Rudolph Frank Stocek
The family of Rudolph Frank Stocek wishes to announce that, after 81 years and a wonderful life full of love, laughter, music and adventure, Big Rud has departed this world.
Rudy was born in the Bronx, New York on June 5, 1937. After attaining his B.Sc. in Wildlife Management at the University of Maine, Orono in 1959, and his M.Sc. in Fisheries Science at the University of Toronto, his life really began when he married his sweetheart, Arlene in 1960.
While living in Philadelphia, PA, Rudy managed the Tinicum Wildlife Preserve (1962-66). During that time, he stepped in as "Mayor for a day" as he welcomed 700 Pigeon Fanciers of America to the City of Brotherly Love.
After moving to Fredericton in 1968, Rudy taught at the Maritime Forest Ranger School for 35 years where he was the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Program (1968-76). He also developed and taught the first ichthyology course at the University of New Brunswick.
Among his many accomplishments, Rudy was a Professional Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries Scientist and Forester. He was also a member of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, American Fisheries Society, Atlantic Society of Fish and Wildlife Biologists (which honored him with the Career Achievement Award in 1995) and the Association of Professional Foresters of NB. He also received the Award for Professional Excellence in 2010 from the University of Maine, Orono, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology.
Rudy’s wildlife research focused on the osprey, common loon, cougar and peregrine falcon, but his greatest interest was for the bald eagle. His 35 - year research study culminated in his book "Through the Eye of an Eagle". As Eastern Canada’s bald eagle specialist, he was frequently called upon by CBC Radio to answer questions about the bald eagle.
Next to his wife Arlene, Rudy’s passion was his music. He played the accordion for 68 years and always said it gave his life balance. He started his own German band, "The Happy Wanderers" and a Dixieland band, "The Dixieland Dandies".
Playing the tuba, Rudy was a member of the Fredericton Concert and Marching Band, the UNB Band, Nick’s Dixies, the Brass Menagerie and the Antique Brass. He also sang with the Fredericton Golden Club and the Stepping Stone Singers.
Rudy was an enthusiastic stamp collector and belonged to the Fredericton Stamp Club. He was member of the Golden Club, Stepping Stone Senior Centre, Fredericton Nature club and was a past member of the Fredericton Epsilon Y’s Men Club.
During his college years Rudy played football, was a boxer and captain of the UMO gymnastics team. He was also an accomplished trampoline artist. Also, during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he was a national judge for men’s gymnastic (bet that one surprized ‘ya!). He was also the first New Brunswick gymnastics judge to hold the position of Chairman for Men’s Judges.
One of the many important things to know about Rudy is that he was a very enthusiastic yard saler. He was the king of haggling and loved to spend Saturday mornings "saling around the city" looking for treasures with his sweetheart Arlene.
At the end of the day, Big Rud was the greatest Dad, most proud grandfather and most adored husband.
He is survived by his wife Arlene of 58 years; children Lehanne (Al Knowlton) and Rudy (Sara Ghanem); grandchildren Melissa, Alex, Matthew, Noah, Tyler and Daniel; great grandchildren Luka, Antonia and Oscar; sister Lorraine Harris (Shearwater, GA); sisters-in-law Hope Scherger (Tonawanda, NY) and Margaret Wellhauser (Buffalo, NY) and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents Rudy and Mildred Stocek, and father-in-law and mother in-law John and Julia Wellhauser, Rudy is predeceased by sisters-in-law Pauline Anderson (Harry), Audrey Bourne (Robert), June MacDonnell (Stewart), Geraldine O’Leary (Patrick) and Dorothy Elmes (Leonard); brothers-in-law Raymond Wellhauser (Ann), Leonard Wellhauser and Jack Wellhauser (Kathleen).
At Rudy’s request, there will be no visitation. A celebration of Rudy Stocek’s life will be held on Friday, December 7, 2018 from St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church at 2 pm with Fr. Monte Peters officiating. All are invited to a reception following the service at the Monsignor Boyd Family Centre.
The Fredericton SPCA or the Stepping Stone Senior Centre would welcome your donation as a remembrance of Rudy.
The Stocek/Knowlton family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, cleaning and kitchen staff of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital for their care, kindness and compassion.