Ellis Rudy

July 19, 1930January 8, 2019

Ellis Rudy, a native Texan and a resident of Houston for over 73 years passed away on Tuesday, the 8th of January 2019, at the age of 88. Ellis was born in Houston, but lived in Stafford, Texas, until permanently moving to Houston to attend San Jacinto High School.

In 1947, Ellis entered the Naval Reserve and was fortuitously selected to join a Naval “Urban Mobilization Team” during his first year at Rice University. He was “stationed” in Houston, during the entirety of the Korean War. While in college, his father started Gossett Demolishing Company, and Ellis spent his summers “cleaning bricks and pulling nails” at Gossett. Upon graduating from Rice in 1951 with a B.A. in accounting and economics, he was called upon to help run the family business. He quickly transformed Gossett from demolishing and moving homes, to more complex projects including the demolition of bridges, high rise buildings and chemical plants. As a hobby, Ellis began buying land, minerals and oil and gas royalties. He found this to be much more interesting and challenging than the wrecking business and closed Gossett in 1972 to focus exclusively on oil and gas acquisitions. Ellis ingeniously developed a novel direct marketing approach to acquire properties through the mail. To further his understanding of the business he attended many classes and seminars pertaining to oil and gas land and title work. Eventually he acquired controlling interest in and became President of Imperial Oil Company of California, a small publicly traded company started in 1899. Imperial Oil grew steadily through the acquisition of numerous small oil and gas companies. Active and involved in the oil business until his final days, Ellis never stopped exploring his unique ideas for developing new business.

The National Association of Division Order Analysts (NADOA) credits Ellis with helping to spark the organization into existence, designating him as a “Founder and Charter Member,” and bestowing upon him a Lifetime Membership and multiple corporate awards. He was also a life member of HADOA and ALTA, and was a member of AAPL, NALTA, NARO, WHAPL, TAPL, TAPL, TMLA and SADOA, and was honored by most of those organizations. He became a Certified Petroleum Landman in 1981.

Ellis was an enthusiastic tennis player and longtime participant in the World Oilman’s Tennis Tournament. Aided by decades of tennis lessons from Cliff at the Houston Racquet Club and regular foursomes, he proudly declared himself to be a “solid C to C+ player.”

For many years he hosted friends and business associates at his hunting ranch in Madison County, Texas. He was passionate about collecting all sorts of things from architectural antiques and toys to an extensive book and postcard collection. His enthusiasm for his beloved “Junk” was infectious and he turned many mildly interested people into avid collectors themselves. In recent years he began sharing his collections with Universities and Museums. Most importantly, Ellis saw the potential in everyone and was thrilled to help connect people just getting started with new career opportunities. He was forever helping people find their way in the world. His main love and passion was always his family

Ellis was preceded in death by his parents Della and Manuel Rudy. He is survived by Beverly Frances Diamond Rudy, his wife, and his sons Randall D. Rudy, wife Karen and their two children Riley and Julian; and his son Russell T. Rudy, wife Kathy, and their children Austin and Allison. Ellis is also survived by his sister Esther Bermann and brother Joseph Rudy, both of Houston.

A funeral service is to be conducted at two o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 11th of January, in the Kagan Rudy Chapel of Emanu El Memorial Park, 8341 Bissonnet Street in Houston.

At later time, the family will gather for a private interment at Emanu El Memorial Park.

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to Rice University by visting



  • Funeral Service Friday, January 11, 2019


  • At later time, the family will gather for a private interment at Emanu El Memorial Park.

Ellis Rudy

have a memory or condolence to add?


January 25, 2019

Ellis was a client and friend for over 30 years. We shared our love of collecting, antiques, and architecture, and I have many fond memories of times spent in his company in Houston and at his home in Galveston. Ellis was a great conversationalist and he had a wonderful sense of humor. I remember sharing many jokes with him and in particular giving him a hard time when he turned 50. Ellis was a very generous man, and I enjoyed good times at the Houston Rodeo with my children in his box seats and partaking in a delightful weekend in San Antonio as his guest for a party he hosted for the Houston Association of Division Order Analysts. I was no longer representing Ellis but he, George Webb and I got together occasionally for lunch and I will miss that.

Debbie McKee

January 14, 2019

I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of Ellis. I receive a Christmas card from him every year and I always look forward to receiving it. I know Ellis and Russell through NADOA and I have always thought a lot of his kind, giving nature and fun loving spirit. He was such a joy to be around and I have certainly missed seeing him the last few years.
He will be missed by so many. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Love Debbie McKee

Herman J. Schultz, M.D.

January 13, 2019

Beverly, Esther, and Families:

I am very saddened to read of Ellis' death. Sorry I was unable to attend his funeral service.

I first knew Ellis at Rice Institute (University), and was always impressed with his friendliness and how bright he was!

I recall visiting his office once about 25 years ago, along with a female employee of Rice's Fondren Library. At that time, Ellis treated us to a "showing" of his collection of post cards and match packets.

I always appreciated being able to count many of you amongst my patients.

Leslie Wilkins

January 11, 2019

Well my dear friend, our many, many years of wonderful telephone conversations has ended. You were a joy to know! A truly gracious man who gave so much of yourself to everyone you knew.
Rest In Peace my friend you will be missed.

Lisa Buffaloe

January 11, 2019

Too many memories to count! Loved this man like my own. A true gentlemen with a heart of gold. I will miss his calls, personal notes, generosity and sweet sweet smile. Rest in Peace my friend. Until we meet again.

Miriam Joachim

January 9, 2019

Dearest Rudy Family,
My sincere love and condolences. Our families go back to Vawkavysk in Poland where my father, Morris Dombrow, and Manual Rudy were boys together. I used to spend time with the family in Stafford, Texas as a child- Sometimes, I would stay with them for a week at a time. I enjoyed my time with the family, and remember Ellis for his wit and intelligence. I know he will be missed.

Miriam Joachim

Belinda Young

January 9, 2019

To the Rudys - please accept my condolences. Ellis will be greatly missed. He is an example of a life well-lived. May you all be comforted by many good memories of him! Love, Belinda