It is not with despair, but with faith and optimism that we announce that Bruce Rudd has graduated from his mortal life on September 11, 2021. Bruce never much liked tests, but passing this one valiantly was most important to him. And although this might be one of the few times his name has made it into the newspaper in this life, Bruce lived with the goal of making it into the “Book of Life.” Just as he did on earth, he has gone ahead to light a fire in the fireplace and get the house warm for the rest of us.
Bruce was born in St. Anthony Idaho in 1950 to Wendell and Verona Rudd, but spent his life in Idaho Falls as the oldest brother to Steven, Loralee, Curtis, Sheila and Scott. Bruce attended many schools throughout Idaho Falls back when you could ride your bike anywhere in town. Trick-or-treating was an all-night event and candy was gathered in pillowcases and then taken and stored away in his mother’s closet. Bruce always had a pronounced dimple and a mischievous grin that didn’t show his teeth but included a twinkle in his eye behind his horn-rimmed glasses. Bruce played clarinet in junior high and was involved in sports as a Grizzly at Skyline High School and was a proud member of the class of 1969. Bruce briefly attended Ricks College before leaving on a whirlwind adventure of jobs including working in a potato processing plant to doing tile-work in Oklahoma City.
Bruce was a family man through and through! He met his bride-to-be Lynn as he was “recovering” from his wild, hippie days. He introduced her to camping, hunting, fishing and most importantly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Crowning moments for Bruce were baptizing Lynn and getting married, and then being sealed for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls temple exactly one year later! Bruce and Lynn welcomed three children into their family: Jason, Marni and Kim. Bruce taught his kids how to work hard by always giving them firewood to haul and a garden to weed. He taught them how to gut their own fish and roast them over a fire while still flopping. And most importantly, he taught them how to be kind to others and to stand up for what is right. What he couldn’t give his kids in material possessions, he made up for with experiences and with his precious time. While never eloquent with words, Bruce was always quick to tell his family he loved them and that he was proud of them.
Bruce was happiest fishing knee-deep in mountain streams, working on projects in his bully-barn workshop, or watching old reruns or football games—and life was always better with a Pepsi rather than a Coke. He loved extra fresh onions on his pizza and hated cold noodles and you could always count on him to offer you some black licorice. He loved his music loud and from the good old days when music had a beat and you could understand the lyrics—but then again, at one point his ring-tone was “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Bruce was a man of many ironies! He had no use for pet-names like “sweetie” or “honey” (“My name is Bruce!!), but he would cry at even the sappiest of commercials. His truck, shed, and storage room were filled with his collections of fishing poles, lures, and float tubes while his living room was filled year-round with curio cabinets of over 450 Christmas nativity ornaments that he and Lynn loved to display for the public every year. Every Memorial Day and General Conference weekend was spent camping at Brush and Rawlins Creek, Craters of the Moon, or the Firth River Bottoms fishing and listening to prophets. Every Thanksgiving weekend was spent in a rented motorhome in Utah looking at the lights and searching for nativity ornaments.
Bruce was a man of many skills! His life was filled with hard work that brought visual gratifying results. From framing houses and sheet-rocking, to starting his own business “Family Affair Home Repair” where he taught his family how to work. They have fond memories of smearing drywall mud on walls with their bare hands from floor to ceiling as he followed behind putting a texture on the wall. Dad always loved to leave a penny taped to a wall stud and write his name on the 2x4 as the signature of his handiwork. Bruce found great fulfillment for 30 years working at OK Trailers in Shelley as a certified RV technician where the hardest projects were brought to him. If it was broken, he could fix it and he loved finding hidden camping equipment treasures left behind in trailers by previous owners!
After the workday was done, Bruce filled his life doing good! He spent over a decade as an AYSO soccer coach and commissioner where his teams might not have won the most games, but they surely had the most fun! He offered six years of dedicated service to the city of Shelley on their Planning and Zoning committee. He was always at the disposal of neighbors, friends, and even strangers offering to help fix a trailer or assist in a home repair in any way he could.
Bruce’s great desire to carry on the “Rudd” family name and be a strong link in the family chain led him to devoted service in the greatest cause he believed in—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From serving as “Mr. Friendly” in the primary, leading out as the ward Cub Scout Pack leader, to attending as many scout camps and young women camps as possible with his kids, and being the “Keeper of the church keys” for many years making sure his family was first to church to vacuum the floors and the last ones to leave after the lights were off and the chairs put away. Bruce was later called to serve in the Bishopric and as a High Priest Group leader, where he loved to plan a great party. As empty nesters, Bruce and Lynn served for three years on the campus of BYU-Idaho where they served and ministered to hundreds of students, often inviting them to come down to Shelley for holidays as a home away from home. Bruce fulfilled one of his lifelong goals with Lynn, serving as missionaries for two years in the Idaho Falls mission as everyone’s favorite housing coordinators that could never be bribed with warm chocolate-chip cookies or Pepsi (wink-wink).
Bruce was coerced to take things a little slower the last few years as he was forced to—in his words—become a drug addict to cancer medications. But he beat the odds for many years and added some new adventures with a four-wheeler and a motorhome and was able to catch up on some sleep he had missed out on during the many previous decades! Sickness, however, did not stop him from doing what he loved most—being a grandpa to a dozen adorers!! Those who are going to miss him most include his wife Lynn and their children Jason and Cassie Rudd (Morgan, Utah), Marni and Brent Jones (Ammon, Idaho), and Kim and Eric Zuehlke (Boise, Idaho) and grandchildren Jayce, Annalyce, Austyn, Jaqsyn, Adym, Kiki, Janiah, Jaiden, Tritan, Carter, Rhyland and River. Greeting Bruce in the spirit world are his parents Wendell and Verona, parents-in-law Harold and Edna Calkins, his brother Steven, his granddaughter Whitley, and his favorite dog Teddy.
The family would like to thank Dr. Brad Adams and his wonderful staff of Teton Cancer Institute for their dedicated care through cancer treatments, as well as Onesource Home Health and Hospice care workers—Corina, Tegan and Jen. Heartfelt thanks as well to the friends and neighbors of the Shelley Fourth Ward.
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at the Shelley Fourth Ward Chapel (184 North Park Ave). You may watch the funeral service broadcast live by going to the following link https://sites.google.com/view/shelleystake/sacrament and selecting the 1st, 4th & 8th Building. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 6:00 till 7:30 P.M at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak Street) in Shelley and Tuesday morning from 9:30 till 10:40 A.M at the church. Interment will be in the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery.