Rudy Mancini, poet, patriot and loving patriarch, passed away at his home in the embrace of family on Tuesday, December 12th 2017 after a short illness.
Born March 31th 1924 to Italian immigrants, Rudy was an embodiment of the American spirit. He grew up a coal miner’s son and endured the hardships of the Great Depression. To make extra money, he boxed competitively, and considered pursuing a boxing career before being drafted in the Army in WWII.
After serving time in England, Rudy landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 9th 1944, to participate in the French liberation. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and joined the allied push into Germany at the conclusion of the war.
When Rudy returned home, he received a BA in Journalism at Bowling Green University in Ohio. He intended to pursue a career in teaching, but took a leap of faith and applied for a special agent position with the FBI. As Rudy once said, “I went to the office and the secretary said, “What test do you want, the one for the lawyer or the one for the accountant?” Knowing I had to wait another four hours for the return train, and not wanting to look as ignorant as I felt, I took the lawyer’s test. I remember turning in the application and thinking I just wasted a whole day. The FBI called me the next week.”
In the FBI, Rudy met the love of his life, Patricia Barberis, who was the daughter of one of the oldest grape growing families in the Napa Valley. During his 28 year service with the Bureau, he investigated several notable crimes including the Patty Hearst case among others before retiring with his wife to Calistoga.
Following his retirement, Rudy became a gentleman farmer and rekindled his passion for the written word. He published many historical and biographical works in local and national publications. He often commented that one of his favorite things in life was his writing group, which he continued to attend up until his death.
Mr. Mancini is survived by his two children: Dawn and Mark Mancini. He also leaves behind four grandchildren, James Agapoff M.D., Fawn Agapoff, Karen Jamieson, and Patricia Jamieson.