Kaye Irene Rue

August 21, 1946 ~ March 2, 2021 (age 74)


Loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, coach, cherished friend. A retired elementary school teacher. Many remember her and refer to her as “Grandma Kaye” “Grandma Kaye’s” spirit and love of life will continue on with those who knew her and continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest. Kaye Irene Rue, passed away in Fairbanks, AK, on March 2, 2021 at the age of 74 after a courageous battle with breast cancer surrounded by loved ones.


Kaye was born in Lakefield, Minnesota on August 21, 1946., to Melvin and Lauretta (Erfourth) Trondson, the sixth of seven children.

Growing up on a farm in Minnesota prepared her for the exciting life she was about to embark on. Kaye shared many heart felt stories of her adventures growing up on the farm with family, many cousins and friends. For all of those that knew Kaye, it’s safe to say we are all blessed to be a part of her journey.


After graduating from Lakefield High In 64’ she attended Augustana Community College, and chased her dreams without looking back. She had her sights set on her high school sweetheart who frequently hunted her dad's fields and farm.  David L. Rue asked for her hand in marriage and it was official in September of 67. In 1968, their daughter Autumn arrived. They both graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with degrees in education and with daughter in tow, ventured to Alaska in 1969. Kaye taught elementary and Dave as principal/teacher in the remote community of Atmautluak. She told stories of Dave teaching from a pulpit in a church. A year later they set their sites further North above the Arctic Circle, where they settled and built a home along the mighty Kobuk River in Ambler, AK.  If those extremes weren’t enough in the Arctic, the Rue’s decided they needed an extra hand around the house. Courageously adopting a boy in 1973, Andre “Qanai” Rue, or Zeke. She gave numerous efforts every spring in an attempt of a flourishing garden.  Both children hoping she would find the right formula for it to grow. Summers that last a short six weeks before the first frost, she finally gave in and gave blame to rabbits. Trips to the beach, after chores were done, loading the boat up with eager swimmers. Cutting out future class projects and plans while sunbathing. The classroom was where she flourished. Devoted, celebrating every possible holiday with her class. She loved the holidays. Every one of them. When she didn’t spend unforgettable and priceless Christmas’s in Minnesota with family, she’d be spending it with the school children, serving up popcorn, sailor boy crackers, peanut butter and don’t forget the candy. Hosting birthday parties for Autumn and Andre in the school building where they had living quarters in for the first few years before building their log cabin. Her students would gather in the class and listen and sing along with her. She’d share stories about her travels. She taught many generations of students in the Northwest Arctic and across few other districts in the State of Alaska long after retiring in 2002. “Grandma Kaye” a competitive coach and fan in volleyball and basketball. Kaye touched many hearts over the years...she definitely had a touch of class. She also grew a passion for the outdoors. She loved to travel, hunt and fish with her best friend and husband Dave. She would often say “It’s the only time I get to spend with my husband”. Dave, now a pilot and owner of Ambler Air Service. Sharing with his girl places in Alaska, the wild frontier. Epic fishing trips, big game hunts, scaling mountain ranges or landing his float plane on majestic lakes or rivers. She was always back on Monday morning teaching generations of kids their ABC’s and 123’s. She enjoyed updating her many facebook followers of her adventures and Dave’s flight plans as well. They both were life members of the Alaska Bow Hunters Association and members of the Pope and Young Club. Many also know her as a trailblazer with the NEA. The Minnesota Vikings was her all around favored team. Nephew, Terrell (Terry) Berglund, fulfilled her wish and brought her to one of their games. She was a role model, a mentor the classroom, and also to the many who won’t forget their biggest fan “Grandma Kaye” in the gym bleachers cheering them on…..YES!.


Kaye is preceded in death by her parents, Melvin and Lauretta Trondson, Lakefield, MN, Bernard and Violet Rue, Lakefield, MN.

Brother, James Trondson, Lakefield, MN,

Brother-In-Laws F. Doyle Hennesay, Corpus Cristi, TX , Berglund, Minneapolis, MN, Bruce Rue, Meridian, ID, Craig Rue, Owatonna, MN.

Granddaughter, Katie Brown, Koyuk, AK.


She is survived by her husband, David Rue, Ambler, AK.

Children, Autumn Rue and Andre Rue (Debra Peters)

Sisters and brothers: Karen Hennesay, Tempe, AZ, David and Sharon Trondson, Motley, MN, Thomas Trondson, Heron Lake, MN, Richard and Linda Trondson, Jordan, MN, Jeanne and Jerome Milbrath, Lakefield, MN., Merlene Rue, Meridian, ID, Linea Rue, Owatonna, MN, Keith and Sherry Rue, Ely, MN.

Grandchildren: Alesha Rue, Anthony Rue and Katherine Schaeffer, Katrina Jepson and Austin Rue-Roberts (Samantha Thomas).

Great-grandchildren: Amara Stevens, Alexander Rue, Alton Rue, Abraham Schaeffer and George Rue-Roberts.

Many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 12, 2021, 2:00 pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 2892 Davis Road, Fairbanks.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kaye Irene Rue, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
March 12, 2021

2:00 PM
Zion Lutheran Church
2892 Davis Road
Fairbanks, AK 99701

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