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John Rudolph, the entrepreneur and community leader who led the evolution of Rudolph Foods Corp. from making pork rinds to the global snack leader that it is today, died April 16 at age 88 at his home in Lima, Ohio.
Launching Rudolph Foods in 1955, Rudolph stayed involved in the business until the last few weeks of his life. He instilled a “can do” attitude in his company, crediting those who worked for him for helping to build the enterprise throughout the years. Rudolph's experience in the snack food industry included a variety of leadership roles within the Snack Food Association, the Food Industries Center at Ohio State University and the Young Presidents Organization.
Born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1924, Rudolph spent three years after high school serving in the U.S. Army as a tech sergeant in Germany during World War II. In 1948, he graduated from Bowling Green University with a bachelor's degree in business management and married his college sweetheart, Mary Miller, before settling in Lima.
Rudolph served numerous community organizations, including the Lima Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, United Way, Lima Memorial Hospital and Tower Bank (Bank One). He led several significant community projects including construction of the Lima Streetscape project, Lima/Allen County Civic and Convention Center, the New Lima YMCA, Ottawa River Bike Path extension, and the restoration of the Schnorf Building, which houses the city's Chamber of Commerce and other agencies.
Rudolph's survivors include Mary, his wife of 64 years; four children; eight grandchildren; and four siblings.
Funeral services were scheduled for Saturday, April 20. For online condolences, visit www.chiles-lamanfh.com.