Rudy Dieter was born on April 28th, 1934, to Val and Clara (Wiese) Dieter. He was born at home on the family farm, one half-mile west of St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Rudy remained on the farm throughout his youth and attended Lindsay schools, graduating from Lindsay High School in May 1952. While living at home and working the family farm, Rudy began work for the Shell Oil Company seismograph crew. In July 1956 he was drafted into the United States Army, and after basic training, was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. He served as a Military Policeman and, after a brief time at Fort Sam, was selected to serve with the Air Police unit in charge of patrolling the city of San Antonio and surrounding area.
On October 17th, 1956, while in the service, Rudy returned home to marry Anna Belle Metzler. She moved with him to San Antonio and together they made a home there until Rudy’s discharge in July 1958. After being discharged, the couple returned home and lived in Gainesville, Texas. Rudy operated a small food and beverage drive-in until November 1959 when the property was claimed by the rerouting of Interstate Highway 35. In December 1959, he joined the team at Southland Paint Company. He worked his way through the ranks of this family-owned business to become Plant Manager and remained there until the company was sold and closed in August 1989. After a brief employment at Weber Aircraft, Rudy joined another family-owned paint company, Spraylat Corporation. He enjoyed working there for fifteen years before retiring in 2010.
Upon employment at Southland Paint, Rudy and Anna Belle purchased a lot in Lindsay from Rudy’s dad. The happy couple began construction on a new home and moved to Lindsay in August 1960. Anna Belle was a homemaker and cook, and Rudy a landscaper and gardener. Together they maintain that home and reside there to this day.
Rudy always eagerly served St. Peter’s Catholic Church. He was an altar server from his youth and was among the first to become a Lector and Eucharistic Minister when those ministries were opened to the laity. He was a member of St. Cecilia’s Choir, St Peter’s Society and served numerous terms as a Parish Council member. He is a proud member of the Knights of Columbus Council #11905. Rudy voluntarily maintained the church grounds for years, trimming the shrubs as neatly and lovingly as he maintained those at his own home. Always available for a special project, Rudy is proud of his work to preserve and relocate the Dolorous chapel. The chapel was slated for destruction in order to make room for what is now the “old gym” at LISD. Always in favor of school improvements, Rudy also recognized the importance of preserving our proud past and set about convincing people that there was value in shoring up the tiny chapel and moving it to the Southwest corner of the cemetery. Rudy worked with the chemists at Southland Paint to develop an enduring paint formula used to paint the new home-side bleachers. His hope was to save the school district money through the lasting quality of the completely donated paint and that hope was fully realized when he and a volunteer crew got to paint the bleachers with the free paint. He spent countless hours gathering stones from the farm of his lifelong friend, Frank Haverkamp, and together the two of them worked tirelessly to restore and preserve the grotto. Rudy loves Lindsay history but is also a progressive and so he gladly served on the committee to plan and construct Centennial Hall – a monument to faith and family that serves the community to this day.
Rudy served his community as a city council alderman, school board member, PTC officer, and booster club member, as well as numerous committees and volunteer driven activities. Rudy and Anna Belle are the proud parents of six children and consider their daughters-in-law and son-in-law as six more. Additionally, they are equally proud and blessed grandparents to 19 and became great grandparents in 2019. Like so many other hard-working men and women in Lindsay, Rudy was never seeking to be a hero. With the help his wife Anna Belle, the glue of the Dieter family, Rudy was simply pitching in to do his part in order to build a community and create an environment where families can thrive and take pride in their hometown. More town champion than hero, Rudy can often be heard to introduce himself as “…from a little old town called Lindsay, Texas – maybe you’ve heard of us?”
Photo gallery of the event, which was held on January 31, 2020.