I knew Rudy for nearly 40 years. If it had anything to do with communications Rudy was the best. One of my most prized possessions in this life is my maternal grandfather's (Jose Rodriguez) 1930's era Silvertone long wave radio. It was via this radio that my grandfather educated himself an hour at a time each evening to the world of literature, arts, and current events. From his small ranch in South Texas he could pick-up stations in Mexico city. The radio was originally a 9 volt battery operated radio. When my aunt gave me this radio I took it to Rudy for a going over. I told Rudy that I wanted it to remain original but I did want all burned out tubes replaced. Rudy repaired it for me and replaced the speaker cover from the same material as the original. In the process I learned the history of the radio and how it had originally been a battery operated radio. I still have that radio. And every time I look at it, I will not only remember my beloved grandfather, but my good friend Rudy as well.
Rudy and his wife Elenor believed in giving back to their community. Time after time I saw them step forward when the need arose to ensure wrongs committed were made right, scholarship funds were raised for needy kids, and many other projects to help those in need. They were always there and when they committed to something, it got done. Yet they never asked for nor sought recognition. Their reward was knowing their efforts had helped someone else. They just quietly worked hard and gave generously of their time and talent.
I will miss Rudy very much. He was always in my thoughts and we did get to see each other a few times after he retired from the Corps of Engineers. I feel privileged to have shared a few steps on the path of life with Rudy. And I will always cherish his friendship. It can without doubt be said that Rudy left this earth a much better place than it was when he arrived. I know he sure brightened up my life.
The smile on Rudy's face in the photo that appeared in his obituary made me smile. But Rudy always seemed to have that effect on people. That smile on his face seems to reflect how he approached life. And with the family and friends he had, he definitely had plenty to smile about. May his memories of moments shared bring smiles to his family and friends and help ease their pain.