SPRINGFIELD — Rudolph Joseph Stretesky died peacefully in his sleep on June 30, 2009 at Mercy Villa Nursing Facility at the age of 85. He was born on the 4 of July, 1923 in St. Louis, Missouri, the only child of Joseph Rudolph and Anna Stretesky. Rudy (as he was known to all) graduated from Bonne Terre High School, after which he enlisted and served his country in the United States Air Force during World War II. It was shortly after that he met his future wife, Gustine Tinder. Rudy and Gussie were united in marriage in 1946. They were married until Gussie passed away in 1999.
Rudy spent his entire adult life working in the financial services industry. He first worked as a bank teller at the Bonne Terre Bank, later moving his family to Springfield with Channing and Company. In 1974 Rudy and family moved to Potosi Mo. where he was President of Mercantile Bank for 10 years. In 1985 Rudy and Gussie moved back to Springfield, where Rudy continued his financial career. People were always drawn to Rudy’s outgoing personality and his contagious smile Just thinking of him brings a smile to your face. One of his great passions in life was music. Rudy played the trumpet and was lead singer in the Ken Petterson Trio in his earlier years. Later on he traveled with his trumpet to play at many events. Rudy worked magic with his trumpet! Even waking you up at 6:00 a.m. to get you out of bed!
Rudy was a member of lmmaculate Conception Catholic Church in Springfield, Missouri where he was President of the Men’s Club for 6 years a fourth degree Knights of Columbus member. He held a very special place in his heart for the nuns at the Carmelite Monastery in Springfield where he often attended mass. He was also active in the Rotary Club for many years. On December 20, 2002 Rudy was joined in marriage to Mary Hopper and they spent 6 wonderful years together dancing, traveling, volunteering, and spending time with their family.
Rudy is survived by his loving wife Mary, Rudy’s children, Joan (Scott) Swartz of Denver, Co, Janis (Mike) Gideon of Springfield, Joe (Robin) Stretesky of Los Angeles, Ca., Jill (Mark) Claywell of Bonne Terre, Mo. and
Jaye (Kevin) Kerr of Dillon, Co., Mary’s children Bill Hopper, Pat Hopper, and Peggy Jinks-SpringfIeld and 13 grandchildren, Jennifer Palazola, Mack and Blair Swartz, Brad (Amanda), Zach and Ty Gideon, Cory and Cameron Claywell, Kelly, Katie and Jonathan Stretesky and Olivia and Karston Kerr. Rudy was also preceded in death by a grandson, Kyle Swartz.
Visitation will be held Tuesday July 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Gorman Scharpf Funeral home in Springfield. Funeral Mass services will be held July 8, 10:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church in Springfield. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.