Our precious, loved husband, father and friend, Ronnie Rudd, entered through the Heavenly Gates and hugged Jesus at 2:55 am on Monday, September 14, 2020.
Born in Winnie, Texas on February 28, 1942, to Eddie and Veta Mae Rudd, Ronnie grew up with a deep love of Christ and, in his own words, he believed that “The most personal relationship in any person’s life is their relationship with God. Nothing comes close to this.” His faith was an integral part of who he was. His earliest memory of church was walking to church (gasoline was rationed during WWII) at the age of three years old – all three boys dressed alike in “feed sack” clothes. His mother would always give him a penny or two for the collection plate. This was very important, because Baptists always did four things – they went to church when the doors were open, they gave money, they studied the Bible and they supported missionaries. His Christian journey was guided by his mother – “the finest Christian woman I ever met, who started me out right and loved me and showed me the right way all her life.” At age 10, at RA camp, he made his personal “profession of faith” in becoming a Christian. He was baptized the following Sunday morning.
The next day, the family packed up and moved to Hardin, Texas. The first week in Hardin, the family attended a party for new teachers. At the party, there was an eight-year-old girl climbing a tree. He thought she was pretty. But, more importantly, was the comment his father made to her – “I want you to be my little girl someday.” That little girl was Mary Agnes.
Three years later, the family moved to Liberty, Texas where they joined the same church that little girl attended. A few years later, they started to “date” (if you went to church together, and your parents were good friends, you could start dating at an early age, because it was “safe”). At the age of 14, Mary Agnes was the substitute organist/pianist and usually played on Sunday nights (remember the rule – you were always at church if the doors were open). When she got through playing, she would sit with Ronnie, and they would hold hands, much as they did 50 years later after she would play the organ at The Church at Horseshoe Bay.
On August 24, 1963, Ronnie and Mary Agnes were married at the First Baptist Church in Liberty, Texas and started their Christian journey together. Thus, he said that his “journey in Christian faith has been, for most of my life, one that has been shared and bolstered by a soul mate and fine Christian woman.” Mary Agnes and Ronnie attended church faithfully as newlyweds and made many church friends that are still friends to this day. They took their children to church from the beginning, and one of the true joys of Ronnie and Mary Agnes’ lives is that they have two good, Christian children.
Ronnie was Valedictorian of the Liberty High School Class of 1960. While in high school, he was on the Debate Team, a fact that contributed to his ease at speaking in public the rest of his life.
Ronnie was a distinguished alumnus of Baylor University. He joined Arthur Andersen in June of 1964 and became a CPA in 1966. He was made Partner in 1975. He became incredibly serious and active in his chosen CPA profession as well as its regulations.
Ronnie became President of the Houston Chapter of CPAs and, later, President of the Texas Society of CPAs. He was appointed by the governor to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and became the Chair in the third year of his six-year-term. During that tenure, the Accountancy Act went under legislative Sunset Review, and Ronnie led the efforts to modernize the Act in many ways that continue to this day.
Ronnie became active in NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) which works with all of the nation’s state boards. He became NASBA’s Board Chair in 1996. While at NASBA, he was instrumental in developing the Uniform Accountancy Act to streamline regulation among the states. He pioneered the idea of a computer-based CPA exam and other initiatives. Ronnie served as Chair of the CPA Examination Review Board and was a member of the AICPA Board of Examiners. He served on the AICPA 150 Hour Committee to initiate the five-year curriculum for CPAs.
Ronnie was a recipient of numerous awards and honors including: “Young CPA of the Year in Texas”; “Outstanding CPA Chapter President in Texas”; “Kenneth W. Hurst Fellow“; “Texas Society of CPAs Education Foundation“; “Meritorious Service to the Accounting Profession in Texas”; “TSCPA Honorary Fellow” and the highest award bestowed by NASBA, the “William Van Rensselaer Award.”
While his involvement with professional organizations was many, his career with Arthur Andersen was outstanding. He was Audit Practice Director for the firm from 1983 through 1994. He was then the Managing Partner for the San Antonio and Austin offices of Arthur Andersen until he retired in 2000.
After retirement, he and Mary Agnes moved to Horseshoe Bay where they built their dream home on top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. He became active playing golf, doing woodworking, doing his daily crossword puzzles, and spending time with his family and kitties.
He was very active in The Church at Horseshoe Bay and was treasurer of the church board. As an occasional lector for the church services, he was inspiring in his presentations on the background of our church hymns.
In 2019, Ronnie and a fellow church member designed, built and lovingly gave a magnificent 10-foot, mesquite and granite cross for our church sanctuary. This cross is a perfect reflection of Ronnie’s faith and love of Christ.
Ronnie served on the Llano ISD school board for 12 years, 10 of those as president. He was also very active in many other civic organizations.
Ronnie’s living family includes loving wife, Mary Agnes; daughter, Linda Rene’ Rudd; son, Ronnie Rudd, Jr.; and daughter-in-law, Kathy.
A week before Ronnie went to be with Jesus, God gave us these precious few moments that perfectly capture both his faith in Christ and his love for his family. https://youtu.be/275s9aa3ki8
In Ronnie’s words, he offered this simple prayer, “Thank you, God, for letting us take this family journey in Christian faith.”