Former Jefferson Township trustee, Farm Bureau member, West Jefferson community leader and business owner Rudolph E. “Rudy” Denes, 79, died Friday, Dec. 29 at his home.
Denes was born in Elyria, to Hungarian immigrants Rose and Frank Denes. He was a graduate of Elyria Catholic High School and a veteran of the United States Army. He started his working career as petroleum manager at Cuyahoga County Landmark Cooperative.
At 28, he became the Organizational Director of Erie, Huron, Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties Region with the Ohio Farm Bureau at the same time operating the family farm. In 1970, Denes was promoted to supervisor for the Southwest Region with the Ohio Farm Bureau and moved his family to West Jefferson. In 1978, he took a position as Regional Director with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Along with his wife Joan, Rudy operated Denes Tree Farm, which they started in 1976. Always active in his community, Rudy served the West Jefferson Community in numerous ways. He served as Jefferson Township Trustee from 2002-2011, was a member of the West Jefferson Community Association, was a supporter of Madison County Hospice, a Keystone member of Madison County Hospital, an active supporter of WJYAA — sponsoring many youth sports teams, was an avid hunter and fisherman who supported many conservation groups in Madison County.
His “fourth” child was the West Jefferson Ox Roast, where he wanted everybody in the community to come together and enjoy a good sandwich. Rudy loved spending time with his family and he had a great love for the outdoors. Always helping those in need, Rudy was ready to lend a helping hand to his friends and neighbors. Rudy was an active and faithful parishioner of Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Frank Denes; brothers, Frank, Louie and Jim Denes; sister, Sue Sidley; nephews, Jim, Christopher, Tom and Patrick Denes and Bob Sidley; and his granddaughter, Logan Elizabeth Denes.
Rudy is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Joan; his children, Joe (Angie) Denes of Marengo, Ohio, Steve (Lori) Denes of London, and Nancy (Terry) Sparks of West Jefferson; grandchildren, Jordan, Riley, Landon and Ryan Denes, Taylor, Lindsey, Mitchell and Sarah Denes and Nicole Sparks, Travis (Ashley) Sparks and Natalie (Jeremy) McCoy; great-grandchildren, Ella and Hunter Sparks; sister-in-law, Patricia Jackson of Elyria; brother-in-law, Paul (Sharen) Jarvis of Plain City; other family members and many good friends.
The family would like to thank the staff of Loving Care Hospice of London and Comfort Keepers of Hilliard for their care.
His family will welcome friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, at Sts. Simon and Jude Roman Catholic Church, 9350 High Free Pike, West Jefferson, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 with Father William A. Metzger, Celebrant. Burial will follow the Mass at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, West Jefferson.
Memorial donation can be made to: The Rudy and Joan Denes Scholarship Fund, c/o West Jefferson Community Association, P.O. Box 102, West Jefferson, OH 43162.
The Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home, West Jefferson, assisted the family. Please visit www.radermcdonaldtiddfuneralhome.com to send condolences.