Rudi T. Mizusawa

December 31, 1969


Past Services

Tuesday June 08, 2010

HAMPTON – Rudi T. Mizusawa, 50, passed away unexpectedly on Memorial Day. He was the third of six sons of George T. and Theodora Mizusawa, and was raised in an Air Force family that settled in Hampton. He is survived by his loving parents and five brothers, Manno, Bert, Rene, George and Gino.

Rudi was a top graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1983, and graduated from Kecoughtan High School in 1978. Rudi was one of Virginia’s top high school wrestlers and was the first to be commemorated in Kecoughtan’s Sports Hall of Fame. Rudi qualified as an Army parachutist, and after a brief career in the Corps of Engineers he was a self-employed general contractor. At the time of his passing, he was leading the ground operations for the congressional campaign of his brother Bert. Rudi was the proud biological father of Kaitlin Gaskin.

Private services will be held at a later date. Riverside-Altmeyer Funeral Home, 7415 River Rd., Newport News is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made by visiting

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Pete Martin
8 years ago

As a cadet, Rudi was one of our most talented classmates – whether it was getting straight “A” grades in subjects like Nuclear Physics, setting the Academy record for the Indoor Obstacle Course, or winning the Brigade Open in both boxing and wrestling – for him West Point was more often than not “another week in which to excel.”

He was my Beast roommate and tent mate during the monsoon at Lake Frederick in the Summer of ’79. He came to West Point following a year on the “Rat Line” at VMI. We often joked that he paid to get hazed that previous year, however his experiences at VMI translated into him singlehandedly carrying our squad and platoon through Beast – he was an expert in everything – bed making, shoe shining, poop learning, SAMI. He was never too busy to help one of his classmates in need…and we were a needy bunch of new cadets.

Rudi was able to make it to my hometown Peekskill a couple weekends and make the rounds with me at a few of the local establishments.

A modified verse from a favorite song of old plebe camp is in order –

Here’s a cup to brave Mizusawa, and all who like him die,

Their souls upon the battle smoke ascend the upper sky;

May the angels there attend him and show him where to go

And join his comrades gone before, with Benny Havens, oh!


Proud to Be ’83

Stewart Love
8 years ago

At West Point, Rudi had a special knack for making everything look so easy, which was an admirable and somewhat rare quality at an institution that prides itself on presenting its students with difficult decisions and challenges.

I’ll always remember Rudi fondly as not only a talented and gifted person, but also a good friend who was always willing to share his gifts and talents with his classmates.

Rudi was truly “one of a kind”. May he rest in peace.

With sympathy,

Stewart Love

USMA ’83

Paul Cino
8 years ago

Bert, Yvonne, the boys and Mizusawa Family,

Rudi and I became friends in H3 as classmates at West Point and I always marveled at the God given talent he had. He was a natural – great athlete and gifted student – not sure I ever saw him crack the books, but he was so smart he could get A’s. While we choked our way through the obstacle course Rudi smiled and breezed through to a course record. Most of all he was FUN – fun to talk to fun to hang around with, just a great person and friend. He made our lives better in H3 and helped us laugh through the tough times as a cadet for 3 years. We will miss you Rudi.

Bert Mizusawa
8 years ago


Rebecca W. Jones
8 years ago

Dear Mizusawa Family,

Please accept my deepest sympathy on the passing of Rudi. I am a fellow West Point classmate of Rudi’s. I pray you find peace and comfort during this time of loss.

Very respectfully,

Becky Jones

Alice McDonald
8 years ago

Dear Mizusawa Family,

I am so sorry for your lost. I hope you can take rest that Rudi is with God and he is at peace.

Alice Falconer McDonald

from Alamo Court

Shelly HertachDavis
8 years ago

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Mizusawa,

I am so so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your beautiful son Rudi. Rudi and I were great buddies in High School. I will never forget his incredible bright spirit! He truly made every human he came in contact with, feel honored and respected.No matter what was going on in your life, Rudi would crack his beautiful smile and all your worries would fade away! Thank you God for allowing all of us to share in the life of such a wonderful man. Rudi, Rest in peace my friend and I look forward to the day we meet again! Blessings to you all!

Shelly Hertach Davis

Anne & John Ottobre
8 years ago

Dear Mr.& Mrs. Mizusawa & Family:

I had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting Rudi through my

neice, Joann Spina,over thirty years ago.

Aside from his indisputable intelligence and shining personality I was most impressed by

his humility and grace.

May you find peace in the knowledge

that Rudi was so loved and will never be forgotten.


