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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Captain
Age: 74
Year of Death: 2021

Ernest Ray Rudder

Ernest Ray “ER” Rudder was born on May 14, 1947, in London, Kentucky, to the late Birchell Rudder and Maxine (Overbay) Rudder. He was the oldest of three children. He attended Berea College and Cumberland College, receiving a Bachelor of Science in biology. He also received a master’s and Rank I in education from Eastern Kentucky University. He worked in the education field, teaching science and serving as a principal. He retired in 2000 after 30 years of service.

ER served as a founding member of Bush Volunteer Fire Department in London, Kentucky, in 1975. He served for 46 years as captain, firefighter/EMT, secretary, and treasurer of the board of trustees. He retired from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office as administrative sergeant in 2015 after 15 years of service. Through his many years of service in the education, fire, and police fields, he undoubtedly touched many lives.

ER was a kindhearted soul that loved God and his family. He attended Providence Missionary Baptist Church and served as a deacon and treasurer. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Judy Rudder, and his two children, Dawn Carpenter and Marc Rudder. He also leaves behind two granddaughters, two grandsons, and two great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by one granddaughter. Following in his footsteps, both children and two grandsons are active members in the fire service.

ER passed away on September 25, 2021, due to complications from duty related illness (COVID-19).

He lived by the verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13. He lived each day of his life embodying a man of Christ in his work and family.

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