WATERBURY – Rudolph W. Turchuk, “R.T.” or “Rudy,” 75, passed away on Saturday, May 25, 2013, at home surrounded by his loving family and Bob Thiel, Rudy’s best friend of more than 40 years.
Rudy was born March 25, 1938, in New York City, He was predeceased by his mother, Adele (Sikalowski) Turchuk, his father, Michael Turchuk, and his sister, Carolynn Amerman. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., at age 15. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1963, and became a dedicated, loyal fan of UConn sports teams. Rudy worked at Sikorsky then went on to Southern Connecticut State University and obtained his teaching degree. “Mr. T,” reading specialist, taught at Rochambeau Middle School in Southbury for 15 years, and then technology for 20 years at Seymour Middle School.
He was an avid auto racing enthusiast and crew chief/engine man extraordinaire for the Paul Saltanis Fine Wine Racing Team. Rudy raced an MG race car himself with the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). Rudy then continued as crew chief for his son, Michael. He also fell in love with Alfa Romeos and served as secretary/treasurer of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of CT. He was said to be a catalyst to invigorate the club membership through twice a month breakfast meetings and was an eager volunteer contributor to organize events.
He enjoyed a writing/journaling group at the Harold Leever Cancer Center where he met and was inspired by cancer survivors/thrivers as they shared stories, support and encouragement with each other. Our deep appreciation and admiration to facilitator Janis, also Irene, Ruth, Jill, Sharon and Debbie; all became good friends.
Rudy enjoyed reading, American and Russian history, art, music, theater and antiques. He also enjoyed cooking, photography, writing stories, poetry and traveling. For many years, friends and family looked forward to the Turchuks’ annual Russian Christmas party in January.
He will be greatly missed by his two children, daughter Lauryea Turchuk and partner, Mick Snyder; a son, Michael Turchuk and his wife, Molly (Dupke); and three stepchildren, Mark Weltz and wife Naomi (Younggren), Sharon Weltz, and Deborah (Weltz) and her husband, Daniel Jaskiewicz. He is also survived by six amazing grandchildren, Sarah, Raymond, Danielle, Emma, Shannon and Sadie. He leaves behind his soul mate, breast cancer survivor and beloved wife of 31 years, Toby Sarah (Kutnick) Turchuk.
Rudy faced a valiant four-year battle with cancer with determination and humor while receiving excellent care from a competent, compassionate and caring staff at the Harold Leever Cancer Center. Thank you especially, Dr. Kurt Sabbath (oncology), Karen Hammond (oncology APRN), Holly (oncology nurse), and Dr. Jeffrey Bitterman (radiation oncology).
Rudy will be remembered for his love of family and friends, quick wit, sense of humor, bright mind and spirit.