Anne Ottobre

Chuck Smith
8 years ago

Edith and I express our sincerest condolences, and send our prayers to Bert and the family. We pray that God’s Peace will shine upon you at this difficult moment, and help to guide you through this difficult time. And we pray that God’s Grace will shine upon Rudi, a dedicated servant, a dedicated son, brother and father, now on his final journey and walk with God.

Patty Gentry Rumburg
8 years ago

I am so sorry to hear about Rudi’s passing. I lived directly behind you’ll across the canal in Hampton. I remember I had the BIGGEST crush on him! My dad, Coach Gentry, use to drive him home every now and again I think he had a broken leg, or injury and I would be in the back seat captivated with his every word! Your son was very special and again, I am truly sorry for your loss. ~Patty Gentry Rumburg

Rob Welker
8 years ago

I have very fond memories of Rudi. I used to love coming to his and Gino’s house on King St and hanging out, playing cards and video games. He was such a great person and good friend to me in the time I hung out over there. He will be truly missed but never forgotten.

John Moon
8 years ago

I just found out yesterday 31 MAR 11 that Rudi had passed. He and I attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course together and became close friends. We lost touch over the years but I will always cherish the memories of our friendship.



LTC John Moon


Evelyn Shaw nee Stanten
8 years ago

It is with great sadness that I hear of Rudi’s untimely death. Rudi & I were great pals in high school & I have fond memories of us just hanging out together. My condolences go out to Rudi’s family. My younger brother died a couple of months ago so I very much feel your pain.

christopher drozd
8 years ago

It was an honor to have known you in High School, Rudi. Rest peacefully.

And, to the Mizusawa family: I’m sorry to hear of Rudi’s passing. My thoughts are with you.

Bryan Laity
8 years ago

My sincerest condolences to the Mizusawa family.

I and several other mutual friends since childhood were proud to call Rudi a friend and share in your loss.

Keith Pizzeck
8 years ago

Rudi and I became friends when his family moved to Fox Grove Drive in the 1970’s. We remained friends through our years at KHS as he became an accomplished wrestler for the Warriors. We lost contact with each other over the years, but I was hoping to reconnect through his brother’s Campaign. Until we meet again Rudi…RIP

Greg Brouillette
8 years ago

Rudi and I had several classes together plebe year. He was a great guy and will be missed.



George & Megan Mizusawa
8 years ago

Rudi had a great outlook on life, an impressive smile and sense of humor. These are only a few of the wonderful things about him that his niece and I will always remember. He was a beloved brother and Uncle and will be dearly missed.

Yvonne F. Mizusawa, Mark, Michael and Eric
8 years ago

Rudi was a beloved brother-in-law and a friend and mentor to his nephews. Rudi, we will miss your warm smile and quick wit and know that you are in a better place.

Chris McCrane
8 years ago

Rudi was a great friend in high school. We were on the KHS wrestling team for many years. I was always wondering what he was up to after the KHS class of ’78 graduation. I tried searching for him a few months ago on FACEBOOK, but couldn’t find him. I wanted to know how he was doing. Peace to you Rudi and his family.

Doc Gant
8 years ago

Rudi was a great guy to have around during our plebe year in F1. God bless him, his family and all of us who will miss him.

Tom Fish
8 years ago

Rudi was a prince among men. When we were at West Point together he was my friend, my brother, my teacher, and in many respects my hero.

Joel Johnson
8 years ago

Rudi was a true friend and an outstanding classmate. I got to know Rudi best at the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Ft. Belvoir. Rudi was clearly the most talented of us and, for all who had the privelege of knowing and working with him, he made our life enjoyable. Over 25 years later I still fondly recall our time together. Rudi will truly be missed. My condolences to Rudi’s family and friends. “Proud to Be” a friend and classmate of Rudi’s, no matter how short the time was.


USMA ’83

John Agostini
8 years ago

Rudi was one of those classmates at West Point that was good at everything and made it all look easy. Yet, it never went to his head and no one was more friendly than Rudi. My condolences to his family. Be thou at Peace, brother.

John Agostini

USMA ’83

John Monk
8 years ago

Rudi was one of those guys who could find a way to help a wayward laidback California boy survive beast barracks at West Point in the summer of 1979. He helped me learn the Army way. Whether it was shining shoes, learning how to march or trying to memorize everything we had to learn Rudi was always there helping others and bringing humor with his stories of the “Rat Line” from his time at VMI. He was a loyal classmate and a helpful friend. He is in the Monk family prayers and is remembered with fondness.

Tim&Candis Berube
8 years ago

Rudi was someone you could count on if you needed a hand or just a friend to lean on.

Rudi will live on in our hearts. We will miss him, and cherish the wonderful memories he left with us.

