Rudolfo DeDios “Bebot” DeLeon - a son, brother, cousin, Tito, partner, father, and a friend to all he met. Rudy passed away peacefully at home in San Francisco on January 14, 2022. Rudy was surrounded by his loving caregivers, partner of 28 years Bob Kelley, son Victor Hasson and sister-in-law Cathy Kelley. He was 63 years young.
Rudy was born in Tamuning, Guam on November 11, 1958, to Teresita and Joseph DeLeon. He was a quiet, crafty, thoughtful, playful and creative child. Rudy had the happy gene that continued to radiate from within his heart and smile throughout his life. He shared his joyful and generous spirit with everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path. Rudy was a natural born caregiver. Rudy loved his family life and the traditions that came with it. Rudy was happiest when he was helping in the kitchen preparing a feast for friends and family. It did not matter if there were only 3 people or 23 people, he was serving, Rudy could make it all work deliciously with a recipe that always included love and a side dish of patience. Rudy would continue being the happy host for many years with an impeccable festive outfit on under his fashionable apron. Lumpia, Chicken Adobo, Thanksgiving Turkey and his popular Irish Dinner were among his most delectable culinary accomplishments.
Rudy graduated from the John F. Kennedy High School in Tamuning, Class of 1977. Rudy and his best friend “Lou” Agnon-Schulte were President and Vice President of their class. Lou and Rudy would remain lifelong friends. Rudy was popular, well liked and respected by his peers. Rudy’s high school experience would continue to provide him with many happy memories long after graduation. His circle of friends from JFK would remain close companions organizing many joyful reunions over the years. Although Rudy left Guam in 1977 to attend the University of San Francisco, Guam never left him.
After graduating from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Public Policy/ International Relations in 1981, Rudy met his benevolent benefactor of love and generosity Eve Schmitt. Working together at the San Francisco Opera House, San Francisco Ballet, and the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Eve and Rudy hosted some of the best parties in San Francisco throughout the 1980s and the 1990s. Rudy and Eve continued working together in the Hospitality Industry for a total of 30 years. Rudy’s last job was with an ecological non-profit called Matter of Trust. Again, Rudy was fortunate enough to work with more amazing people including Lisa Gautier and Betty Chang, who looked out for him both professionally and personally.
After college studies were over, Rudy began to gather a posse of gay friends he had met in San Francisco. The handsome trio included Paul Gregory, Gus Nino, and Rudy. They would terrorize the Castro district bars celebrating life at a time when the gay community was under siege with the AIDS epidemic. This did not discourage these Three Musketeers from making the most of their youth. As a gay man, Rudy embraced the city of San Francisco with love and enthusiasm. From the culture in the Castro, to the performing arts, culinary arts, the music, and all the many sights of his beautiful city. Rudy loved his San Francisco Giants and was always a faithful 49er fan.
In the fall of 1993, Rudy met Bob Kelley, a recent Boston transplant, playing pinball in a South of Market bar. Rudy and Bob would quickly become inseparable and eventually became life partners. Their committed relationship would later lead Rudy and Bob to entertain the desire to become parents. After immaculate conception techniques, Rudy and Bob created their own version of family. Rudy and Bob shared the parenting duties of their daughter Vida Hasson (Pomona, CA), and sons Forrest Sinnott (Tacoma, WA) and Victor Hasson (San Francisco, CA). Rudy lived for the next birthday party so he could work on the decorative theme, presents, and his famous gift bags. Rudy loved to decorate the house for all occasions. The Easter eggs he created were magazine worthy. His St. Patrick's Day outfits were more than lucky. His favorite holiday however was Christmas. Rudy would really show off his talents for gift wrapping,
decorating, and the annual snowflake hallway which kept expanding over the years. A delightful sight for all visitors.
Rudy loved traveling on his many journeys near and far. He managed to get himself to the Soviet Union, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. His career in hospitality also brought him to many places here in the USA. Among his favorite places to visit was the island of Kauai. It was here he could spend time with his soul sister and cousin Debra Drayton and her husband Rick. Rudy loved family reunions and celebrations on Kauai with the Ilarmo Family from Guam. Then in the warm summertime, Rudy and Bob would journey to Boston to be with the multitude of Kelley relatives numbering in the hundreds, from all over New England. Rudy would spend the week eating lobsters and fresh seafood delights straight out of the Atlantic Ocean. Rudy loved his fried scallops and soft serve ice cream cones right on the beach. Rudy never lost touch with his extensive family of friends from childhood to the newfound friends he picked up from coast to coast. Rudy was a charmed person who lived a charmed life.
Rudy is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Teresita Deleon, and youngest brother Romel Deleon. Rudy leaves behind a host of family and friends including his sister Rebecca Deleon, brother Reynaldo Deleon, and his baby sister Reva Lucas who he adored. Rudy also leaves his nephews Brian Ortencio, Jonathan Muna, Ronnie Deleon, Ryan Deleon, Nikko Ortencio, Eric Lucas, Jr., Reve Lucas, and his loving niece Carina Ortencio.
Having been born and raised on a Pacific Island, Rudy had a different inner clock than the rest of us here on the mainland. He lived life at a slightly slower pace. Rudy walked slower. He drove slower. And he lived slower. Calm. Gentle. Peaceful. He epitomized the “Aloha” spirit. Rudy’s forgiving and patient demeanor provoked a leisurely and relaxed atmosphere no matter what life situation came across his path. He took his time and enjoyed the moment while we all stress over orderliness and perfection.
Rudy's memory will be cherished and honored by his eternal caregivers Bob Kelley and Victor Hasson. Rudy’s family wishes to thank the Oncology and Infusion staff at UCSF Mission Bay for their compassionate care and life extending treatments. The nurses and assistants were relentless in their attentiveness and individualized care. Even the security staff would disarm when they saw Rudy coming. Everyone remembered his name and opened the door for him. In return he would always offer to buy them treats from the cafe. Everyone loved Rudy. His Oncologist Dr. Alain Algazi, MD and Nurse Erin Wiley were among his favorites. Dr. Algazi refused to give up on Rudy which provoked his strong will and determination to be here with us to celebrate the Christmas Holidays. It worked. Rudy was able to visit his siblings and extended family in Los Angeles and then return to San Francisco to have a peaceful Christmas at home with Bob and Victor.
Rudy Deleon was a special kind of someone. There will never be anyone else like Rudy. He put so much time and effort into making things so special for the kids and the adults in his life. Rudy had friends ranging from as young as 3 to as mature as 90. No one got overlooked in his world. Once you knocked on Rudy's door you were friends for life. Now we have to go on missing Rudy for the rest of our lives. Please remember to hold his island spirit, generosity, unconditional love and patience in your hearts and remind yourself to stop hurrying. Stop worrying. And take the time today to watch the sunset. Listen to the wind. Taste the dessert. Put your feet up and just B R E A T H E.