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JARABAK, RUDOLPH "UNCLE RUDY" JOHN Rudolph "Uncle Rudy" John Jarabak passed from this life on December 5, 2012 after battling heart disease for more than a year. He was at San Diego Kaiser Permanente hospital following Hospice Care and passed peacefully. Rudy was born in Chicago, IL on August 4, 1944 and grew up in East Chicago, IN. He was the second of two children born to Rudolph Joseph Jarabak and Mary Lott Jarabak (both deceased) and survived by his older sister, Roni Jarabak Johnson of Muncie, IN. Roni's children are also Rudy's Godchildren, Julianna Jarabak Johnson (Boulder, CO) and David Lott Johnson (Odessa, Ukraine). He was stepson to Eleanora Goins Jarabak (deceased) and also considered Bunny Loftman (Atlanta, GA), Barbara Snyder (Indianapolis, IN), and Cathy Bibeau (Tallahassee, FL) as his sisters. The children and grandchildren of these sisters were glad to call him Uncle Rudy and welcomed him into their lives. He is also survived by his love of 32 years, Mary Gibson of San Diego, CA. Rudy attended Bishop Noll High School, graduated from Culver Military Institute (1962), and Indiana University (BS -1972). He served in the Army's Military Intelligence Department during the Vietnam Conflict but always said he fought "the battle of downtown Tokyo." Rudy worked at many jobs including his father's drug stores, the steel mills of northern Indiana, as a business manager for a Buick dealership when he first came to San Diego, and then found that tuna fishing was something he loved. He fished on tuna boats large and small, was on two that sank and earned his First Mate's license in 1987. He loved navigation in the time when reading the sky with a Sextant was the required skill. Rudy told many tales of the sea, swimming with sharks in the purse seiner nets, seeing giant pods of dolphins, green flashes at sunset, and enjoying the camaraderie of working at sea. Sailing was also a passion of his and he taught it shortly after learning himself. Another boat sinking occurred when the sailboat he was on was hit by a whale in the 1976 Transpac Race. After the tuna trade left San Diego, Rudy went to work as a carpenter and remodeling contractor. His work was meticulous and skilled. For a time he partnered with a friend and they formed the Muscle and Uncle Construction Company. Rudy was known as a great cook and loved making soups and his signature Halupki (Czech stuffed cabbage). One thing you could count on, however, was that dinner would not be served on time! Rudy-time was not like real time. He also traveled on his stomach, always seeking out the oldest and best local eating place. Once located, these became the mandatory stops an any trip. Skiing was another passion for him and he went as often as he could in California and Utah, where Alta was his favorite. Rudy was also a long-time subscriber of the Old Globe Theatre and saw every production. His appreciation for the Arts came from his mother, who took him at an early age to museums and plays in the Chicago area. After moving to California, every trip back to Chicago had to include a stop at the Art Institute to see the Impressionists. No description of Rudy would be complete without acknowledging his love of talking! One life-long friend has said "You ask Rudy what time it is and he tells you how to make a watch". And Rudy probably could make a watch. Rudy's real claim to fame, and his raison d'être was his involvement with the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC). Rudy was the "set-up" captain for the World Championship Over-the-Line (OTL) tournament on Fiesta Island for 20 years. He dressed for each tournament as CABMO, the OTL Mascot. Though the tournament ran for two weekends in July, Rudy worked on it all year long. He loved the negotiating, the planning, the sportsmanship, and the fun that the tournament represents. He was inducted into the OTL Players Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He ran his crew hard and didn't suffer fools well, but his contribution helped to make the tournament a success for all those years. Family and friends will greatly miss this big-hearted, warm, funny, intelligent, curious, enthusiastic, adventurous, and loving man. A celebration of this life will be held in January 2013. Memorial donations may be made in his name to The Old Globe Theatre and San Diego Hospice.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Dec. 9, 2012
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