Remembering Dr. Dale F. Rudd, 1935-2018

The family of Dr. Dale F. Rudd is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Dr. Dale F. Rudd, 83, professor and research scientist who spent his retirement years in West Seattle:

Many in West Seattle likely remember Dale as the friendly and always upbeat elderly man in the fedora who was a regular walker in the Seaview and Beach Drive neighborhood. He passed on in February after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, leaving behind his beloved wife, Sandra, and two children, Karen and David.

Dale was born and raised in a Scandinavian-American family in Minneapolis Minnesota. He received his BS with distinction and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he met and married his Sandra, before joining the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. At the University of Wisconsin, he was the Donald C. Slichter Professor of Engineering Research and became internationally known for his influential work in process engineering and computer systems. University of California Vice President and Provost C. Judson King called Rudd’s research “truly pioneering and important.”

Rudd co-wrote numerous university textbooks, including the first textbook in process engineering, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He won many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Outstanding Educator in America, Byron Bird Award for Excellence in Research Publication and the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award, and was a visiting professor at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Despite his professional accomplishments, his friends and family knew him as a kind, humble man, with a dry sense of humor and always positive view of life, who enjoyed woodworking, canoeing and the outdoors, and spending time with his family and dogs.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

8 Replies to "Remembering Dr. Dale F. Rudd, 1935-2018"

  • Laurie March 2, 2018 (8:33 pm)

    It was such a joy to know Dale. He was an incredibly nice man who always had a friendly hello and smile. He will be missed. 

  • teaminfantry72` March 2, 2018 (8:41 pm)

    He sounds like he was a great contributor to our lives!  My condolences and appreciation for Dale, as he left an indelible mark on our society.  Thank you :-) 

  • jissy March 2, 2018 (10:24 pm)

    Dr. Rudd walked by my house often, always  shared his beautiful smile and kept on his way .  My condolences to the family.  So amazing the interesting lives lived among us that we never know about until they’re gone.  

  • Kenneth March 3, 2018 (12:52 am)

    Dale was a great backyard neighbor.  Always came over and supervised any gardening I was doing.  He always had advice and helpful tips for me to try, even though I never asked for it (ha,ha).  Have already missed his company, jokes, and friendly greetings last couple of months!  I’m sure he is somewhere enjoying a leisurely stroll, nodding and smiling.  

  • Joe Fowble March 3, 2018 (10:12 am)

    My condolences to the Rudd family.  I knew Dale as a kind neighbor who often had a few words of approval for various planting/landscaping projects we’ve undertaken.  Seeing Dale out for a constitutional, usually with Henry George bravely scouting the path they’d take, has been a warm part of the neighborhood’s character.  My grandfather, Bill, was once a part of Dale’s informal walking group, chatting, surveying the goings-on, and visiting with neighborhood pets, before he passed over a decade ago after his own struggles with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Robin Chapman March 3, 2018 (10:25 am)

    Remembering Dale’s good friendship in Madison, amusement at life, love of canoeing and camping, walking the Devil’s Lake trails; and walking the three-plus miles to and from work  in all weathers, working in his wood-working tinkering shed, his elegant inventions in process engineering, fine woodworking–and most of all his love for Sandy and his kids, Karen and David–sending love and hugs to you all. Robin

  • Mariellen Maki March 4, 2018 (12:27 am)

      This made me cry!  His Sandy is my cousin, a 2nd sister and I am feeling for her.  She and I had two of the nicest men in the world and now they are both gone.  It will take me awhile to process this!  I noticed the reference to  “Dr.” Rudd.  If I remember right, he didn’t want Sandy to use that term, a modest man he was.  One of my memories of Dale is when they were moving in Madison and Sandy was large with child.  Carl and I helped with the move, according to Dale, my job was to keep Sandy out of his hair!!  That sounds like Sandy and it sounds like Dale.  I will miss him.  A lot.  Mariellen

  • Freddie March 4, 2018 (11:39 pm)

    I used to run into Dr. Rudd all the time while on my morning jog. He would always great me, take off his hat, share a few words and encourage me for the rest of my route. I will miss him dearly. 

    Sincere condolences to his family.

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