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Bennett L. Rudolph
March 19, 1945 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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Professor Bennett Lloyd Rudolph died of prostate cancer on October 2, 2023. Ben was a professor at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business for 37 years. He was chair of the marketing department for nearly 10 years. Ben wrote a monthly business column for MiBiz called “West Michigan Business Beat.” It appeared for many years. He published extensively in other local publications and in academic journals. He was often interviewed on marketing topics by newspapers and TV stations. His weekly radio show, also called “West Michigan Business Beat,” was carried on radio stations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.
Ben was not a believer in religions, mysticism, or magical thinking, but he did believe in enjoying life. He believed in good food, drink, and companionship. He was very fortunate in his personal relationships. He was married to Jackie, his loving wife, for 56 years. They had dated since high school.
Ben and Jackie have three successful children. Barry Rudolph, their eldest son, lives in Durham, North Carolina, and is President of the Interface Financial Group. Their son Mark Rudolph is a forensic psychiatrist based in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Their daughter Sara Dupuis (née Rudolph) is a psychologist in Lansing, Michigan. Ben and Jackie have 6 precocious grandchildren.
Ben was born and raised in Chicago, a city that he loved. He always considered himself to be a big city person, which he credited for his lively and ironic sense of humor. Ben was awarded a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Illinois, in 1973.
Ben maintained close friendships with many people including both former students and colleagues. He was very delighted by these relationships. He traveled extensively for both academic reasons and for pleasure. Ben taught marketing internationally in nine countries including Mexico, Germany, Hungary, and Japan. He tried to live life to the fullest. While Ben achieved a lot, he thought that happiness was not based on achievements. He thought that real fulfillment was based on the enjoyment of life and from relationships.
A memorial service honoring his life will be held at GVSU's L. William Seidman Center, Room 1008, on Sunday, November 19, 2023, from 2 PM until 5 PM. In lieu of flowers, we kindly request that you consider contributing to the Bennett L. Rudolph Endowed Marketing Scholarship at Grand Valley State University.