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Marie Rudel Portner 1897-1999


Marie Rudel Portner was born Maria Magdalene Rudel, in Fessenden, North Dakota, April 23, 1897. She was the ninth of twelve children of Simon and Dorothea Rudel.

The Rudel family traces its roots back to Germany. Jacob and Johanna Rudel, married in the area of Wuerttemberg, Germany, in 1795, had a first son Wilhelm (b. 1796). He was born in Germany, but died in Arzis, a Bessarabian town in southern Russia (today southern Ukraine). With his wife Johanna, he probably moved to Russia in 1829. Like many other German farmers, they migrated to southern Russia following the invitation of Catherine II. Their only son Friedrich (b. 1833) and his wife Wilhelmina (b. 1836) had fourteen children. The sixth child was Simon, born in Arzis in 1856.

Simon migrated to the United States in 1877, marrying another immigrant from Bessarabia, Dorothea Weber (b. 1865), in Scotland, South Dakota, 1882. The lived near Tripp, South Dakota, where their first six children were born. In 1882 and in 1883, the purchased land from Dorothea's brother Jacob and mother Dorothea. The farmed this land until 1892, when they purchased land in North Dakota, also from Jacob. In 1893, they moved to Oshkosh Township, Wells County, North Dakota. That first year, they lived in a sod house, but soon built a more permanent home. Besides working and living on the farm, they were active, devout German Baptists. Simon is listed on the document for the incorporation of the German Baptist Church of Fessenden. They lived either on the farm or in Fessenden, farming until retirement and moving to Spokane, Washington, in 1920. Simon died there in 1941. Dorothea died the next year, after returning to North Dakota.

In Simon and Dorothea's honor, their daughter Marie created an endowment to support the preservation and study of the Germans from Russia culture and heritage.

Marie graduated from Fessenden High School in 1917, and then she attended Valley City State Teachers College. She earned a First Grade Elementary Certificate in 1919, and she taught in North Dakota at West Norway Township, Wellsburg, and Heimdal. She then moved to Spokane, Washington, to be with her parents. She earned her Second Grade Elementary teacher certification in Washington, in 1920. In Spokane, Marie met O. H. Portner. Hal was an electrician working on the duplex shared by the Rudels. Marie married Hal on November 30, 1922, and soon moved to Los Angeles. In California, they bought and developed property in the Alhambra area. There, a Portner street was named after them. Eventually, they moved to Las Vegas. There in Nevada, Hal became an electrical/plumbing inspector for the city and the county. He was interested, also, in land development at a time that Las Vegas grew. He was also active in the Shriners, and Marie was a lifetime member of the Order of Alhambra Eastern Star #269. They were known in Las Vegas for their many charitable contributions.

Marie was widowed in 1972, and she died in 1999, at the age of 102, in Las Vegas. But her commitment to her parents and her ancestors lives on through her generosity.


DEDICATION

MARIE RUDEL PORTNER GERMANS FROM RUSSIA ROOM

MAY 26, 2000


Welcome...

    Richard W. Bovard, Interim Director, NDSU Libraries

Comments about Marie...

    Doug Reimer, Trust Officer, Trust Office, Nevada State Bank,
    Ashley E. Nitz, Lawyer, Nitz, Walton & Heaton, Ltd., Law Offices
    Ross Rudel, Artist, Los Angeles

Appreciation...

    Philip Boudjouk, Vice President for Research, Creative Activities, and Technology Transfer, NDSU
    Michael M. Miller, Bibliographer, Germans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries

Presentation...

    John Q. Paulsen, President, NDSU Development Foundation Board of Trustees

Closing...

    Richard W. Bovard, Interim Director, NDSU Libraries


THE MISSION OF THE GERMANS FROM RUSSIA HERITAGE COLLECTION IS TO COLLECT, DOCUMENT, PRESERVE, EXHIBIT, TRANSLATE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE AND MAKE ACCESSIBLE RESOURCES ON THE CULTURE, HISTORY, FOLKLORE, FOODWAYS AND TEXTILES & CLOTHING OF THE GERMANS FROM RUSSIA, PARTICULARY BESSARABIAN GERMANS, BLACK SEA GERMANS, CRIMEAN GERMANS, DOBRUDSCHA GERMANS AND VOLHYNIAN GERMANS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS IN NORTH DAKOTA AND THE NORTHERN PLAINS

Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
North Dakota State University Libraries
North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller
North Dakota State University Libraries
Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: 701-231-8416
Fax: 701-231-6128
Last Updated:
Director: Michael M. Miller
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