Remembering Nick Rudd

I first met Nick Rudd several years ago. We were members of TEAM Westport — the town committee on multiculturalism and diversity. Nick’s passion and commitment to making Westport a more welcoming place for all — and for making Westport a better, stronger partner with the less fortunate communities of Fairfield County — was deep, heartfelt and unwavering.

Nick Rudd at Columbia University recently.

Nick’s thoughtful comments and incisive questions awed me. He was never afraid to tackle an issue the rest of us tiptoed around. He never hesitated to point out how Westport could be a better place to live, and a better neighbor to those not fortunate enough to live here. He managed to simultaneously care about Westport, Fairfield County, our country and the world.

Nick Rudd died yesterday, of complications from cancer. In typical fashion, he kept his many friends and admirers abreast of his struggle by posting eloquently on Caring Bridge, a website that connects friends and families during health crises.

His last entry was on September 5. Nick wrote:

When this journey began, I tried to be very clear that a cure or remission was extremely unlikely. The purpose of the treatments was to extend my time, and I’ve gotten from February through August, a great blessing. Either the disease would progress beyond the capacity of medications or the efficacy of the medications would decrease.

Both things are now happening.

The melanoma team and I have not given up all hope. I am on the last drugs available against metastatic melanoma, we review the impact weekly and I could stay on them for quite a while, provided they help make progress against the disease. They are making some progress, but it’s more like two steps forward and four steps back.

No one knows or can predict how much time I have left. Whatever it is, it’s probably less than I would have said  a month or two ago. I could go for several weeks, perhaps even a month or two. The docs are saying, if you have things to say to people or need to clean things up with them, this is the time.

Nick Rudd and grandchild.

I can’t see everyone who wants to see me. I can’t take phone calls from everyone who calls. I’m sorry. Please use Caring Bridge, another blessing.

I have appreciated every one of your Caring Bridge visits, whether you wrote anything or not. I especially appreciate and value the energy you put into my healing over the months. Thank you.

Love to all.

That was classic Nick Rudd:  honest, straightforward, and caring.

I’m honored I got to know him. And I’m grateful for all he did for me, and our town.

(Funeral services will be held on Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road in Fairfield. The family will receive visitors at 20 Sea Spray Road in Westport this Sunday, after returning from the cemetery until 7:30 p.m., and on Monday from 5-7 p.m.)

Nick and Judy Rudd

12 responses to “Remembering Nick Rudd

  1. maxine bleiweis

    Nick was the go-to guy for the Westport Library when we needed a facilitator for a large community group tackling tough topics. His calm, insightful manner allowed everyone to feel heard. He was a master at his craft and generous with his gift to all of us.

  2. A good man and a sad loss.

  3. I had the unique privilege of serving with Nick on the Stamford Symphony Board of Directors, helping him connect TEAM Westport with the Board of Education and calling him a friend. He was an exceptional person, a class act and always brought fresh insight and new perspective on issues and challenges. The Stamford Symphony is a better organization because of his strategic leadership and TEAM Westport has a higher profile because of contributions. Nick and Judith always brightened whatever room they were in and made everyone feel like they were longtime best friends. Nick’s dedication to making our community a better place will be long remembered, and his energy, influence and intellect truly will be missed.

  4. I knew Nick as a TEAM Westport colleague only for a couple of years. As Dan said, he always had prescient and useful comments, and could quickly move our discussions and plans forward. I miss his presence at these meetings.

  5. I met with Nick Rudd on several occasions in the early 90s, during his Y&R days. He is one of the clients I never forgot — smart, creative, warm, and a genuinely nice guy. RIP Nick.

  6. Dan, thanks for sharing this sad news. I got to know Nick through our service together on the A Better Chance (ABC) board. He was smart, to the point and invariably spot on with his observations and recommendations. I also enjoyed sharing war stories with Nick from our overlapping Y&R years. We will miss you, Nick. Thinking of Judy and the family.

  7. Dan, thanks for sharing this sad news. I got to know Nick through our service together on the A Better Chance (ABC) board. He was smart, to the point and invariably spot on with his insights and recommendations. I also enjoyed sharing war stories with Nick from our overlapping Y&R years. We will miss you, Nick. Thinking of Judy and the family.

  8. I worked with Nick at Y&R and was happy to re-connect with him when he moved to Westport. A wise and kind man, a sad loss.

  9. Linda Gramatky Smith

    Oh, I didn’t know Nick Rudd, but after reading this blog,Dan, I sure wish I had! What a special, caring person, and my best condolences to his family for losing him too soon.

  10. Sad to hear this news. I knew Nick Rudd when I worked as secretary at Young & Rubicam. He was a great guy – bright, fun, and he always had a smile for his co-workers. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  11. I am sad to hear about Nick’s death. His contributions to TEAM Westport were invaluable; he was smart, articulate, incisive – and funny even when the discussion got very serious. I will miss him at those early morning Town Hall meetings.

  12. William Waites

    I met and worked with Nick at Y&R. In a business where ego advancement is the first priority for so many, Nick demonstrated self-less commitment to helping others, professionally and personally. I always knew if I had a tough problem or need a “yes” answer, Nick would deliver. God bless him. It is sad that he has moved on.