Jim and JoEllen Rudolph

When they lived in Lansing, Jim and JoEllen Rudolph dreamed of moving north after they retired.  Jim worked for the Michigan Department of Education and JoEllen was a teacher at Michigan School for the Blind. A series of events led them to feel that “no one is promising you tomorrow” and they decided to stop putting their dream on hold.  More than thirty years later, JoEllen says that they “haven’t regretted that decision for even a moment”.

Jim started his research and evaluation business and JoEllen was a teacher at Char-Em ISD and Charlevoix Elementary School.  They became engaged with several local organizations, including the Charlevoix Public Library, Little Traverse Choral Society, Char-Em United Way, and Hayes Township.  They have also been able to enjoy all that northern Michigan has to offer.  “We love the changing seasons,” shares JoEllen, “and we may be unusual in that we really love winter – it’s beautiful!”   An avid birdwatcher, she can practice her hobby any time of year.  Weather permitting, Jim rides a recumbent bicycle and can be found on the Little Traverse Wheelway between Harbor Springs and Charlevoix.  “The views of the water along the trail are just wonderful,” he explains.

The Rudolphs included the Community Foundation in their estate plan with a gift that is a perfect match for them – a combination of their love of the environment and their vocations as educators.  “We know our gift will be used wisely by the Community Foundation,” says Jim.  “We are very pleased that C3F provides this opportunity.”