March 11, 1948 — August 14, 2019
Steve was born March 11, 1948, in Terre Haute, Indiana, the only child of Patricia Lee (Wampler) and Robert D. Rudd, PhD.
After graduating from Corvallis High School in 1966 and OSU in 1970 with the double major in Physical Geography and Geology and a minor in Meteorology and Climate, he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Illinois and completed his Masters in 1972. He was then recruited by the Institute of Artic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado and served as their Research Director for two NASA-funded research grants involving the first Space Station (SkyLab) and ERTS-1, which became the first LANDSAT satellite. In late 1973 he took a break from academics and became a Metro-Denver DUI enforcement officer. In the summer of 1977 he resigned and entered the PhD program at the University of Utah.
In 1978 Steve discovered his true passion, The National Park Service. He started at Glacier National Park, his favorite, moved on to Yellowstone, spent a year at Rocky Mountain and then almost 10 years at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. He worked almost exclusively in emergency services for over 20 years, including law enforcement, search and rescue, high-angle rescue, firefighting and EMS. In 1981 he completed a 1,280-hour paramedic sequence and became one of the park's five paramedic rangers. In all, he worked in 11NPS areas, spent over 10 years as a Chief Ranger and ultimately ended up at Hot Springs National Park as the Division Chief for natural resources and research. Steve retired in April of 2014 and returned to Corvallis, where he became an active and well-loved member of the Meadow Park community.
Steve is survived by his mother, Patricia Lee Rudd and his wife, Janeen (Bilsland) Rudd, both of Corvallis; his son, Lucas James Rudd of Hot Springs, Arkansas; stepdaughter Amie (Chuck) Winchester of Kansas City, Kansas; Myka Doss of Central Point, Oregon; and Megan Lamb (Jon Kelly) of Bend, Oregon.
Honoring his wishes, there will be no funeral. If you wish to remember Steve in some way, contributions may be made to Glacier National Park Conservancy at Glacier.org or mail to Conservancy at P.O. Box 2749, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.