Mike Ludwig, co-owner of the Bakersfield RV Resort, died Aug. 17 at his home in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 95.
Ludwig was a member of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) since 1986.
According to a commemorative piece provided after his death. Ludwig led a rich and eventful life.
He was born on March 25, 1917, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Mike and Rose Schmidt Ludwig, who had emigrated from Hungary.
Ludwig was a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was one of the first engineers assigned to Los Alamos, N.M., and the secret Manhattan Project construction phase. He joined the U.S. Navy in early 1945 and following the war returned to the Corps, working on projects in Wisconsin and Michigan.
In 1955, he was transferred to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., to oversee the facility construction for the Corps. He recognized a business opportunity and left the Corps to build two bowling centers in Colorado Springs, which he sold in 1962. He moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., and built another bowling center, which was sold in 1968.
Ludwig enjoyed adventure, starting with a cross country trip on his motorcycle with friends at age 17. In the late 1950s, he drove down to Mexico and fell in love with the country. In the early 1960s he drove a camper down the Baja Trail to La Paz in Baja California, years before the road was built.
He got his pilot’s license in 1963, bought an airplane and took many flights to Mexico and traveled across the United States in an RV. In later years, Ludwig and his wife, Frieda, whom he married in 1938, traveled around the world on tours and cruises.
In 1968, their love of Mexico took them to La Paz where Ludwig built an adobe home on the beach and they spent their winters. He also built a summer home in Woodland Park, Colo., and worked in real estate. In 1975 they moved full-time to Fallbrook, Calif., and Ludwig took up real estate. He and his son, Bob, built and managed the large RV park in Bakersfield. In 2003 the Ludwigs moved to Grass Valley. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June 2008. She died in 2009.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to CalARVC’s Wednesday Morning Coffee Talk & Updates for this information.