Date of death:
Tuesday March 13, 2018

London Free Press, ON

Polci, Rudy - Rudy died peacefully on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, having been in the company of his five children throughout his final weeks. Death was not something that Rudy feared, but rather that he knew was the fulfillment of his life. He was absolutely confident in the existence and love of God and we know that he now stands at the gates of heaven - very likely arguing politics with St. Peter, while smoking a cigar with the racing form tucked under his arm. It's even money on who wins that argument. While grateful that his suffering has come to an end, Rudy will be sadly missed by his children, Mike and his wife Leslie Newton, Lou and his partner Shirley Phillips, Anne and her husband Dan Robins, Greg, and Anthony and his wife Linda Kristal. Rudy was the proud Papa/Nonno to Alex and his wife Emily, Tom, Gerard, Leo and Ines, and Great-Papa to Rowan, Mitchell, Wesley and Franklin. And though they separated many years ago, Rudy's wife Patricia (Collings) also mourns his passing. Rudy was born in London on May 16, 1931, the second youngest and last surviving of Antonio and Giuseppina's nine children - Armand, Yolanda Masseo, Mary Jackson, Alberta Maturani, Alessandro (Alec), Silvio (Cec), Alfredo (Fred) and Eva Olsen. We know their reunion will be joyful - and loud - as they gather around the kitchen table with homemade wine and good food. Rudy is predeceased by his brothers-and sisters-in-law, Lillian (Deadman), Dominic Masseo, Arthur Jackson, Jim Maturani, and Ruby (Fleming). He is survived by his sisters-in-law Catherine (Anderson) and Beverly (Cauz), and brother-in-law Harrie Olsen. Rudy also had 21 nieces and nephews, including some who, sadly, have gone before him. As it grew over the years through marriages and births, his extended family remained important to him throughout his life, with the regular family reunions at East Park and in Dorchester being much enjoyed celebrations. Rudy's outlook and approach to life was shaped by his large family, his Italian heritage, growing up during the Depression and World War II, and by his faith. He spoke fondly of his education by the nuns and Christian Brothers at St. Mary's and De La Salle, the odd jobs to help his family - selling newspapers, delivering milk or shining shoes - playing baseball with the Holy Name League, and working at the Hotel London during its heyday as a stopover for entertainers and VIPs passing through the city. Rudy worked for McCormick's Candies & Biscuits for 28 years, and at Kellogg's until his retirement. Rudy passed along his faith to his children, and the whole family was active in St. Patrick's parish for many years in a range of ministries. He had a love of music, especially opera, the big bands, and classical guitar. He also had a love of good food, almost always Italian (especially Ma's egg noodles), though Italian seemed to include roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, pies and butter tarts. And he loved babies. He took great joy in walking and soothing all the babies in the family. Rudy loved (and hated) politics, and current events were much-discussed and often hotly debated around the dinner table, both with his kids and certainly at larger family gatherings. Rudy and Jim Jackson were regularly the last ones standing at the end of a long debate with the brandy flowing. When he wasn't in the throes of a political debate, he had a knack for bringing down the house with a good joke, though it was his inability to deliver the punchline because of his own hysterical laughter with tears streaming down his cheeks that was the source of the real hilarity for everyone listening. Thanks to Dr. Sharon Koivu and the many nurses and doctors in the palliative care unit of LHSC who assisted Rudy in the final days of his life, ensuring that he was comfortable as he passed from this world. Family and friends are invited to John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street in London, on Thursday, March 15, 6 pm to 9 pm. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick's Church, 377 Oakland Avenue, on Friday, March 16 (time to be confirmed), followed by interment at St. Peter's Cemetery. London Free Press, ON, 2018-03-14

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