Rudy Norton has been a Volunteer Guide at the Historic Odessa Foundation for the last ten years. He began this third career in 2008. Like many of the foundation’s volunteer staff Rudy is a former educator.
He earned his B.S Degree in Physical Science from Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD and then continued his education earning his MS in Historical Physical Science from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH. Rudy’s lifelong dedication to teaching made him the perfect candidate for the position of historic interpreter!
Rudy came to the foundation after 43 years of service in the public education. He left teaching after working 14 years as a math and science instructor at the Bel Air Middle School, Bel Air, MD. He then accepted an position with the Delaware State Education Association becoming an National Education Association UNIServ Director; working on behalf of public school employees in New Castle County, DE. It was here in Delaware that he met and became friends with Jeff and Carla Pyle in the late 1970’s. After 29 years Rudy retired for the second time. However, his friend Carla didn’t let Rudy relax for long! She recruited him as a volunteer guide for the Historic Odessa Foundation. As the story goes…Carla cornered him at one of her famous Christmas dinners. Rudy would say “Carla twisted my arm” and Carla would say “I persistently coaxed him until he gave in”.
Rudy is a confident and successful docent based on the many excellent comments received from both visitors and his fellow colleagues. He says he is “thankful to be part of a group of volunteers who give so much to what they love doing”. Rudy freely expresses his pride in the Historic Odessa Foundation and the efforts staff and volunteers make to maintain the highest standards of historic accuracy. Coming from the world of historical science… he fully endorses and promotes the organizations policy documentation… documentation…documentation! In his own words “if we can’t prove it, we don’t support it’. It is these very sentiments that make Rudy the excellent interpreter that he is!
Rudy is an avid track and field fan. He travels across the country every year to attend various meets. His favorite track events include the Milrose Indoor Games held in February in New York; the Penn Relays held in April in Philadelphia; the IC4A held in May in Princeton, NJ; and the Division I Collegiate Track and Field Championships held in June in Eugene, OR. Rudy is encyclopedic in his knowledge of Track and Field sports! Rudy’s favorite reading subjects and video-viewing pastimes span science fiction, American and European History, and mathematics. His favorite recreation is travel, and his most time consuming hobby is the online research required to buy and sell on eBay!
Rudy will celebrate his birthday on August 3rd turning 83 years young! It is with reluctance and great regret that Historic Odessa Foundation accepts Rudy’s notice of retirement. July will mark the end of Rudy’s career as Historic Odessa Volunteer Guide. His fellow docents and receptionists, staff, and many museum members who have come to know Rudy will sorely miss him. Rudy remains a member of the Historic Odessa family and we all look forward to welcoming his attendance and participation at museum workshops and events. Historic Odessa Foundation has been indeed fortunate to count Rudy among its most ardent supporters.
Thank you Rudy for all that you do!