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Thomas A. Rudy

1939 ~ 2018 (age 79)

Thomas A. Rudy, 79, of Burley, Idaho passed away at his home on Friday, December 28, 2018, from complications of Parkinson’s and dementia. Tom was born in Wendell, Idaho on April 5, 1939, to Paul and Helen Rudy.   They both died while Tom was very young and he lived with his Aunt Maxine Stroder and Cousin Gary for the rest of his childhood.  Tom was a delegate to Boy’s State in 1956 and graduated from Jerome High School in 1957.  Tom enjoyed LOTS of music and was a disc jockey at KART Radio in Jerome in 1956 and later at KOMA in Oklahoma City. He also worked at KEEP in Twin Falls, Idaho under the name of Cactus Jack Rudy.  Although he enjoyed spinning the discs and always loved the music, he knew that was not his final calling.  He still loved top 40, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and many others from over the years.

Tom was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at the University of Idaho where he attended for a short time.  We’ve been told he had a bit of a wild streak.   He later attended Oregon State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.   

Tom had two children, Kimberly and Gregory Thomas (GT), with his first wife Jill Newcomb.  They later divorced and Tom moved to Burley, Idaho where he met and married Arlene Muir in 1972.   He recently commented he had three loves of his life: his wife, Arlene, his dog Burton, and his Mercedes and in that order!

Tom worked at JR Simplot for several years and was truly a potato expert!   After his service at JR Simplot, Tom was self-employed as a farmer and business man.   He traveled near and far on potato business including a trip to Thailand.  He had many good friends and partners in the farming business and worked the harvest and planting every year until he couldn’t.  He loved agriculture and especially growing potatoes and helping with the harvest.  He always looked forward to that season of the year.

Tom was raised in the Catholic Church and was recently attending services again at St. Therese Little Flower Church in Burley, Idaho, when he could.

Football was a favorite past time of Tom’s and he was a devoted Beaver fan who loved to talk about Oregon State “Beavs” especially with those poor Duck fans.   The Oakland Raiders and Notre Dame were also his top picks.  Although he was not thrilled about the pending move of the Raiders to Las Vegas, we know he would have still tuned into every game! He kept up on the coaches and the stats and loved discussing all the sports. 

Tom loved getting to attend the sporting events of his grandkids including football, gymnastics and softball.  He also was able to attend some plays and programs of great grandkids and had fun doing that.

Preceding Tom in death were his parents, Paul and Helen Rudy, his Aunts Maxine Stroder, Lois Rudy and Margaret La Porte.  He is survived by his wife, Arlene, cousins Gary Stroder of Idaho, Ray Wolfe and Paul Wolfe of California; children: Kim Robbins (Carl) of Oregon, GT Hausner (Nancy) of Idaho, Theresa Wilcox (Neil) and Tony Muir of Utah and Wendy Muir and Jasmin Gunn (Corey) of Idaho, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren and friends.

Thank you to the many care givers and friends who worked with and visited Tom in the last couple of years.  And to the many friends who have spent so much time with Tom during his life. 

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Morrison Payne Funeral Home in Burley, Idaho with a visitation for family and friends following the service.   Please consider a donation to a local animal shelter or the Alzheimer research foundation or a charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.  Condolences can be shared with the family at

 Service Program

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