On Sunday evening, December 30, 2018, our father, a patriot and truly inspirational man, joined his beloved Eloise in Heaven.
Rudolph Patrick Calabria, better known to many as Dr. Rudy, was born in Cambridge, Ohio, on January 1, 1924. He was a World War II veteran and used the GI Bill to attend college and continue on to dental school at The Ohio State University earning his DDS in 1951. He then completed his Oral Surgery Residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1953.
Rudy married Eloise Hudson while in New Orleans on November 2, 1951 and moved her to Dallas, where he opened a dental practice in the Stevens Park area of Oak Cliff. Rudy and Eloise raised 6 children there, spending their weekends in Red River County where Rudy was simultaneously building his lifelong dream of a working cattle ranch. He named the ranch Good Hope as a tribute to his beloved Eloise, her hometown being Good Hope, Illinois.
Rudy and Eloise were married for 66 years, sharing that rare kind of love and companionship that so few truly find in a relationship. They set a beautiful example for their children and grandchildren.
Dr. Rudy opened a second dental practice in Paris, Texas, and built his own clinic on the corner of 42nd street and HWY 82 in 1982 eventually making the Good Hope Ranch his permanent home. Dr. Rudy practiced general dentistry in Paris with his daughter, Dr. Patricia Calabria, and son, Dr. Tom Calabria until he retired in 2010 at the age of 87.
Dr. Rudy was a dedicated dentist and loved the art and science of dentistry, but his true second love, next to his Dear Sweet Eloise, was the Good Hope Ranch. Through sheer stubbornness and determination, he built a working cattle ranch from solid timber and kept it up and running for almost 60 years.
Dr. Rudy was a lifetime member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, The Dallas County Dental Society, and the North East Texas Dental Society. He and Eloise were faithful members of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Paris for over 40 years.
Dr. Rudy was preceded in death by his Italian immigrant parents, Jasper and Anna Calabria; his brothers Dr. J.C. Calabria and Dr. Jim Calabria of Dallas, Texas; sister Pauline Calabria Moore of Denver, Colorado; sister Mary Lou Calabria Hayes of Oakland, California; and an infant son, Tommy.
He is survived by his children, Michael and Eileen Emmett Calabria, Steve and Pat Calabria Laird, Bob and Pam Calabria Waggoner, Tom and Wendy Jetton Calabria, Ruth Calabria Moseley, and George and Beth Calabria Harrington; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rudy was truly a remarkable man, an inspiration to his children and grandchildren having lived the American Dream: the son of poor Italian immigrants working his way up from poverty through a successful career and property ownership.
A rosary for Dr. Rudy and Eloise, who passed away in April of 2018, will be held Friday January 11, at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. A celebration of the life and love of Rudy and Eloise will be held at Our Lady of Victory on Saturday January 12 following a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to The Alzheimer’s Association.
Contributions to the Dallas Area Alzheimer’s walk, Team Eloise’s Angels can be made online atact.alz.org/goto/EloisesAngeles, or by phone please call: Danelle Brown at 214-540-2471
Thank you for your outpouring of love and support.