Age 91, passed away Friday, May 20, 2022. He was born in Indianapolis, IN, on August 19, 1930 to Joseph and Bertha Schindwolf. He was raised and lived much of his life on Long Island, New York and later moved to New Mexico in 1975.
Rudy was an electrical engineer, earning a bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute (1951), and a master’s degree (1955) and Ph.D. (1962) from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He made significant contributions to the nation’s defense capability, the space program, and alternative energy research. His work in the ‘60s and ‘70s developing the Lunar Module (LM) for the Apollo Space Program with Grumman Aerospace played a critical role in successfully landing the first men on the moon. He also developed the “LM Lifeboat” return trajectory that rescued the Apollo 13 astronauts following the catastrophic service module failure on their spacecraft. He spent the final 20 years of his career working on national defense and solar energy application programs at Sandia National Laboratories. During that time, he also served as a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of New Mexico.
Rudy married Yolanda Jimenez on August 1, 1953, in Lancaster, CA while he was serving in the U.S. Marine Corp. They were married for 65 years until her death in 2018. A devoted husband, family man, and world traveler, Rudy took his wife and their 4 children on adventures throughout the United States and all over the world. Through retirement, he and his wife enjoyed even more frequent vacations and cruises. Rudy enjoyed skiing, tennis, baseball, home improvement projects, and making furniture. Skiing was a particular interest; he built 2 chalets and bought stock in a ski area to allow his family of 6 to enjoy weekend ski trips in Vermont. He continued skiing into his 80’s. He was a member of the Edelweiss on the Rio Grande German American Club, the Officer’s Club, and St. Joseph’s on the Rio Grande Catholic Church, where he was a Eucharistic Minister.
Rudy was preceded in death by his wife, Yolanda, and his parents. He is survived by his children; sons, Eric, Karl, and Paul Schindwolf; daughter, Karen Wallentinsen; 5 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
Rosary will be held on Thursday evening, June 16, 2022 - 7:00 PM at Sara Chapel, located in Vista Verde Memorial Park, 4310 Sara Road, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. Mass will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022 - 9:00 AM at St Joseph’s on the Rio Grande Catholic Church, 5901 St. Joseph’s Dr NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120, followed by burial at Vista Verde Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a memorial contribution to a local school or university.