Lloyd William Rudy Jr.
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Lloyd William Rudy Jr., 77, a former Great Falls physician, died of natural causes Sunday, Apr. 22, at a Spokane medical center.

A memorial service is 3 p.m. Friday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Spokane. Heritage Funeral Home of Spokane is handling the ar-rangements.

Lloyd was born in Spokane on June 21, 1934, to Lloyd and Mildred Rudy. He grew up in Wenatchee, Wash., and attended Wenatchee High School, Washington State University and the University of Washington Medical School. He was inspired greatly by his uncle, Leslie Hildebrand, a physician and war veteran. Lloyd completed his medical internship and residency at the University of San Francisco Medical Center. He was then called to serve as a physician in Vietnam, earning the rank of captain in the Army. He saved the lives of countless soldiers under his care in his M.A.S.H. unit.

Upon returning from the war, Lloyd became a board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon and taught and researched at the Uni-versity of San Francisco Medical School and, later, as dean of the heart program at the University of Georgia School of Medicine. Lloyd was the youngest member of the first heart transplant team at Stanford University. He entered private practice in Spokane as a heart and lung surgeon. He was a pioneer in quantifying surgical procedures that led to drastically increasing the survival rate of heart patients. The na-tional and world-wide attention resulting from the procedures led to an appearance on the "60 Minutes" television show and speaking engagements around the world.

After practicing medicine for decades at Sacred Heart and Deaconess Hospitals in Spokane - and showing a special bedside manner, compassion and humor for his patients - he was called to Great Falls to start a heart surgery program here so patients in Montana would not have to travel to Spokane for surgery. A grateful group of patients established the Dr. Lloyd Rudy Jr. Fan Club, and a day in August has been dedicated as Dr. Lloyd Rudy Day by Montana's governor.

In retirement, Lloyd continued giving his time as medical liaison for the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Clinic, traveling and speak-ing about the connection between dental and heart health. Lloyd also continued his intellectual passion and shared his unique life stories and experiences with friends and family. He most enjoyed his times at his Priest Lake cabin, a place he truly loved. Walking his dogs, ski-ing, reading and being with his family is how he filled his days. Lloyd had an immense energy and love for life that is truly rare. We have all been touched in a positive way by him, and we will miss him dearly.

He is survived by his adoring family which includes his wife, Kathi; his twin brother, Leslie; children Kelly, Scott, Kurt, Brett, Kristin and Alex; and grandchildren Tucker and Grace.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the American Heart Association at 140 S. Arthur St., Suite 610, Spokane, WA 99202

