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Rudolf E. "Rudy" Svadlenak


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rudolf E. "Rudy" Svadlenak Obituary
Rudolf E. (Rudy) Svadlenak

AGE: 88 •

Rudolf E. (Rudy) Svadlenak, 88, passed away on January 21, 2017 surrounded by his family, at home, in Sunriver, Oregon. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him for his brilliant smile, hearty laugh, stories of wild escapades, and his indomitable 'can do' attitude.

Born in Taft, Texas, June 14, 1928 to Rudolf and Ella (Mikeska) Svadlenak, Rudy graduated from Austin High School, earned a B.S. in Chemistry in 1948, a Master's degree in Inorganic Chemistry in 1950 from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in Chemistry from Oregon State. Before earning his PhD, Rudy worked at the Hanford Atomic Energy Plant, in Hanford, Washington as an Analytical Chemist from 1949-1951. He was an accomplished Research Chemist with the duPont Company for 35 years—first in Niagara Falls, New York, and later in Wilmington, Delaware. His research was primarily in paint formulations, metal coatings, catalysis, fuse salts, electroplating and separations chemistry, with numerous patents to his name.

He married Helen (Len) Ruhmann in 1950. They shared a curiosity and passion for the outdoors with their children, taking unforgettable vacations with a canoe-topped car packed with kids, a dog, and a pop-up camper in tow, exploring National Parks and Canada.

An athlete, naturalist and adventurer, Rudy's love of the outdoors led to the couple's retirement in Sunriver in 1991. He enjoyed many outdoor activities: hiking, biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or playing tennis with friends. When family and friends came to visit, Rudy planned days filled with adventures—from floats on the Deschutes River, hiking around Todd Lake, biking to Benham Falls or skiing on Mt. Bachelor. "Rudy Adventures" (when plans went awry) were legendary and always resulted in entertaining stories.

In 2006 Rudy suffered a massive stroke. Unable to speak or move well, he challenged himself daily with physical, occupational and speech therapy. Despite repeated setbacks, he persevered and made amazing strides - one word and step at a time. In 2012, he was the first participant in Oregon Adaptive Sports' senior adaptive snowshoeing program. With characteristic determination, and the assistance of his caregiver and OAS volunteers, Rudy enjoyed a brief return to winter outdoor sports, snowshoeing twice weekly at Meissner Snowpark.

Rudy was preceded in death by his wife Len. He is survived by his brother Loree Dean Svadlenak of Portland, Texas, daughter Marti (Mark) Travers of Carnation, Washington, sons Steven (Jean) of Kansas City, Missouri, and John (Cynthia) of Salem, Oregon, grandchildren Sean, Ellen and Scott Svadlenak, two nieces, a nephew and numerous Mikeska and Svadlenak cousins. The family appreciates the compassionate care of his caregivers for the past 10 years, especially Larry and Mike, Penny and Dan. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy or Oregon Adaptive Sports.

Deschutes Memorial Chapel and Gardens is honored to serve the family (541) 382-5592. Visit our online register book to send condolences and share treasured memories at deschutesmemorial chapel.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/deschutes memorial.

A Celebration of Rudy's life will be held at a later date.
Published in The News Journal on Feb. 26, 2017
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