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Sept. 2, 1943 – Dec. 7, 2022
Mondragon obit pic

While some retirees spend most of their time on the golf course or traveling the world, Grandpa Rudy, Papa Rudy, or Pop, as we affectionately called him, spent his golden years supporting the grandchildren and children he loved dearly. He frequently picked up kids from school, made afternoon snacks, washed clothes and dishes, and provided extra love until their parents got home from work. In addition, he attended every soccer, basketball, and lacrosse game, track meet, rain or shine, jiu-jitsu match, art performance, and celebration he could.

Pop and his love were the constant in our lives, a pillar on which we often leaned. But, of course, most of the community knew and loved our Papa Rudy, too. His smile and laughter were infectious, and his energy was unmatched. Born in New Mexico, Rudy spent his childhood years swimming in the canals and milking cows on farms in Oakdale, California, and his adult years in Hayward, California, where he enjoyed running, often competitively, participating at professional speeds in the Boston Marathon and the California International Marathons and many other 10K events in which he routinely finished at the top of his age group. He was often spotted running through the Hayward Hills, training and inspiring other runners to do the same.

He built a career with Continental White Cap in Hayward, California, as the Human Resources Manager before retiring and moving to Eugene, Oregon, after his first grandchild was born. Rudy loved watching sports, singing, especially Andrea Bocelli or Sade, dancing, and visiting family and friends in California and New Mexico when he could.

Rudy leaves behind three children (and their spouses), Tara (and her husband Victor Hugo); Sean (and his wife Shara), and Melanie (and her husband Richard); three grandchildren (aka, “his everythings”), Lilli, Olivia, and Sophia; three bonus daughters, Andrea, Isabella, and Anita; eight bonus grandchildren, Danté, Fatima, Tupac, Inti, Lena, William, Rosalía, and Andrew; his granddog, Ivy, the only one that could keep up with him; and two sisters, Julie and Viola, and many nieces and nephews.

His brother George and two sisters, Rita and Lorraine, preceded him in death.

We miss Rudy (aka Papa) immensely and hope you will join us in celebrating his legacy on Saturday, July 8, 2023, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Cal State University, East Bay VBT Gallery and Lawn Area in Hayward, California. For those interested, in lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that you donate to Alzheimer’s disease research (e.g., Alzheimer’s Association) in honor of Rudy MonDragon.

Meanwhile, we are sure that our beloved Pop is as busy as ever, running and exploring the big blue yonder, where he is undoubtedly spreading love and laughter and training for his next big marathon.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

June 28, 2023