Rev. Arthur W. Rudman - age: 82
(August 28, 1933 to September 30, 2015
A memorial service celebrating Art’s life will be held on Friday, October 16 at 1 pm, at the First Parish Church in Saco, Maine, 12 Beach St, on the corner of Main St (Route 1). Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home, 365 Main Street, Saco is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Arthur’s memory to the Mission School of Hope in Cameroon. Please make checks payable to N.A.C.C.C. – Mission School of Hope and mail to Nancy J. Rudman at 21 Dawn Marie Drive, Apt. 103, Saco, ME 04072.
Arthur W. Rudman, faithful servant of the lord, departed from this earthly life on September 30, and returned home to be with God.
Art touched many people over the course of his life. He embodied the role of an inspirational leader and his presence literally altered the course of many lives. He was known for an impeccable and unpretentious sense of integrity, and it seemed that he did things “the right way” without even having to think about it. Integrity was just part of who he was. Along with his serious side, Art was known for his quick wit and sense of humor, which ranged from the dry and subtle to the downright silly, as exemplified by his vast collection of stories, songs, and pet sayings.
Arthur was a truly great example of someone who never stopped growing and evolving. Over the course of his life, he was identified at different times with many roles: Engineer, pilot, military veteran, teacher, coach, pastor, and most intimately, husband, father, grandfather, and eventually great grandfather. Once, when asked about going back to school to obtain his Masters in Divinity at age 57, he said, “I’m going to be 57 anyway, whether I go back to school or not. I’d rather be 57 and working toward something I’m passionate about.”
Art was born on August 28, 1933 in Worcester, MA, son of Philip W. and Ruth A. (Lundeen) Rudman. He graduated from South High School in Worcester in 1951. He subsequently graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1955, where he was a member of WPI’s undefeated 1954 football team. After college, he went to work as an engineer at Sikorsky Helicopter in Stratford, CT, until being called up for military service. He served four years in the Army, where he became a pilot.
On February 4, 1956 he married the love of his life, Nancy J. Russell, in Auburn, Massachusetts. Art and Nancy enjoyed almost 60 years together. Nancy and the family they created together were his greatest treasure and delight.
Art was well known as a high school and Prep school football coach. His coaching career started in New Jersey where he was stationed while in flight school in the Army. He would fly from Belmar, NJ to Trenton, to coach as a volunteer assistant at Notre Dame High School, simultaneously getting flight time in and wetting his appetite for the coaching life. After his military discharge, he landed a job at Worcester (MA) Academy teaching mechanical drawing and coaching football, wrestling, and track. Subsequently, he taught at the Millbrook School in New York, where he served as Head Football and Track Coach from 1963 – 1967. After Millbrook, Art moved to Maine and took a job at North Yarmouth Academy, teaching math and serving as Head Football and Lacrosse coach, as well as Athletic Director. From 1971 – 1977 he taught at Rockland (ME) High School, where he served as Head Football and Track Coach. He also worked for several years at Cheverus High School in Portland, where he taught Math and History, and coached the varsity football team.
In 1980, Art and Nancy moved to North Anson, ME, and he served as an assistant coach at Waterville HS for one year. In 1981, Art took over the Madison Area Memorial High School football program. Under his leadership, the Madison Bulldogs quickly became a perennial powerhouse. His 1982 team went 11-0 and won a State Championship. Conference Championships followed in 1983 and 1986, and his teams were always near the top of the standings. Art retired from coaching following the 1986 season. In October 2012, Madison High School Dedicated their football facility to him and it formally became “Rudman Field.”
After retiring from coaching, Art attended Bangor Theological Seminary, received his Masters in Divinity, and pastored the First Congregational Church in North Anson for 17 years. Art’s devotion to God’s calling and to his congregation in North Anson became a cornerstone of his life. He finally retired from the pulpit, but was called to return several years later to pastor the Sebago Lake Congregational Church in Standish for three years.
During his time as a minister, he served for several years on the National Missionary Team, and annually hosted a visiting missionary from Cameroon.
Over the years, Arthur worked extensively with young people in other roles beyond teaching and coaching. His eyes always lit up when he was talking about his experiences with his church youth groups. In the early 1960’s he was on staff at the Worcester Academy Sports Camp, and he later founded the North Yarmouth Academy Sports Camp. He also directed Camp Winniaugwamauk, a Christian summer camp for youth on Walker Pond in Brooksville, ME for 10 years.
Art was predeceased by his parents, and by a daughter, Karen Wildwood.
He is survived by his wife Nancy J. Rudman of Saco, his sister Phyllis Aiello and her husband Al of Stratford, CT, son Carl Rudman and his wife Sandy of Portland, son William Rudman and his wife Pam of Biddeford, and daughter Pamela Ward and husband Brian of Hollis. Also, grandchildren Stevie Jo Ward of North Hollywood, CA , Sean Rudman of Portland, Kelly Rudman and her partner Kate Angell of Brooklyn, NY, Ryan, Eric, and Josh Rudman of Biddeford, Corey Coffin and his wife Heather of Old Town, Jessica Coffin and her partner Andrew Miller of Clover, SC, Samuel Dunton and his partner Lynn Deschenes of Old Orchard Beach, and Allie Dunton of Portland, as well as two great grandchildren, Gabrielle and Elijah Coffin of Old Town, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Arthur’s family would like to give special thanks to the amazing staff at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough, who cared for him as if he were one of their own family. Thanks also to Beacon Hospice services who helped provide great comfort and care in his final days.