Henry Jude Ruddy, born in Teaneck, New Jersey to Geraldine Kindle and William Donald Ruddy, passed away at home on April 29, 2023 at the age of 82. Beloved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, Henry (“Champ”) was predeceased by his parents, brother (Rick), and sister (Gay). He was truly loved, admired, and respected by all who had the pleasure to know him.
While working as a design draftsman at Otis Elevator Company in New York City, Henry met Jeanie (Calvina), his devoted wife of 56 years. Together they raised their two daughters, Yvonne (Ruddy-Stein) and Jennifer (Masi), of whom he was immensely proud. To Henry’s delight both daughters, once grown, settled close by with their families. This allowed him the privilege of easily attending the concerts, performances, sporting events, award ceremonies, and graduations of his seven grandchildren whom he treasured and adored. He especially enjoyed the honor of being recognized at each of their school’s Veterans Day events. Henry had proudly served six years in the U.S. Naval Reserves and remained fiercely patriotic his entire life.
Henry was a remarkable man who was grateful to belong to what he believed to be the greatest generation of all time. His work ethic was unmatched. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bridgeport Engineering Institute while also working full-time at Barnes Engineering Company, where he was employed for 15 years. Henry designed an instrument for NASA that directly impacted the success of satellite-based weather forecasting. He held several patents for machine parts he designed while working as a manufacturing engineer at Sealed Air Corporation in Danbury, CT, a position he had for almost four decades.
Henry could fix almost anything. If he came across something particularly challenging, he would patiently conduct exhaustive research and then get the job done. There was always a small pile of items in need of mending on his workbench where he built many award-winning Pinewood Derby cars with his grandchildren. Henry was an avid reader with a passion for learning. He was well-versed in numerous subjects and was frequently asked by family members to help with math and science assignments and give interviews and accounts of some of his life experiences. At any social gathering he could be found engaged in a thoughtful and in-depth conversation. Any question asked was without fail met with a well-thought-out, abundantly detailed, often long-winded, response.
Having grown up on the Jersey shore, Henry loved the sea and the sky. He enjoyed sailing and indulged his passion for all things aviation by building and flying radio-controlled model planes in his spare time. Much to the girls’ chagrin, most family vacations often included an educational side trip related to space or flight. Henry had a great appreciation for music and enjoyed attending concerts; music was always playing in his home.
In addition to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, Henry is survived by his younger siblings: Kathleen (Mainiero), Barbara (Donald), and Donald.
A devout Catholic, Henry attended Mass weekly at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, CT where he was a dedicated parishioner for 45 years. A funeral mass will be held there on Friday, May 26, 2023 at 10:30 am. Interment will immediately follow at St Rose Cemetery. Celebration of Life will be held afterward at Southbury Firehouse, 461 Main Street South, Southbury.
Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
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