Adele Sudlow was the fourth generation of her family to live on a farm near Vermillion. During the Depression Years of the 1930s, the family lost the farm. Eventually, they were able to buy back their original farm. Adele and her husband Leland continued to raise corn and soybeans on this farm until Lee's death. Today, Adele continues to be actively involved in the farm, and is working to restore the barn.
In 1951, Adele was selected as the first girl from South Dakota to be an International Farm Youth Exchange Student, and represented South Dakota as an IFYE in Sweden. She served as co-chair for the first national IFYE Convention held in the Black Hills, and served as pianist for the National Convention held 50 years later in Spearfish.
Her love of music is apparent in everything she does. She taught in Tripp and Vermillion public schools, and later served as the Extension Music Specialist at SDSU. It was in this position that she met her future husband, Leland L. Sudlow, the Extension Visual Aids Specialist. In 2000, she became the first music teacher from South Dakota to be honored for 50 years of teaching music.
Adele is active in many national music organizations and has served as church organist, pianist and choir director in Beresford, Vermillion, Brookings and Aurora from 1944 to 1997. She volunteers at several museums, including the SD Agricultural Heritage Museum where she works to catalog the Sudlow Archives. She was a 4-H Leader in Brookings County for 20 years, sometimes leading two clubs at one time. She also served as a 4-H volunteer judge in clothing, foods, home life, photography, rocks and minerals, entomology, and many other areas.
Adele and her late husband Leland have three children, who all attended SDSU and all were members of the South Dakota All State Chorus, and were 4-H Club Congress Winners.