Condolences may be posted online at www.gftribune.com/obituaries.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Great Falls Tribune from Apr. 26 to Apr. 27, 2012.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
May 13, 2012
The one guy I've ever met that always made me smile. The one guy I always wanted to spend more time with. Just a great human. He taught me much. We shared medical breakthroughs.....Boy am I ever going to miss my friend Lloyd Rudy. The is dimished by his departure,.
Daisy Minken
May 12, 2012
Dr. Rudy performed valve surgery on our mother, Ferne Lundin, and we are truely greatful. He was a wonderful man. Every year at the Great Falls Dr. Rudy Day dinner we attended and he remembered us. May your memories carry you through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Mary Mason and siblings.
Mary Mason
May 10, 2012
I just found out about the death of Dr. Rudy. I meant him, Jan 4th,1993. We meant in Sacred Heart Hospital,one evening.The next morn he performed open heart surgery on me.2 mechanical Valves he put in.I often think about him,always wanted to find him and Thank him for my Life. He was so funny and so nice. Loved going in for my check-ups. I guess I will Thank him when I get to Heaven. God Bless his Family.
Jackie Simmons
May 6, 2012
Dear Kathi and Alex,
Misha and I send you and the rest of the family our heartfelt condolences. We will miss Lloyd so much. Such a wonderful man, who gave us many wonderful memories. Hard to believe it's almost three years since the famous river raft trip. Lots of love, Nomi
Nomi Morris
May 5, 2012
Kathi and Alex,
I was sad to hear of Lloyd's passing. He was a wonderful man and we all enjoyed the warmth and love conveyed by this healer. May your memories serve to bring you joy, happiness and gratitude as you move through this difficult time. We all send our prayers.
Penny James
April 30, 2012
Hello Kathi and Alex from the Great Falls Char and Tim O'Dell family. We all send our thoughts and prayers. I say Hello to Kathie and Alex because we have met them personally, but we are addressing all of the family of Dr. Rudy. You must know I was 38 in 2000, when he did open heart on me to fix an ASD.(a hole)As you can imagine I was scared and frankly did not know if I wanted some old guy working on me. When I met him, we were in his office and in came thhis nice looking older man and he started talking and then in came this nice looking lady with a fancyy glass cup of coffee with a beautiful head of froth. I, for a split second, thought it was for me. Then Julie said hello to my husband and I and handed it directly to Dr. Rudy. When I comented that I wanted one he said not till after sugery. He must of loved his coffee because I remember that he was the only doc who has ever examined me in a black leather coat and coffee in his hand. I am proud to be able to say that Dr. Rudy worked on me, he is very well regarded among his peers as well as his patients. He was just a lovely person who helped many of us enjoy our lives much more and much longer than we would of if we had not met him. We were honored by Lloyd Kathie and Alex having dinner at out home and have not enjoyed ourselves as much since. Our Kathleen no longer studies piano and unless Alex changed a whole lot I bet he is not either. Our thoughts are with the whole family since Lloyd told me when I asked, "If I were your daughter, would you do it." He said, "I have a daughter about your age, and I would say, yes." Thank you all for sharing him with us. I am sure his family time suffered because of his important work. Please just know he REALLY DID HELP. Char, Tim Meghan and Kathleen O'Dell
Charline Siphers-O'Dell
April 30, 2012
Dear Kathi,Alex,Scott,Heidi and family,
Ted and I are so sad we will not see Lloyd when he comes to our place. We have always talked about what a personable man he was. Ted always appreciated the time he took to discuss medical problems with him. He was a very kind man to us and from his memorial story, we can see he was so admired for his dedication and very respected in his field and for his many experiences he brought to life that made him a compassionate man. What a guy! Our hearts go out to you all and we weep with you. God bless him and you too. Patty and Ted Saroff
April 29, 2012
Dear Kathi and Alex,

