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John Rudolf Pudwell

Pudwell, John Rudolf, 90, of Plantation, died peacefully at home on Sunday, March 10, 2013. He will be missed by many as he greatly impacted the people who were in his life. He accomplished much during his long life, but what he was most proud of and what he treasured the most were his family and the friends who became family along the way. He was an amazing man who left a lasting impression on anyone who knew him. You always knew exactly where you stood with him. There was no sugar coating and no compromise, but there was also no judgment. He was loyal and loving, accomplished and humble. He was born on August 16, 1922 and raised in Germany to British parents, so he enjoyed a cup of tea as much as a bottle of beer. After the war, he played the drums and put himself through school while raising his first son, Klaus. He had a great love for music and dancing. He received a master's degree in audio engineering from the University of Berlin. After teaching for a year, at 28, he moved to the United States to work for RCA Records where he directed RCA's entry into the discrete compatible 4 channel disk market. After 22 years at RCA, he retired as their director of new product development. He moved to Florida in 1976 and founded Hollywood-based Request Records. He spent the next 3 years traveling around the world bringing music from 66 countries to the United States. His home was always filled with music and the hundreds of records he made lined the walls. He ran that business until 1979, when he sold it to his partner. He tried retirement, but quickly found it was not for him. Meals on Wheels was his fourth career, he said, "I wanted to be helpful. I wanted to do something that is improving the quality of life, not only for me, but for anybody else." He spent the next 25 years doing just that. His colleagues often described him as an innovative problem solver. Under his guidance, first as executive director and then as CEO, Meals on Wheels became nationally recognized for its nutrition programs and for being one of few without a waiting list. It was his goal to make sure no elderly person went hungry. The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Program honored him with their National Lifetime Achievement Star Award in 2003. In 1977, he met and six months later, married the love of his life, Cristina Pudwell and adopted her young children, Jack and Jenny. His love for them and their 37 year marriage was an inspiration to all who knew them. He helped with homework, coached Jack's soccer teams and went to Jenny's father-daughter dances and sold her Girl Scout cookies. He was a wonderful husband and an amazing father and he never ceased to support and encourage his family to grow and learn and experience the world. He was also a mentor and surrogate father and grandfather to people who came into his life. He was full of wisdom and a wonderful listener. He became a grandfather at 84 and got tremendous joy from first Madison and then Ryan. They brought a twinkle to his eye and much love and laughter to his heart. John was a wonderful storyteller, and he had some amazing stories to tell. His life would have made an exciting movie and people loved it when he would start talking about his experiences and adventures. John leaves behind a great legacy of service and is survived by his wife Cristina of Plantation; sons Klaus (Traudel) Pudwell, of Munich, Germany, and Jack Pudwell, of Coral Springs; daughter Jenny (Edward) Pudwell-Mackie of Pembroke Pines and two grandchildren, Madison, 6 and Ryan 3, who he adored. A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16th at the Lauderdale West Recreation Center, 1141 NW 85th Ave., Plantation. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either Broward Meals on Wheels, or to the Memory Disorder Center at Broward Health North.

Published in Sun-Sentinel on Mar. 16, 2013
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