Britt Rudestam died in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 97 on October 5, 2014, at Valle Verde Retirement Community in Santa Barbara. Born in Sweden as Britt Svea Ahlgren she had a close relationship with her own parents (Henrik and Svea, a school teacher and homemaker) and grew up loving to read and write poetry and playing sports with her three brothers. She accelerated her education and graduated with the equivalent of a community college degree in business at the age of 17. At that point her parents supported this capable and responsible girl to take an ocean liner on her own to the United States to visit family in St. Paul, Minnesota, for 6 months. On the ship Britt met her future husband, fellow Swede Karl Edvin Rudestam, whom she married two years later. In 1948 they and their two young sons immigrated to the United States and settled in Glendale, California. She rapidly adapted to life in her adopted homeland, soon serving as PTA president, Cub Scout leader, and church group leader. She was an active participant in various community organizations, worked as a secretary for the family import/export business and later, became an office manager for AT&T.
Britt lost her soul mate and husband of 62 years in 1999, when Ed died at age 94. She continued to live actively on her own in the Glendale area (La Crescenta) until moving to Valle Verde in 2006. She then lost her younger son, Carl Rolf Rudestam, to a brain aneurism in 2010. Britt was known as an unusually kind and cheerful member of the Valle Verde community and an avid, highly skilled bridge player. She leaves behind her son and daughter-in-law, Kjell and Janice Rudestam, long term Santa Barbara residents, and two grandchildren, Kirsten and Monica Rudestam. She is fondly remembered as a wise and devoted parent and grandparent, thoughtful friend, and an indomitable spirit. We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of Britt’s long-term friends and the entire Valle Verde community.