William T. Rudd (a/k/a Dick) of Porto Bello Street in Bokeelia passed into heaven Wednesday morning, May 9, 2012. He was 94 years of age. He was born Sept. 7, 1917, in Utopia, Fla., a tiny settlement southeast of Okeechobee that was destroyed by the 1926 hurricane. He started commercial fishing at the tender age of 8 trotlining for catfish in the many lakes in central and northern Florida, a task he continued until shortly before his marriage in 1941 to Gertrude G. Britt of Kissimmee. This union resulted in two daughters, Wilma Jean and Barbara Ann.
During World War II, he enlisted in the Army where he served with honor and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for service in Germany. Upon his discharge from the service, he moved his family to North Carolina and started Rudd's Pest Control, later relocating the business to Maryland where he lived and worked until his retirement in 1984.
He moved to Bokeelia and, again, became a commercial fisherman. He retired at last in 2007, but still hunted the elusive red grouper as a recreational fisherman. He was on a grouper fishing trip when he was called home to the Lord.
William Thomas (Dick) Rudd
Mr. Rudd was a member of the Pine Island Elks Lodge, Pine Island Moose Lodge, Pine Island VFW, Pine Island American Legion and Annapolis (MD) Elks Lodge. He was formerly a 32nd degree Mason, member of Boumi Temple Shrine in Baltimore (MD) and member of Kent Island Yacht Club in Maryland.
He was predeceased in death by his loving wife of 54 years, Gertrude, and his daughter, Barbara.
He is survived by his daughter Wilma (Ray) Desmarais, granddaughter Selina Moriarty, grandson Richard Desmarais, 8 great-grandchildren, 2 great-greatgrandchildren and his companion of 16 years, Kathryn Thompson plus innumerable nieces, nephews and a host of loving friends.
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, at the Pine Island Elks Lodge, a time previously set aside for his 95th birthday party. In addition, there will be a memorial service at the Pine Island American Legion Post #0136 at noon on Saturday, May 19.
The family suggests donations to your favorite charity in memory of Mr. Rudd.