Short History of Don Rudyk as presented by his dearest friends, Austin and Majanne Underbakke
Don Rudyk was born in Winapeg, Canada. He went to grade 9 school. He went down to a bus company, apprenticed and did all of the wiring on their buses. Worked on his Dad's farm and got involved in boating on the Red River. He came East as a young man and got himself a 55 foot Pacemaker, all wood boat that he rebuilt from the bottom up. He worked in the boat yard every spare minute that he had. He became a professional printer working in Toronto mostly.
I meet him when I had my boat up in Lake Ontario and I had some electrical work done on it. When I came back from a trip to the US, I took the boat out and when I turned the wheel starboard, the boat went the other way. There were a few other things too and one of the fellows up there said I have a fellow that will help you. So, Don came onboard and said he would go as far as New York. After we got to South Carolina, Don said I like it here, I think I'll stay.
About that time, we heard from the banner people down south of Conway that there were some people getting together an EAA Chapter so we went up to the airport at Conway and met with Jim Going and Russell Edwards and a few other people. Don was instrumental in doing most of the Chapter's building. He would sleep here at night. It was incredible the amount of work that he got done. His efforts were exemplory. I guess he's done more work in this Chapter than any three or four people put together.
When I sold my place out on the river, Don had an offer from Jim McDonaugh to come over to Hartville. He had his trailer pulled out there. There was no work out there for him. His health was going down hill. So he sold his trailer and bought airfare for himself and his cat direct to Toronto. He had a nice one bedroom apartment waiting for him. He was neat and tiddy and enjoying himself.
On December 28th, 2008 my daughter phoned us in Forida and informed us that Don had died of a heart attack. He was 66 years old being born on August 11, 1942. We'll be taking his ashes to the airport in the Spring. He left three sons.