Violet Maxine Finch was born on November 27, 1918 in Ames, Iowa. She grew up on a farm near Napier and went to school there. She remembers riding along with her father to deliver milk to the Dairy Industry building. She used to enjoy going to Ames because it was her only chance to get away from the farm. The trip was an all day affair in which the entire family usually went along. During the depression they only bought necessities. They could still grow crops but the grain prices were extremely low. She graduated from Napier High School in 1936 and her graduation banquet was held in the Memorial Union.
She worked the North American Airplane Plant in Englewood California from 1942 to 1944 on B25 Bombers and P51 Mustang fighter planes. She was a mechanic who rigged the control cables that ran from the cockpit to the tall. The need for a labor force during World War 11 brought many women to the factories and away from the home. The war gave women a chance to be independent as their work was needed and very valuable to the war effort.
On August 18, 1946 she married Ernest Ludeman a GI she met on one of her train rides home from California. They married at the Christian Congregational Church in Madrid, Iowa. After several moves the couple bought a farm in Adair, Iowa. They had four children: Betty, LaVern, Janet, and Diana. Better opportunities moved the family to Nevada, Iowa where the majority of the family still resides. Violet and Ernie have since welcomed ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren into their family.
-Narrative written by grandson, Shane Griffin