New Bedford-Rudolph H. "Rudy" Coles, 94, of New Bedford, formerly of Fairhaven, passed away Wednesday, August 16th at Sacred Heart Home following a lengthy illness. He was the son of the late Elijah H. and Thelma (Jourdan) Coles.
Rudy was born and spent his early life in the Houston, Texas area. A WWII Army Air Corps veteran, Rudy served as an Airplane and Engine Mechanic from 1941 to 1945, having received numerous service awards and medals for his service in the North African and Italian campaigns. Honorably discharged in Sept. of 1945, he met Massachusetts native Albina (Betty) Repsys, in Texas. Meeting Albina was the event which to his last day he labeled as the "greatest blessing" of his life. They were married after an 8-week courtship and lived in Texas for the next 15 years.
Rudy was proud of his career experiences, working at Houston's first TV station, KPRC as a sound engineer, while attending the University of Houston as a part-time student, pursuing a Bachelor's degree he would eventually earn in 1957. After relocating to Massachusetts, He was employed more than twenty years with Xerox Corporation as a service technician. He thoroughly enjoyed auto trips with the family, and after retirement he and Betty traveled cross-country several times. Rudy cherished his marriage to Betty for 48 years until her passing in 1993. He also enjoyed golf, woodworking, photography, and was proud of his “flight simulator” skills”.
Rudy remarried in 1998 to Florence (Flo) Chase of Fairhaven, where the two lived until Flo's passing in 2013. He particularly enjoyed his 91st birthday party, through which he sat constantly smiling as children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoyed and honored this fine man.
Rudy is survived by his three children, Richard Coles of Canyon Lake, Texas, Virginia Miller and husband David of Shrewsbury, MA, and Helen Blake and husband Kevin of New Bedford, MA, along with grandchildren Matthew Coles, Andrew Coles, Amanda Blake, Kevin Blake, Justin Silva, and Jessica Silva, and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Florence’s children and their families.
The family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the Whaler's Cove Assisted Living Facility, to the Sacred Heart Home in New Bedford, and to Community Nursing and Hospice of Fairhaven for the dedication, care, and life-quality enhancing services delivered to Rudy over the past three years.
Ceremonies: A graveside service with military honors will be held on Monday August 21, 2017 at 11 am in the Sherman Cemetery 3 Pine Street Rochester. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. To leave a message of condolence for the family please visit www.warehamvillagefuneralhome.com Arrangements by Wareham Village Funeral Home 5 Center Street Wareham.