Martini in hand and wife by his side, Ron Rudy passed away peacefully but unexpectedly at his home on January 30, 2010.
Ron was born on November 25, 1933 in Chicago, the son of Paul and Anna (Ferlicka) Rudy. He moved to Wisconsin in 1945 and excelled in the classroom, on the track, and on the gridiron at Mary D. Bradford High School. In 1950, he shared the backfield with NFL Hall of Famer Alan Ameche on an undefeated Kenosha Red Devils squad that many still consider the greatest high school team in state history. Ron's success on the field earned him an athletic scholarship to Marquette University in 1952. When injuries ended his promising football career after one season, Ron turned his full attention to his studies. In 1958, he married Petie Perozzi. Their marriage was a loving, mutually supportive and highly entertaining partnership that lasted 51 years.
Upon graduating from the Marquette School of Medicine in 1959, Ron proudly served his country as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy. He did his orthopedic residency at the Minneapolis VA Hospital and the Shriners Children's Hospital, then began his orthopedic practice at the Dean Clinic in Madison in 1966. During a long and distinguished career as a nationally board certified surgeon, Ron served as a chairman of St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center's Department of Surgery, an Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Wisconsin and treated thousands of patients with a gentle compassion that made him as beloved as he was respected. He was a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Ron retired from surgical practice in 1996, but continued to serve the community as a volunteer physician at the Benevolent Specialist Project (BSP) - Free Clinic. He spent his free time pursuing his love of travel, tennis, golf and the Weather Channel.
Ron was inducted into the Kenosha Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and earned his black belt in karate in 1997. But his pride in those accomplishments paled in comparison to the pride he felt for his family. He treasured time with his wife and children above all else and the memories of ski trips to Colorado and summers in Door County are as precious to his loved ones as they are abundant. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a loving husband, a devoted father and grandfather, and a loyal friend.
Ron is survived by his wife, Petie; sons, Paul (Terry) Rudy of San Diego and Peter (Shauna) Rudy of San Francisco; daughter' Analisa (Eric) Mott of Madison; two adoring grandsons, Lucas and Griffin; mother-in-law, Antonia Perozzi and many beloved nieces and nephews, all of whom will miss his gentle nature, huge heart and quiet dignity.
Funeral services were held on February 5, 2010 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Memorials in Ron's name may be gifted to the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation's Greatest Needs Fund, 700 South Park Street, Madison, WI 53719, the Benevolent Specialists Project (BSP) - Free Clinic, 2711 Allen Boulevard, Middleton, WI, or the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, 122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60603.