Cover photo for Rudolph R. "Rudy" Perez's Obituary
Rudolph R. "Rudy" Perez Profile Photo
1935 Rudolph 2020

Rudolph R. "Rudy" Perez

June 7, 1935 — August 25, 2020

Rudolph “Rudy” Robert Pérez, 85, of Topeka, the Oakland neighborhood, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, passed away Tuesday afternoon, August 25, 2020 at Stormont Vail Hospital.

He was a son, brother, husband, dad, and grandpa, but for most people whose lives he touched across the Oakland community, the city of Topeka, the state of Kansas, and beyond, he was simply “Uncle Rudy.”  He was everyone’s favorite “Uncle Rudy.”

Born June 7, 1935 in Topeka, Kansas, raised in the Oakland neighborhood, Rudy was the son of John Huerta Pérez and Carmen Gomez Pérez, the oldest of two children, along with his younger sister, Yolanda.

He graduated from Our Lady of Guadalupe School (1949), where he played basketball, and was known as “Perry” by his friends, and graduated from Hayden High School (1953).  In 1952, his love of politics was ignited when he participated in the American Legion Boys State program, a gathering of top student leaders from across Kansas to learn about government and politics. Post-high school, he attended Clark’s School of Business and Washburn University. 

He joined the Navy August 11, 1953 and served until July 31, 1957, stationed in Kodiak, Alaska, and Whidbey Island, Washington, on board the USS Carronade.  He was honorably discharged August 10, 1961. 

He married Carmen (Chita) Rangel June 28, 1958 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church after a whirlwind relationship lasting shorter than one year from the moment they had their first date to the day they got hitched. 

Rudy first met Carmen when they were in the same classroom at Our Lady of Guadalupe (he was a year older than her, but they shared the same combined classroom).  It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Uncle Rudy that Carmen’s first memories of him are as a young boy with a broken arm who made her pick up his pencils for him.  She would spend more than six decades picking up more than pencils for Rudy as his lifetime partner (less than two months ago, they celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary).

Family was everything to Rudy – they had their one and only child, Desiree Annette (Desi) in spring 1959.  And they remained close his entire life – literally – with Desi, Chris, Briana, and Aaron living just across the alley from Rudy and Carmen.

Rudy was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion Post 0058, and the Veterans Administration.  He retired twice – first, from the State of Kansas, serving as a computer operator for the Revenue Department for 35 years.  His second career, which he loved because he daily mingled with Kansas politicians, was serving as the Assistant Sergeant of Arms for the Kansas State Legislature for 14 years. 

His passions included being a numismatic (a collector of coins and medals, including the 50 states and presidents); an avid fan of crossword puzzles; and he loved to read books, especially crime-related novels and non-fiction stories.  He loved to dance with Chita. 

He loved sports -- his Hayden Wildcats, KU Jayhawks, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Kansas City Royals and Chiefs, and Boston Celtics.  His beloved sports basement is filled with son-in-law Chris Gomez’s basketball trophies, of whom he was very proud. Most of all, he loved watching his family, especially his grandkids, playing their favorite sports.  And in notes he left for his obituary, he wrote that he wanted to be remembered for being the coach of the “High Flying Chaparrals” slo-pitch softball team (1980) that included family members and friends.

Uncle Rudy was a jokester, a prankster, a contrarian, and a natural born storyteller.  He loved to mess with you – no matter what you believed, he would find a way to use it against you, to rile you up, but always in a way (most of the time) that would end with you laughing with him, as he laughed at himself.  He was the life of the party.  He was a powerful heartbeat of our family and of the neighborhood.  And like all great storytellers, some of the stories he told were actually true.

Everyone has a classic “Uncle Rudy” story or two.  We hope you get a chance to recall those memories and share them with friends and our family.  While the covid crisis makes it tough for us to get together, we hope you hold your glasses high and have a few of your favorite beverages in honor of Rudy.  We look forward to laughing and smiling and crying with all of you soon.

Rudy is survived by his wife, Carmen, his daughter, Desi Gomez (Chris), two grandkids, Briana Gomez Schneider (Xander) and Aaron, and his sister, Yolanda Anguiano (Marcelino Sr.). He will also be greatly missed by his nephews and nieces – John Peter Anguiano (Delphine), James Anguiano (Linda), Felicia Reed (Donnie), Marcelino Anguiano Jr. (Tracy), and Juan and Gary Sepúlveda.

His family will receive friends from 4:00 until 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home where a Parish Rosary will be prayed at 6:00 P.M.  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.  Burial with military honors will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial donations be made in Rudy's memory to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church or the Hayden High School Athletic Department sent in care of Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66603.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rudolph R. "Rudy" Perez, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

BRENNAN-MATHENA FUNERAL HOME

800 SW 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)

BRENNAN-MATHENA FUNERAL HOME

800 SW 6th Ave, Topeka, KS 66603

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church

201 NE Chandler St, Topeka, KS 66616

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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