We were shocked to hear about Lloyd's passing and are so very sorry. We loved visiting with him at the lake and will miss hearing all his stories. It is hard to believe that he will not be up there when we come back up in May. He was truly a great man and a great neighbor and we will miss him terribly. Our hearts and prayers go out to you both during this difficult time. I know you will miss him immeasurably. Gail and aurie Miller (Priest Lake neighbors)
Gail Miller
April 27, 2012
Kurt Soltes
April 27, 2012
Dear Kathi and Alex, I was just thinking about Lloyd while at Dr. Richard Byrd's memorial service today. I can't begin to tell you the shock I felt when RJ told me that Lloyd passed away. I could easily have gone from Hamblen Pres to St. Mark's if I'd realized. I am so, so sorry for your loss, and also for Lloyd's other children and brother's loss. He was a fine man, and always kept me laughing. I pray for all of you. Yvonne Payne
April 27, 2012
Kathi and Alex, I worked with Dr. Rudy for appox
18 years. He was an awesome Doctor and his patients adored him. I'll always remember his contagous smile, I recently was able to visit with him and Alex at Priest Lake, may your memories console you at this time He will be missed, Barb Conboy,RN
April 27, 2012
In 1993 Dr. Rudy performed surgery on me in Spokane and literally saved my life. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I hope they know how much he meant to so many people.
Bonnie Christiaens
April 27, 2012
I'm absolutely heart sick to hear of Lloyd's passing. I just his brother and sister-in-law on April 9th....and he wasn't ill at this time! I've known Lloyd for 45 years and he was always a kind and caring doctor to his patients as well as to the personnel that he worked around.God bless him ....rest in peace my friend.
Barbara Belding
April 27, 2012
It has been 10 years since I worked with Lloyd and it still makes me smile and laugh when think about him or tell others. He was a superb physician and it was a joy and a privilege to have worked with him.
Walt Graves
April 27, 2012
Kathi & Family: Dr.Rudy was a wonderful and caring man who cared deeply for his patients. He did surgery on my dad twice. He will be greatly Missed by all. God Bless Him. Rest in Peace. Martin and Beth Bauer
April 26, 2012
Uncle Lloyd led a fulfilling life- the last time I saw him was at Madelyn and Les' 50th anniversary party. He was happy and and dancing. That's the way I'll always remember him. I love you Loyd, you will be missed.
Maddy Rudy
April 26, 2012
Kathi and family,
Dr. Rudy adored his patients as they did him. It was a pleasure to work with him at SHMC. We enjoyed being close neighbors to babysit Alex. I can still hear his laughter.
Tomi Briggeman
April 26, 2012
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Rudy. It was an honor to be a part of the Great Falls heart team "family" with this great man.
Kathy Menghini Shanahan
April 26, 2012
My Heart is still beating !
Kathi and family -
Dr Rudy is my hero , I will never forget him. He performed a heart valve surgery that saved my life. It is a very sad dayfor me. I am enjoying an extended life to enjoy my grand kids and Family because of his great talent.
I am praying for you and your family big hugs to all of you.
Thomas MacLean
April 26, 2012
Dear Kathi,
I am so sorry to hear about Lloyd's passing. I know how he will be truly missed by you, his family & friends. Oh, the memories and stories we all have to tell of the big "R". You and the family are in my thoughts & prayers.

Take care, Bonnie Olson
Bonnie Olson
April 26, 2012
It is with a sad and heavy heart the we learned of Lloyd Rudy's passing this week, but with a warm and joyous heart that we were able to have known Lloyd, a wonderful father, husband, grandfather, brother and friend of so many. With our love to the Rudy Family...Christopher, Lisa, Soren and Lydia Thomsen
Christopher Thomsen
April 26, 2012
It is with a sadden heart we learned of Dr. Rudy's passing. We were lucky enough to have him as a neighbor at our Priest Lake cabin. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family during this difficult time. Love and prayers, Tom and Terrie Pflaumer
Tom Pflaumer
April 26, 2012
Our community was blessed by Dr. Rudy's talents. He was highly skilled, dedicated, and compassionate. It takes a wise surgeon to know when not to operate and an equally wise physician to know when heroic means are indicated. Many in our community owe their lives to him. May his family take comfort in knowing that his legacy lives on.
Cheryl Reichert, MD, PhD
April 26, 2012
The Washington State Veterans Cemetery extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Lloyd W. Rudy, Jr., M.D, for your loss, to honor his service to our country and our patriotic hero.
April 26, 2012
My mom was one of his patients when she had her heart surgery. Praying for the family of Dr. Rudy for peace and comfort. May you feel the Lord's presence during this time... Amy LaFleur ( Lake Montezuma AZ )
Amy LaFleur
April 26, 2012
Lloyd!! there will be a forever special place in my heart for Dr Rudy! Not only did I learn about heart surgery, but about life and how we should live it! Our "family," consisting of the Great Falls heart team, was a blessing that will never be duplicated, because of Dr Rudy. Too many memories to share, just suffice it to say, "I loved that man!"
Gloria Dailey
April 25, 2012
Kathi -
Want you to know that me and the rest of the Bremner family are thinking of you and you are in our prayers -
Julie Bremner-Lohman
April 25, 2012
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
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