Rudolf Emil Rada

Born: Wed., May 1, 1918
Died: Mon., Jul. 29, 2013

Private Interment

Celebration of Life

10:00 AM Sat., Aug. 10, 2013
Location: Vert Auditorium

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Rudy Rada


Rudy Rada, 95, of Pendleton died Monday, July 29, 2013.

Rudy was born in Mill City, Oregon on May 1, 1918 to Czech immigrants.  After graduating from High School in 1936, he worked in the lumber industry for 10 months before entering college at Monmouth, Oregon.  After graduating with a basic Teaching Certificate in 1939, he taught at Hawthorne School in Pendleton for two years before returning to Monmouth to complete his Bachelor’s degree.  While completing his degree he was drafted into the Army and had to report for active duty the day after graduation on June 3, 1942.

While stationed at Fort Logan, Colorado, he asked the love of his life, Bonnie Greer to come to Fort Logan so they could get married, which she did.  They were married on August 15, 1942 and three weeks later he was shipped overseas to Lagos, Niger, where he spent the next two years as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer at the Air Base for the Air Transport Command.  After returning to the United States he was assigned to Homestead Army Air Base, where Bonnie rejoined him until he was discharged in 1945.

Rudy returned to Pendleton in 1946 as Principal of Hawthorne School and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent in 1948; a position he held until retiring in 1979.  Rudy received a Master’s Degree from Colorado State and a second Master’s degree from Washington State University.  He was a visiting professor for four summers at Washington State University and Eastern Oregon University.

During his educational career he was a member of the Pendleton Association of Teachers, Oregon Education Association, National Education Association, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and Phi Delta Kappa.  In 1968, Rudy spent two and a half months in India as a Fulbright Scholar and in 1969 he served as the State President of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Rudy was an active member of the Pendleton Presbyterian Church, serving as a Deacon, Elder and Trustee.  He taught Sunday school classes, served on the Christian Education Committee and was Chairman of the Centennial Celebration Committee in 1985.

He was also very active in the community, serving as President of the local chapter of American Field Service in 1968, President of the local Red Cross Chapter in 1970 and President of the local United Way in 1973.  He served on the Traffic Safety Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Budget Committee for the City of Pendleton.  Rudy was also instrumental in raising funds for the construction of the community skate board Park and was honored by the city in naming the park in his honor.  He served the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce as Interim Director and Ambassador and was also a Round Up worker, member of the Kiwanis Club and Elks as well as being a Boy Scout Cub Master and 4H leader.

After retiring in 1979 he served as Chairman of the Pendleton Centennial Committee in 1980, President of the Pendleton Arts Council in 1982 and Board Member for the Umatilla County Historical Society during 1982 through 1988 and again from 1993 through 1996.  In 1987 he served as the Chairman for the Restoration of the Union Pacific Depot for the Historical Society’s Museum and during 1988 through 1989 as the Chairman of the Umatilla County Court House Clock Restoration Project.

Rudy received numerous awards and honors during his lifetime, to include; Pendleton’s First Citizen in 1970, the Great American Family Community Award in 1982, Main Street Cowboys Tenderfoot of the Year Award in 1989, Umatilla County Historical Society’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 1990 and Distinguished Service Award for the Historical Society in 1995.

Rudy enjoyed traveling the world with his wife and after Bonnie’s death in 1999, Rudy continued traveling, with his latest trip to Mexico earlier this year.  Rudy and his wife Bonnie hosted several foreign exchange students; Kjell and Hanna from Norway, Dennis from Germany and Casio from Brazil.

Rudy is survived by his four Sons: Bob (Ginny) of Crooked River Ranch, Oregon, Ron (Joyce) of Manchester, Washington, Roger (Glenys) of Vancouver, Washington and Paul of Corvallis Oregon; Five Grand Children and Seven Great Grand Children.

A private family burial will be held at Skyview Memorial Park on Friday, August 9th.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Vert Auditorium on Saturday, August 10th at 10 AM.  Based on Rudy’s wishes, summer casual dress would be appropriate for his upbeat memorial.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Umatilla County Historical Society, PO Box 253, Pendleton, OR 97801 or to support the School Bond effort at, People for Pendleton Schools, PO Box 1231, Pendleton, OR 97801.

Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.

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Ray Wells
   Posted Wed July 31, 2013
I am so sorry to hear of Rudy's passing. I remember him fondly from church, and from working with him on my Eagle Scout project (the caboose at the historical museum). I was thinking of him on Sunday, and all the contributions he made to Pendleton, in so many ways.

You have suffered a huge loss, but please remember that Pendleton (both current and past residents) mourns with you.

Dan Simmons
   Posted Fri August 02, 2013
“The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Rudy Rada began improving my life in 1946. As a 5 year old beginning school at Hawthorne, I attended a preschool conference with Mr. Rada. He sat down with me, administered a brief test, and with pleasant conversation made me feel, like he did all others, that I was smart and special. This warm gentle genius turned what normally would be an intimidating event into an exciting adventure. I couldn’t wait to get started and his influence continued until graduation in 1959. Along the way he expanded horizons with magical talks on his travels from the plains of Africa to the pyramids of Egypt. He was not only a world traveler but he was one of the very few who mastered the art of seeing the world from the points of view of individual students. So his tales were fascinating whether you were a 1st grader, a 4th grader or a high school senior—they were tailored to fit. And, his influence was expanded exponentially. He personally recruited to his very high standards a stable of truly extraordinary teachers who were key to the success of anyone fortunate enough to attend Pendleton schools. Rudy Rada, Mr. Rada, is indeed an eternal hero whose positive and magnificent influence on the world will forever be enshrined in the fondest of memories. Dan Simmons

eleventh hour warrior
   Posted Thu August 15, 2013
We are so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you.

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