In Memoriam: Alan J. Rude

Alan J. Rude with wife Beatrice Williams-Rude

We are deeply saddened to report that Alan J. Rude, 81, longtime AAA member and past Editor-in-Chief of Eyepiece, succumbed to CoVid-19 (SARS CoV-2) on April 15, 2020.   “He was an avid astronomer whose pithy articles frequently graced Eyepiece.  A music-lover as well, he will now hear the harmony of the spheres, and be among his beloved stars.”  [Beatrice Williams-Rude]

Past president Peter Tagatac remembers the times working with Alan when he took the helm of Eyepiece. As an active AAA member, Alan not only contributed articles to Eyepiece, he volunteered his time to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Eyepiece after serving as Assignment Editor. “Alan had remarkable patience and a good sense of humor taking on the Executive Editor role during the Eyepiece transformation from print to digital. The EP staff was fortunate to have his leadership and the club benefited from the continued production of our newsletter. I feel so sorry for Beatrice and his family for their loss, while comforted that Alan is among the stars.”

He held a B.A., cum laude, Cornell ’60; and an M.B.A., Harvard ’62.  He is survived by his wife, writer/editor Beatrice Williams-Rude; three children from two previous marriages, daughters Catherine Filiato (husband Anthony) and Mary Hackett, son Jamie Rude, and six grandchildren.

Beatrice shares, “Alan and I went to Romania in 1999 for the best view of the solar eclipse, which was awe-inspiring.”  She has had a star named for Alan: Alan Illuminatos, a bright star in the constellation Ursa Major.

“When he shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night.”

—     William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act III, scene ii


Further thoughts from Beatrice:

Alan Rude, my husband, has departed this vale of tears thanks to the coronavirus, acquired in a rehab facility where he was getting physical therapy stemming from a fall.  My greatest fear is that he felt deserted and abandoned because I couldn’t see him, touch him, comfort him.  I hope he’s up among his beloved stars.

He used to write for Eyepiece regularly and it was among his greatest joys. It was something he could do even when physical problems made him unable to attend events.

He has a huge telescope on our balcony; I plan to donate the telescope to AAA in his name.



Members Remember Alan:

from Otto Chin:
Alan’s love for stories on astronomy and the sciences knew no bounds. The dedication and work that Alan poured into Eyepiece and to the club has had an everlasting effect on us all. Even if you have not had the fortune of meeting Alan,  you already know him like an old friend through the stories you’ve read, and the experiences that we’ve shared.  His contributions and legacy is a reminder for all of us to continue sharing those stories, those experiences, and beam it out to the world, the stars, the universe and beyond.

from Michael O’Gara:

I never really knew Alan well, but one thing I can say for sure: he was always the nicest, friendliest, and most helpful person at any of our meetings or events.  Maybe because he had to bear a last name that was slightly pejorative, he practiced the opposite of his moniker and was forever smiling, interested, and always willing to lend a hand.  He was a very nice man, and he’ll be missed.

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