children born to Emil and Anna Lundi. Her mother Anna, who emigrated from Finland, was a survivor of the Titanic. From a very early age until she died she loved singing and playing piano. Ethel was very involved during high school in band, drama club, and even played organ at her church But her greatest passions were her faith in Jesus Christ her Savior and her family. Her first employment was as a reporter for an Ohio newspaper which included coverage of an entire section of town composed of Finnish speaking people. She called herself an “early disc jockey” because she announced radio programs for radio in her hometown. Ethel came to California in 1943 with her sister and settled in the Pasadena area. While there she studied at the Pasadena Playhouse, worked for Cal Tech, worked two years in radio broadcasting, and played the organ for Sunday services at her church. She met her husband Lawrence Rudolph, a Lutheran minister, through a mutual friend. On June 24, 1945 Ethel and Larry were married in Pasadena, California. They served together in parish ministry for over 40 years. They were married until Larry’s death in 2002. In 1965 they moved to San Diego. While Larry worked as Chaplain at University Hospital, Ethel pursued several occupations in addition to her volunteer church ministries, She worked as a La Mesa Police Department dispatcher, a Legal secretary, and Drama teaching assistant. Ethel was a gifted musician and Bible teacher. For 34 years she faithfully taught women’s Bible classes at her home church of Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa. Throughout her life, she directed choirs and produced many special church musical programs. She also was a gifted speaker at many Christian Women’s organizations. The last 12 years she lived at Grossmont Gardens retirement facility where she regularly played piano for sing-a-longs with the residents. And she continued to share about Jesus Christ with anyone she would meet. Ethel is survived by her 5 children: Kay Piper of Vancouver, WA, Jill Dodge of La Mesa, CA (Glenn); James Rudolph of San Diego, CA; John Rudolph of Los Angeles, CA (Andrew); Heidi Knowling of Huntsville, AL (Ted); six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her six siblings. A viewing will be held on Sunday, March 25 from 6-8pm at Conrad Mortuary with a private burial on Monday the 26th at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Santa Ana, CA. A Celebration of Life service will be held on April 14 at 1pm at Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa. In lieu of flowers, please make donation to: Rudolph Family Pastoral Student Endowment Fund at or mail to LCMS Foundation at 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd, ST Louis, MO. 63122-7295.

A visitation for Ethel will be held Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Conrad Lemon Grove Mortuary, 7387 Broadway, Lemon Grove, CA 91945. A graveside service will occur Monday, March 26, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, 2000 E. Fairhaven Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Rudolph family.


  • Visitation Sunday, March 25, 2018
  • Graveside Service Monday, March 26, 2018

Ethel Maria Rudolph

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L McDowell

April 1, 2018

I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family in the passing of Ethel. Please take confidence in knowing it was never God's will that mankind experience the pain and suffering that death brings. May these scriptures bring you comfort found at Revelation 21:3-5. 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 and John 17:3. God offers our loved ones a hope of a resurrection to life where all suffering will be a thing of the past.