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RUDKIN, Raymond “Alan”

January 6, 1927 – November 22, 2011

Alan’s time on earth, January 6, 1927 to November 22, 2011 ended in the family home surrounded by his family including his beloved dogs Phoenix and Molly.

Alan’s time was full of opportunity and discovery and he utilized these by leading a very full life of academic and professional achievement, generosity, kindness and adventure. The picture is just a vignette of his complex, multi-faceted life; the release of CWRS facility Hawks and white-tailed deer back to the wild.

He will be missed by his loving wife of 60 years, Frances Rudkin, his children, Gail Johnson of Calgary, Dr. David Rudkin of Calgary, Jane Rudkin of Calgary and Dr. Bruce (Annelieke) Rudkin of Rocky Mountain House. He was also fortunate to have had six loving grandchildren. Andrea, Natalie, Scott, Diana, Tessa and Dryden

Everything Alan achieved in his life was based on his own initiative, personal strength and purpose – he grew up with no opportunities harassed by an evil stepfather, but was able to overcome these early life challenges. He was very kind and generous to his own family and vowed to give them all the support and opportunities he didn’t have – to explore all that life has to offer – education, travel, sports, recreational properties etc.

After High School in Edmonton, Alan joined the army and volunteered for an American led military mission to the South Pacific. Fortunately WWII ended before his disembarkation. He returned to Edmonton and got a BSC in Geology from the University of Alberta then a year of graduate work at the University of Washington. Alan began work in the Exploration Research Department of Imperial Oil in 1950 then married Frances (a nurse) in 1951.

His Career began with one of his life’s biggest adventures, the geological reconnaissance and mapping of the Arctic Archipelago. In 1959, Imperial Oil, along with three other companies were the first ones to receive the newly developed Canadian Government permits for oil exploration in the Canadian Arctic. Alan made preparations for the exploration party to spend the 1960 summer season camping while covering over 600 miles of the major geological provinces. Prior to their arrival on the island, very few people other than Inuits had camped out for the entire summer of the archipelago.

While exploring Devon Island, Alan’s expedition group found several rock cairns constructed by British explorer Sir Edward Belcher’s ship’s crew more than a century before. The metal containers found in the cairns held letters and maps written by Sir Belcher regarding their ongoing search for the missing Franklin Expedition.

In the mid 1950’s he taught Petroleum Geology at SAIT, wrote the “Lower Cretaceous of Western Canada” for the ASPG Atlas for which he won the Link award in 1961. He went out on his own in 1968 as R.A. Rudkin Consultants Ltd. Alan then became the President and Vice-President of a group of companies within Canada and the United States, including Petromark Minerals Ltd and Bluesky Oil and Gas Ltd.

Alan retired at 51 years and spent the remainder of his life spending time adventure travelling with family and friends, constantly giving his children advice (unfortunately he was often right) as well as on many adventures with Frances who was just as adventurous as he was. Alan contributed to wildlife causes including the Canadian Wilds at the Calgary Zoo where he was also Trustee for many years, and enjoyed meeting and working with the fascinating people who are a part of the wildlife education and conservation thing worldwide.

Alan also really enjoyed hiking and cross country skiing with the annuitant group and golfing at the Earl Grey. Our family will be having a reception to celebrate his life and hope that many of his friends will be able to come. We do not have a date for the reception but will run the obituary again when this is determined. According to his wishes, his cremated remains will be scattered in a special place and anyone who is in Fish Creek Park on the Bow River path near the Ranche Restaurant may want to take a break on Alan and Frances’s bench. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Al Rudkin, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Gary and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Family. Al was kind, generous and always interested in what we had to say and how we were doing in life. Although it has been several years since we last visited, the memories of our interactions still surface easily. He will be missed but not forgotten.

    Tracey Ball and Gary Reynolds

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  2. Carol Patterson :

    Al will leave a huge hole in all our lives. I first met Al on safari in Africa and his charisma was evident from the start. We served on the zoo board together for many years and he was always generous with his tremendous knowledge of business and science. I loved his stories and was honored to hear his presentation on his early days exploring the Canadian Arctic. Al was one of a kind and our world is a sadder place with his passing.

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  3. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of Al. He and I worked together at Imperial Oil in the 1950’s and I always found him to be a gentle but strong geologist. The world is a better place because Al was part of our lives and the oil business in Western Canada.
    David Stauft

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  4. Garth and Barbara Greenwood :

    To Fran and family, our sincere sympathy at Al’s passing. Al was a great geologist and naturalist. I will miss his humour and the many golf games we had together.

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  5. Sandy Hutcheson :

    Sandy & Joy we offer our condolences to the entire family. We will miss Alan.
    Sandy and Joy Hutcheson

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  6. Heather Johnson :

    My sincere condolences to the Rudkin family. I remember several visits to your beautiful Springbank family home. While I only met Al a few times I heard many stories of his ongoing adventures from Jane, Bruce and David and know the respect and admiration they held for their father. May memories hold strong.

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  7. Gordon and Joan Holland :

    To Fran and Family – our sincere condolences and sypathy on the loss of Al – he was an unique individual and there will never be another Al – we will miss his many stories – he had a remakable memory – our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  8. Jeanne and Stuart Rogers :

    We send our sympathy and kind regards to Fran and the rest of the family on Alan’s passing. He was fortunate to have achieved so much in his lifetime and will be missed by his Annuitant associates.

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  9. Fran and family,
    Our sincere sympathys.
    Ruth Grande

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  10. Our sincere sympathy to the Rudkin family in the passing of your patriarch. I never met Alan, but thoroughly enjoyed working for David for several years while he practiced in Mayerthorpe.

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  11. Myron and Joy Kirik :

    Joy and I send our condolences and deepest sympathy to Frances and family on Al’s passing. I met Al for the first time at the Calgary Zoo Educational Committee meetings in the late 1980’s. We had a lot of interesting discussions about the care of wildlife in captivity and the educational function of the Zoo. Al was very knowledgeable about wildlife, their habitat and how wildlife fits into the broader education of young children. Al was everyman’s naturalist and commanded a lot of respect from Zoo management and staff. I will surely miss Al for what he added to the quality of life around Calgary.

    Myron Kirik

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  12. Catherine Harradence :

    I was so very sorry to hear of Mr. Rudkin’s passing. It is a difficult time for family and friends so please know Jane that my thoughts are with you and your family. Although I never met Mr. Rudkin I so enjoyed hearing Jane’s amusing and loving stories about her father! Jane often mentioned that our fathers knew one another. I still have the pussywillows from the arrangement that Jane sent when my father passed away. So Jane I often think of you and will be as you celebrate your father’s incredible life.

    Catherine Harradence

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