Obituary of Rudy Carrol Beddingfield
Rudy Carrol Beddingfield, 82, aka Captain Chaos and Mandad, spent his last day on December 19, 2022, complaining about the price of alfalfa hay, and having ice cream at Ridge Island Groves. He sat in his favorite chair to rest one last time while waiting for his perpetually late children to take him to Gary’s Oyster Bar.
He was born in a boarding house on November 1, 1940, in Lake Alfred, Florida, to Rudell and Nell Beddingfield. He is survived by Freida Hart, his partner in life, siblings Greta Lindsay and Mark Beddingfield, children Stefani, Julie and Ty Beddingfield, four grandchildren and his adorable “grand-pipsqueak” Cheyenne. He would want us to mention that Julie’s husband, Thomas, is his favorite.
Rudy peaked in 1956 when he raised the Grand Champion steer at the Florida State Fair and sold it for $3000 to Publix founder George Jenkins. After that, he spent a debaucherous semester at The University of Florida but dropped out when his professors graded him unfairly. He had a few head of cattle and some orange groves, so if people asked what he did for a living, he said “citrus grower and rancher.” His later years were spent behind the scenes as the grumpy but loveable customer service rep at Ridge Island Groves, owned by Freida’s daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Archie Ritch. At B&A Cattle Co., he wrangled donuts and coffee while his friend and business partner, Jimmy Allen, handled the rest of the work.
He was an avid reader of books and any mail you left sitting out. He was curious to the point of trespass. There was no door he wouldn’t open without knocking or a window he wouldn’t peek in to “see what this looks like inside.” He loved fishing, penny poker, his home in Ozello, eating lunch, North Carolina BBQ, drinking Tito’s or Jack Daniels, and providing unsolicited opinions on every subject. He was a gifted storyteller and never let the truth get in the way of a good anecdote.
Rudy’s musical tastes and tech-savvy never progressed much past the 1970s. He was known for his distracted driving while trying to find a station that only played Sinatra or Jimmy Buffett. His fashion sense vacillated between five Hawaiian shirts and a Dickie’s jumpsuit, with a pocket for his flip phone. If you ever lose him in a crowd, look for the tackiest shirt in the room and the sound of laughter from his new friends who had been strangers moments before. He was our Dad, our Captain, everyone’s best friend, and the most generous Mandad to Sarah, Claire, Olli, and Tobi. He would want us all to spend more time together and take care of our teeth.
Services will be on Thursday, December 29, 2022, at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, 2425 West Havendale Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida. 1:00 pm Visitation 2:00 pm Memorial Service Hawaiian shirts and jumpsuits encouraged. Condolences to the family can be sent to: www.oakridgefuneralcare.com.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rudy Beddingfield, please visit Tribute Store