Saint Patrick community says goodbye to Rudolph “Rudy” Presslak
On Monday, February 12, the Shamrocks lost one of our own. Rudy Presslak was a dear friend and beloved teacher, coach, counselor and dean at Saint Patrick for 44 years. The community responded to the news of Rudy’s passing by sharing stories of what he meant in their lives. Many of those stories can be found on the school’s Facebook page. Faculty, staff and the entire student body attended the funeral Mass at St. Ferdinand Church and former Saint Patrick guidance counselor, Gloria Mazzone Mueller, who introduced Rudy to his wife Jeanne, delivered the speech below at the luncheon held afterward.
For Rudy – February 15, 2018
I began my career at Saint Patrick High School in the Fall of 1975. The wonderful department chair, Charlie Schmidt, took a chance hiring me as the first female guidance counselor in the department. There were many kind people who helped me along the way that year, but nobody was kinder than the gentle giant of an English teacher I had the pleasure of eating lunch with on occasion by the name of Rudy Presslak.
Rudy was smart, quick-witted and had a laugh that could be heard daily throughout the halls of the high school. He loved St. Pat’s. He was a Shamrock through and through because Rudy loved teaching, coaching and most of all mentoring students. Rudy not only taught them about Shakespeare and baseball, he taught boys who came in to St. Pat’s life lessons they would take with them when they graduated, and turned them in to young men. Because Rudy taught and lead by example. That’s what made him a great teacher and a great coach.
I was quickly learning all of these things about Rudy as I got to know him and also learned that he was single. It just so happened that my very good friend and college roommate, Jeannie Burns, was available at the time. Here was the other good thing – as we all know, Rudy LOVED to tell stories and make people laugh. Most of you might not know this, but my friend Jeannie is a great audience – she laughs at about anything! I had a feeling she would be a perfect match for Rudy. The rest as they say is history …
From their 39 year marriage, they had three beautiful children, Dan, Becky and Megan. Nobody was a prouder father or more loving husband than Rudy. They built a wonderful family and life together. He would have wanted me to recognize the care they all took of him, especially these past two and a half years. I know Rudy would have wanted me to say a special thank you to the love of his life for the past 39 years, Jeannie, for everything.
The other thing I know for sure about Rudy is that he would have loved seeing all of you here today. No doubt he would have had some story to tell you to make you laugh, maybe about the time he coached the water polo team and they won, and he quit coaching that day so he had a perfect record coaching water polo! I also know that Jeannie, Danny, Becky and Megan would want you all to celebrate his spirit, his laughter and the joy he brought to each of you throughout your lives.
Gloria Mazzone Mueller
St. Patrick High School Guidance Counselor – 1975-77
To read Rudy’s obituary, click here.
To make a donation in memory of Rudy Presslak in support of the Saint Patrick baseball team, please click here.