Rick McKiddie
8 years ago

Rudi was such a quality person and stood out among the other great folks at West Point. May God bless you during this difficult time. Well done Rudi.

Julie Seals Scotton
8 years ago

Rudi, I knew you at KHS and you always had a smile and a nice word. When people mention your family name, everyone smiles. I’m so sorry to hear the world has lost a special person like you and I wish your family and friends peace. I know you will all be together again, when the time is right. RIP, Rudi.

8 years ago

Rudi, I regret that we never got to be closer than classmates because the words that I read here remind me what impressed me about you the few times that we did meet.

Rest easy friend.


Marty Bobroske
8 years ago

Rudi, was a great guy and always knew how to turn the negative into a positive. His dedication to his family could not have been better demonstrated than working on his brother’s campaign. Be thou at peace.

Jerry Jackson
8 years ago

Rudy was a great cadet, superb officer and a great friend to those fortunate enough to know him. The world is a lesser place without him.

Ken Humphries
8 years ago

Rudy was a great guy who led us all in so many ways. I regret not keeping in touch over the years since graduation from WP. My prayers to the family left behind

Reg and Dee Berube
8 years ago

Sincerest condolences to the Mizusawa family. We knew Rudi and his wonderful family while he was still in high school. We know he will be missed by his parents, brothers and all his friends.

May God bless your family in this very difficult time. Our prayers are with you.

robert plummer
8 years ago


I am so sorry to hear about Rudi’s passing. Your brother and I were Company mates in H3 at West Point, for the three years following plebe year. We first met at Camp Buckner, and he was an integral part of our Company – which was our family for that time. I will never forget his quiet form of strength, although it took me many years to appreciate it.

Rudi was one of the most remarkable men I have ever known. He was physically strong, but it was his mental toughness that really impressed me. He was the first one to teach me the power of the mind and mental toughness. His accomplishments were the stuff of legend: whether it be in the boxing ring, or in the classroom or competing in Sandhurst, Rudi never settled for second best from himself and drove those of us around him to be better. He helped us all improve in the process.

He was constantly thinking about every aspect of the task at hand, and constantly trying to do it even better or faster. In one case, I remember just like it was yesterday, when he had come up with a new technique for tying our MOPP boots so that we could shave seconds off the time for the Sandhust competition. He came into my room and was saying, “look at this, if we just set the boots up this way, I know we can cut our time down.” I was startled to see how much energy he was willing to devote to this minor detail. Our team won Sandhust that year.

I am afraid that I did not stay in touch with Rudi following graduation. Our paths never crossed again, but I was very saddened to hear of his sudden passing. I know that he wrestled with his demons, as all men do. My prayer for him is that he won more battles than he lost.

Please know that he is in our prayers and that we grieve with you and your family.

Robert Plummer

USMA ‘83

Allison Gaskin
8 years ago

Sixteen years ago today I was blessed by having the very best part of Rudi come into my life. For her I will eternally be in his debt. Thank you, Rudi…

Lee Gillespie
8 years ago

The world has lost a great person and an example to all. We knew each other at West Point and eanjoyed working on projects together and just talking about life. We will miss him, but he will live on forever in our thoughts and memories.

Phillip and Elizabeth Panzarella
8 years ago

To Bert, Yvonne and the Mizusawa Family,

We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Rudi is part of our West Point Family and we will certainly miss him. Our prayers are with you, Rudi and his beloved family.

God Bless You All

Class of ’79

8 years ago

To Gino and the Entire Mizusawa Family.

Our family is very sorry for your loss, Are thoughts and prayers are w/ you at this time.

Lindsay Frisco Cimon & Family

The Peeples Family
8 years ago

To the entire Mizusawa Family.

Our family is very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. May all the memories comfort you in the days ahead

Bruce Berube
8 years ago

To the Mizusawa family.I’m so sorry. We had some good times. Rudi will be sorely missed. Rudi you will live in your friends hearts and memories forever. May God Bless you and your family.

Bert Mizusawa
8 years ago

Today marks the one year anniversary of Rudi’s passing. I cannot convey to you all how much your words of support and fond remembrance have meant to those who were closest to Rudi. On behalf of the family, thank you so very much. my very best, Bert Mizusawa

8 years ago

Very Sorry for the loss to the whole family.

Going as far back to KHS school days he was always friendly to me and many others,and always outgoing, sporting, and full of Spirit.

He will be missed.

James McAree
8 years ago

West Point room-mate and friend. Would have liked to toss a football with you again, the “Raymond Berry” special always worked!! You and the Mizusawa family are in our thoughts and prayers. Jim