Rudolph “Rudy” S. Smole
With greatest love and adoration, we say goodbye to our Father, Grandfather, Brother, and Friend, Rudolph “Rudy” S. Smole.
Rudy passed away on September 12, 2022 while he fondly watched for birds and deer from the patio, at his loving community home, Brookdale Senior Living, in Olney, MD. He was 95 years old.
Rudy was born in Milwaukee, WI on May 21st, 1927 to the late Pauline (Krevs) Smole of Yugoslavia, and the late Matthew Smole of Austria. Young Pauline (17) and Matthew (21) came to America by way of Ellis Island in 1920 and 1923 respectively. They met in Wisconsin and married in 1925.
Rudy was blessed with 2 brothers; his older brother, the late Mathew (Fannie) Smole, and his younger brother Robert “Bob” (Amalie) Smole. Rudy cherished his brothers beyond measure. Rudy was also very fond of his 6 nieces and nephews; Mathew (Barbara) Smole, James (Barbara) Smole, Susanne (John) Weisling, the late Donna Smole, Nancy (Bobby) Gulland, and Michele (Eric) Melton.
Rudy grew up during the great depression where he learned many exemplary life lessons that would prove to shape him into an extraordinary man. Rudy brought joy to all those around him during those hard times with his deep love and passion for all things music. He learned to sing, dance, whistle melodies, and play his beloved accordion to any and all who would listen or join in. Rudy’s traditional Slovenian songs, his whistling talent, his joyful dance, and his honorable life lessons have been gratefully instilled in his family and his friends. We will continue to carry them forward, in his honor.
Rudy graduated from West Allis Central High School in Milwaukee, WI in 1945. It was there that he met the future love of his life, Geraldine “Gerri” Clara (Knocke) Smole. Gerri graduated from the same high school in 1948. They were later married in 1951. Their marriage was one for the ages. Rudy and Gerri celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary just before Gerri passed away in 2006. Rudy has longed for their reunion since.
Rudy and Gerri were blessed with 4 children; Jacquelynn “Jacque” (Bob) Tinsley, Bart (Mary Therese) Smole, Daniel “Danny” Smole, and Karen Smole. Rudy beamed with pride for his children. Sadly, Rudy was proceeded in death by Danny and Karen. It is said that there can be no greater loss than that of a child. We can now rejoice in the belief that Rudy, Gerri, Danny and Karen are reunited at last, and forever.
In 1958, Rudy’s employment as a purchaser for LeROI Air Compressors brought him and his family from Wisconsin to Sidney, OH. Rudy went on to live in Sidney for many years, and created endless memories with his family, friends, church and community. Rudy later retired from LeROI and moved to Melbourne, FL. with his wife Gerri. After several happily retired years in Florida, Rudy lost the love of his life, and decided to move to Olney, MD to be close to his son Bart, and his daughter-in-law Mary Therese, and their family. They cared for Rudy with great love, honor, and gratitude throughout his final years.
Rudy would ultimately say that he reached his peak, his greatest accomplishment, his life’s work came to fruition, when he was named, “Bumpa”! What is a Bumpa you say? A Bumpa is actually, Thee Bumpa, the one and only, formally known as, Grandpa. Bumpa was blessed with 5 grandchildren, Brian Smole, Kevin (Barbi) Smole, Elizabeth Smole, Dana (Terry) Davis, and Katie (Jaron) Ballou. Bumpa was also blessed with 8 great grandchildren, Kiersten Todd, Samantha Smole, Trace Davis, Sean Smole, Sydney Smole, Vincent Rudy Smole, Daniel Ballou, and Mason Ballou. Bumpa’s grandchildren will carry endless memories of him throughout their lives, but they were given an even greater gift than that, the gift of being loved unconditionally.
If Rudy could sing to us today, his wishful verse would be, “When you’re smiling; when you’re smiling; the whole world smiles with you.” And his farewell verse would be, “I’ve lived a life that's full; I traveled each and every highway; And more, much more than this; I did it my way”.
Rudy wished to be cremated and asked that his ashes be placed alongside Gerri, Danny, and Karen at Glen Cemetery in Sidney, OH. The family plans to place his ashes in the coming Spring and will have a ceremony to celebrate his life at that time.