Norman  F. Ludtke

Obituary for Norman F. Ludtke

June 30, 1923 - December 20, 2020
Audubon, Pennsylvania | Age 97


Norman F. Ludtke passed away at his home in Audubon, PA on December 20, 2020, a little more than a year after his beloved wife Muriel D. Ludtke. Both Norm and Muriel were 97 years old when they passed.

Norm was born on June 30, 1923 at his family's farm on Mound Road near 29 Mile Road in Washington Township, MI, the second son of Otto J. and Jeanette M. (Slating) Ludtke. He was a child of the Great Depression and learned, at a young age, the value of hard work, tenacity, and a positive attitude.

Norm remained active through this life. He enjoyed, in his later years: painting, playing cards, and exercising. Earlier in his life, Norman enjoyed, dancing with Muriel, golf with his friends from the Rochester Elks Club, and making improvements to the home he built on the family farm that had been in his family since the mid-1800s. In August 2016, after six decades of living in and raising a family in that home, they moved to Audubon, PA to be nearer their children and grandchildren.

He began his education in a one room school house that was across the street from the Ludtke Farm. His teacher would often board at the Ludtke Farm. Norm joked that he had no excuse for being late to school or forgetting to do his homework.

Norm graduated from Romeo High School at 16 and put off college to help his parents maintain the family farm. He eventually enrolled in the Chrysler Institute of Technology, which launched his long career as a mechanical engineer.

He spent the first 20 years of his career at the Chrysler Corporation, most of which was spent in Chrysler's Defense Division. Norm spent much of those years working on early NASA programs, including the Redstone Missile, and he is credited with 18 patents on guidance control systems. He had many stories of the early days of the U.S. space program.

Norm, later in his career, worked at Pioneer Engineering where he worked extensively with the National Traffic Highway and Safety Administration. He started his own firm, Ludtke & Associates, at the age of 62 and ran it until his retirement at the age of 88.

Norm met Muriel in the summer of 1949 when Norm and three friends were building a hunting cabin on Houghton Lake. Muriel was visiting her aunt and uncle who owned a cabin on a neighboring lot. It was love at first sight. Norm and Muriel were married less than a year later on May 6, 1950 at the Wesley Chapel at Metropolitan Methodist in Detroit and were happily married for 69 years. Norm and Muriel were inseparable, particularly in their later years.

Norm was a member of the Washington Lion's Club for many years, where he held a variety of positions including President. He managed and participated in countless events to raise money for the Leader Dog School for the Blind in Rochester Hills, MI.

Norm was known for many things, including his loyalty, hard work, humor, and above all else, his optimism. He believed, and lived, "where there's a will there's a way". Norm will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Norm is survived by his children Kimberly A. Ludtke and N. Kirk Ludtke (Molly Ludtke). He is also survived by three grandchildren (John B. (Jack), Ann C. (Annie), and Ellen K. Ludtke) and many friends. He was pre-deceased by his parents (Otto J. and Jeanette M. Ludtke), his wife (Muriel D. Ludtke) and his brother (Stanley O. Ludtke).

Memorial contributions can be made to the charity of one's choice. The family is planning a memorial service for mid-2021.

Services Pending. Please check back for further information.

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Norristown, PA 19401
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