Cover photo for Donald L. Rudd, Sr.'s Obituary
Donald L. Rudd, Sr. Profile Photo
1932 Donald L. Rudd, Sr. 2024

Donald L. Rudd, Sr.

February 10, 1932 — June 19, 2024

Davenport, Iowa

Donald L. Rudd, Sr., 92, of Davenport, Iowa, died Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at Select Specialty Hospital, Davenport. 

Graveside Services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, at Rock Island National Cemetery, where the Moline American Legion Post #246 will present military honors. Those wishing to attend should meet in the parking lot at Trimble Pointe, 701 12th Street, Moline, at 10:15 a.m. Memorials may be made St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Davenport, or the Humane Society of Scott County.

Donald Lee Rudd was born February 10, 1932, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Herbert and Amelia (Wilson) Rudd. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and went on to marry the love of his life, Rita Sulser, on May 30, 1980, in Davenport. 

He was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. He loved western movies and books, and enjoyed reading Michael Grisham and Zane Grey novels. He was an avid Los Angeles Dodgers and Iowa Hawkeyes’ fan and, along with his wife, had a good group of friends that got together regularly.

Don’s career was also his passion. He was a riverboat pilot for the Corps of Engineers for 35 years, retiring in February of 1987. He continued working as a pilot until he was 82 years old. The river was his “happy place”. The only thing that made him happier was when he was spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. 

Don is survived by his wife, Rita; nine children, Donald (Evelyn) Rudd, Jr. of Wheeling, Illinois, Allen (Donna) Rudd of Donaldson, Iowa, Robert (Susie) Rudd of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Steve Rudd of Des Moines, Iowa, Richard (Angela) Rudd of Omaha, Nebraska, Debra (Michael) Heffernan of East Troy, Wisconsin, Linda (Ron Cinadr) Ponsetto-Cinadr of Bettendorf, Michael (Monta) Ponsetto of Rock Island, and Lisa (Raymond Green) Ponsetto-Green of Hillsdale, Illinois; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Dick, Paul and Tom Rudd, Irene Dunn, and Marcella “Amy” Jaffe. 

The family invites friends to share stories and condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald L. Rudd, Sr., please visit our flower store.


Visits: 312

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree