Even as she battled a fatal illness, former Northport resident Mirabel Rudiger kept up the good humor that marked her life, her family said.
"It was so like her. She just accepted things. She said there's nothing you can do about it, so sit back and enjoy the ride," her son, Craig Rudiger of Holbrook, said Monday.
Mirabel Rudiger was diagnosed with lung cancer in April and died Dec. 30 at age 70 at a hospice in Vero Beach, Fla., where she lived the past 17 years, her son said.
Rudiger was known as Tommie, short for her middle name, Thomasina. She had been a visible figure in police circles on Long Island in the 1980s and 1990s, when she helped her late police officer-husband, Raymond, with his duties as president of the Village of Hempstead Police Benevolent Association and treasurer of the Nassau Police Conference.
The couple moved to Vero Beach after Raymond Rudiger retired in 1995. He worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers at its spring training facility in Vero Beach until the team moved its spring sessions to Arizona in 2008, the same year he died. She had been a supervisor at a fruit-shipping company in Vero Beach.
They met while both were Hempstead residents and married in 1959. Before moving to Florida, they spent almost every summer at a cabin they owned near upstate Indian Lake.
"She liked auctions. She liked going to garage sales. She was just enthusiastic about everything. She loved playing cards, bingo, Yahtzee -- you name it," her son said.
She was a member of the Living Lord Lutheran Church in Vero Beach and was active in several groups, including the Red Hat Society, a women's social group.
A service was held last week in Vero Beach, and burial at the St. Philip Neri Parish Cemetery in East Northport will be private. The family will receive visitors, and a memorial service is scheduled for Jan. 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave., Northport.