RIP Rolf Rudestam (CalRU66)

We share similar memories, RC66, as we were there together. I was in a Geology Lab….the old WWII Quanset Hut next to the then Student “Store”. As the lab was long…I took a break to go buy a coke and when checking out the radio broadcast first broke. I went back to the class and prof to let them know and we went from there.

As I walked across campus to Union St. it was surreal. Students were exiting all classes….walking slowly and silently with tears…to wherever they lived.

I spent the next two plus days in front of the TV with my frat brothers watching all else play out. Conversations were tough to have…We did not care, really, that the football game was canceled because none of us would have gone anyway.

It is a memory etched in my life.

Posted on 11/23 1:45 AM | IP: Logged

* * *


I’ve stared at my computer for the last few minutes trying to find a way to post this, as I know many of us have forged strong connections to one another over the years. One of those people who has touched all of our hearts on this message board was Rolf Rudestam (CalRU66), who always seemed to put difficult situations in context and deliver it in a way that would unite our community.

It is with great sadness that I share the news of his passing. Rolf suffered a stroke Sunday morning and passed away suddenly.

I will share information soon about how you can send a card of sympathy to his wife. If you have a memory of Rolf, please post it here. I would love to print the thread and send it to her, as I think your thoughts will surely touch her.

Rolf will be missed. I can’t begin to express how much he has contributed to this message board over the years.

-John Otterstedt

Posted on 11/30 11:51 AM | IP: Logged

The first quote text is the last post made by Rolf Rudestam (aka CalRU66) on the recruiting board. It was a remembrance of where he was and what he was doing on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The second post notes Mr. Rudestam’s untimely death this past Sunday as a result of a stroke he suffered.

Rolf Rudestam was well-liked and appreciated for his wealth of knowledge about Rutgers University, football, and life in general on In many ways, through his posts, board members were treated to lessons on civility, history, business savvy, and life, usually in one post.

Regrettably, I was not fortunate enough to meet him face-to-face, but his love of life and desire to support and advance society were clear and definitive in each of his posts. His love of his Swedish-American heritage was clear as was his passion for everything – his life, his family, his career. It was apparent through his posts that he truly believed and lived the words found in his signature at the end of each post:

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

To give just a glimpse into his love and support for his alma mater, consider the following. Several years ago, an unpopular action was taken to fire Robert Mulcahy, then Athletic Director of the University. A number of alumni banded together in an ultimately failed attempt to support and reinstate Mr. Mulcahy. During one of the many meetings that were held on the issue, Mr. Rudestam was asked why he would want to involve himself. His response was:

“…When asked, and I will be, why I precipitate such an action I will answer honestly:
1. I have never lived in NJ save for my four years as a student. I came from a immigrant family of less than modest means and was fortunate to have been named a Rutgers Scholar.

2. I owe those four years to a University I have loved ever since and feel obligated to pay that debt by always doing the best for Rutgers then, now and in the future.”

Without question he will be missed. His posts on so many topics were intelligent, reasoned, and grounded, speaking from experience and a quality of education, both from Rutgers and through dint of his own effort.

May his family find solace in knowing that he enriched not only their lives, but the lives of this family as well.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

-John Donne: a passage from 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

Rest in Peace, Rolf of Rutgers

About VigilantKnight

Living life on my terms.
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3 Responses to RIP Rolf Rudestam (CalRU66)

  1. Greg says:

    Rolf was one of the “founders” of the public relations community in Orange County, CA. It’s with sad hearts that we learn of this news.

  2. I found the news of Rolf’s untimely passing on Facebook last night and also stared at the screen in disbelief. This morning I shared the news via FB with members of the Orange County public relations community – and now am hearing from others who are equally stunned and saddened by the news.

    While I have not talked with him lately and only shared a few Facebook comments and messages, he was one of those people you one assumes will always be there. His passion for life and his profession will be missed by all.

    – Holly Billings Barnett
    Formerly with Jansen Associates, Orange County, California

  3. As a young PR professional in the 80’s, I was most fortunate to have Rolf Rudestam as a mentor. I am so very sad to learn that he has passed away. I learned a tremendous amount about public relations and supervising people when I worked for Rolf at Jansen Associates. Rolf had a wealth of knowledge about the field but more important, he had great integrity and truly cared about people. He was never too busy to weigh in on a client issue or brainstorm ideas. I learned from Rolf that managing people is about listening and being kind. His generous spirit and humor will live on.

    Joan Gladstone, Jansen Associate 82-84, 87-88

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