DANVILLE — Pictures and figurines of angels grace the home of Mary Rudy. Those who know her from her nursing career or from Carter Metropolitan CME Church see an angelic spirit in her.
So, it’s only appropriate that Rudy should be chosen as a Commercial-News Christmas Angel.
“Mrs. Rudy is a wonderful woman with the heart of an angel,” Darla Keys wrote in her nomination letter. “This woman has prayed with me, prayed for me. She has listened to my ups and downs, and suggested solutions. When I have been hospitalized, she prayed for me and visited me.
“Having her in my life, you can say God has sent me an angel.”
She added, “Most of all, I appreciate when we are about to hang up and she says ‘I love you.’ It has been wonderful having her in my life.”
Both women are members of Carter Metropolitan, where Rudy is exhorter and stewardess, and has taught Wednesday Bible study for 21 years.
Rudy described Keys as a sweet person and a hard worker at the church. When Keys asks for prayers, Rudy said it makes her feel good to find out later that the prayers were answered.
The best gift you can give someone, Rudy said, is a listening ear and some positive advice. Also, make sure you don’t disconnect yourself from God.
“When you have a good relationship with God, nothing is impossible,” she said. Even when your prayers aren’t answered, she added, “We still give him praise, honor and thanks, and try to do what he wants us to do.”
Rudy, who will be 72 in February, learned some strong values while growing up in Danville.
“My grandmothers taught me to treat people the way you want to be treated,” she said. “I was taught to respect my elders, say ‘Yes, ma’m’ or ‘Yes, sir,’ and call them ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’”
She also learned, “If you have something to say, speak your mind as God wants us to.”
The grandmothers also stressed the importance of dating and signing a name to paperwork, which keeps a person accountable for what he has written.
Rudy had a long career as a licensed practical nurse before retiring in 2000. She worked at hospitals in Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif., and every nursing home in Danville, except Logan Health Care. She held positions such as charge nurse, supervisor and director of nurses.
“I loved nursing,” she said. “I enjoyed taking care of the elderly. They’re the ones who are forgotten.”
She liked working third shift, and then greeting the residents with a smile in the morning — something to start their day right. When you’re in the nursing field, she said, it’s important to care.
Rudy has survived health issues in the past, including a brain tumor in 2000 and cancer in 2008.
Those hardships haven’t dimmed her faith. “All in all, I have to say God has been good to me. God just blesses me every day,” she said.
One of those blessings is her family, including: husband, Ron; mother, Anna Thompson of Danville; four daughters, Tebrysa Matchem of Rocky Mount, N.C., Tedranne Bowman of Tampa, Fla., and Treva Easley and Ronielle Rudy, both of Danville; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.