Cover photo for Eric Rolf Rude's Obituary
Eric Rolf Rude Profile Photo
1925 Eric 2019

Eric Rolf Rude

February 6, 1925 — June 8, 2019

MADISON - Eric Rolf Rude, age 94, passed away on June 8, 2019 while at Attic Angel in Madison, WI.

Eric was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 6, 1925 to Muriel Nutt and Christoffer Rude.
Eric attended the Maritime Academy in the Bronx, New York and received a Marine Engineering degree. He graduated from Penn State University with both undergraduate and graduate degrees. On September 19, 1953 Eric married Nancy Thomas whom he met at Penn State. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2013.

In 1943, Eric enlisted in the Navy as a Midshipman in the Bronx, New York during World War II. He had the privilege of participating in the 2012 Badger Honor Flight, which transports veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials erected in their honor. This experience was one of the highlights of Eric's life, especially the arrival back in Madison with hundreds of friends, family, and strangers welcoming him and the other veterans at the airport.

Eric was a Dean at the University of Wisconsin - Madison Graduate School for thirty-one years. He was proud to receive the national Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration Award from the National Council of University Research Administrators during his tenure at UW - Madison. He also worked for several other prestigious organizations such as the National Science Foundation, The National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. In 1957 he was a member of the U.S. Atoms for Peace Mission to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Along with his wife Nancy, Eric was involved in numerous community organizations over the years including Tandem Press, Wisconsin Public Television, Ronald McDonald House, Agrace Thrift Store, Madison Theatre Guild, Madison Leukemia Society, and the Leukemia Society of America.

One of Eric's passions was traveling, both for work and with his family. Early in his career Eric taught in Greece and maintained an affinity for all things Greek. The Rude family took countless road trips across the country as the children were growing up. Eric was proud of his Norwegian heritage, and was able to take a beautiful trip to Norway with his wife, Nancy. Eric also travelled extensively for his work going to places such as Brazil, Central America, Mexico, and every corner of the United States.

In his final years Eric found a caring community at Attic Angel. Many friends, staff, and neighbors have expressed that Eric was an integral part of the community by constantly talking and joking with everyone around him. He loved attending the educational seminars and tried to make Happy Hour each week. We will miss him greatly but will take joy from the legacy he leaves of countless friends, fond memories, and bad jokes.

Eric is survived by three children, Karen Rude-Evans of Madison, Jon (Becky) Rude of Verona and Mark (Patricia) Rude of Yucca Valley, California; and two grandchildren, Erica (Nick) Evans, and John Thomas Evans of Madison.

Eric was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Nancy, a daughter, Erica Christine Rude; and a sister, Gail Lopresto.

Eric's family would like to thank all Attic Angel staff for their friendship and care for Eric along with their kindness to his family during this difficult time. Thanks to Agrace HospiceCare for their support and care for the whole family and thanks to the UW Health Odana Atrium Clinic for their help in meeting Eric's needs and improving the quality of his life.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Agrace HospiceCare: 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 or

A celebration of Eric's life will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at OLBRICH BOTANICAL GARDENS, 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, Wisconsin.
To order memorial trees in memory of Eric Rolf Rude, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 29, 2019

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704

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