Rudy was born in Binghamton, New York in about 1920. Here he is as a toddler.
Here's another picture of him (on the left) with my father-in-law, John.
Rudy was in the army during World War II, stationed in England. Here's a letter he wrote home in 1944.
Rudy worked as a cook in the army.
Later, Rudy ended up at the 127th Station Hospital. In the letter below, it sounds as if he is working at the hospital, but this is about the time he became sick and had to be hospitalized. For a long time, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Finally, they discovered he was suffering from kidney failure. The story I have heard is that they went to remove one kidney, but found that he only had one. I don't know if that detail is right, but I do know that it's true that he only had one kidney. There were no kidney transplants at the time and dialysis was in the early development stages. Poor Rudy died at the age of 27.
Here's a letter Rudy sent to his brother John, who was also in the army. I'd love to know what the censors blocked out here.
Be sure to stop by Sepia Saturday for great stories and photos, which may or may not have anything to do with cooks, kidneys, or World War II.