Ray Rude Tribute
To ensure the tradition of outstanding health care for generations to come, a decision was made in 1999 to integrate the existing Stanley Hospital and Mountrail County Bethel Home into a single facility. At that time a $3.5 million Capital Campaign was begun to raise funds to construct this new hospital/clinic/emergency facility. The “When Seconds Count and Quality Matters” campaign had a huge supporter in Ray Rude. In a 1999 interview, he stated that he “hoped the residents in the area understood the importance of looking ahead, understand the changes in healthcare, and will also get behind this important effort and make it successful”. His own personal drive to make this campaign successful showed through when he issued a gracious challenge to the community after making his first donation of $500,000. He matched any donations given to the project after June 19th, 1999, up to a total of $100,000. This generosity from Ray, and the entire community, enabled MCMC to open a state of the art facility in June of 2002. The new structure included the existing clinic and 11-bed acute care hospital with an emergency room. They are located on the Mountrail County Health Center campus along with the Mountrail County Bethel Nursing Home, Centennial Court senior apartments and the Ida Mae Rude Aquatic Center.
Ray felt a commitment to his former community and the future of Stanley and Mountrail County. His desire to see MCMC endure became apparent when in October of 2002 he paid off the building debt for the addition of the new hospital/clinic/ER facility.
Born in 1916, Ray, a former Stanley and Blaisdell native, worked in his family’s business until 1929. At the age of 15, he quit school and left North Dakota. He spent the majority of his life in California and Nevada. A self-made engineer and entrepreneur, he worked as a tool engineer for aircraft companies before he founded Duraflex International Corporation, which today still manufactures Duraflex aluminum diving boards and diving board stands. In 1948, Ray developed an aluminum diving board out of a discarded airplane wing panel. Over the years he refined it to the point that the Maxiflex Model B made by Duraflex is the only diving board used in the Olympics and all international competition. (www.duraflexinternational.com).
Following his retirement from Duraflex and the death of his wife, Ina Mae, he returned to Stanley in 2002. He lived in Centennial Court, the independent living facility attached to the Mountrail County Health Center. In December 2004, at the age of 88 he passed away in the Mountrail County Medical Center for which he felt so passionate.
Ray Rude never wanted any public recognition for his wonderful and gracious philanthropy. Stanley cannot thank him enough for this generosity. His philanthropy not only helped pay for the addition which allows MCMC to be the amazing facility it currently is, but Ray also donated the entire monies to build the Ina Mae Rude Aquatic Center which is attached to MCMC. Ray also set up a Physician Endowment Fund which helps MCMC to recruit quality doctors to the facility.