In Memory of




Obituary for Robert Jarrett RUDY

Professor Robert Jarrett Rudy

It is with great sadness that Bob and Joan Rudy announce the passing of their eldest son, Jarrett, on April 4, 2020. Born November 14, 1970, Jarrett died in the loving arms of his wife, Cynthia Kelly, whom he married August 23, 2008.

He leaves behind his bereaved brother, Jensen and sister-in-law Heidi Rudy, their two children, Daniel & Kate Rudy, and Heidi’s father, Peter Janzen. Jarrett is mourned by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Peter & Donna Kelly, his nieces and nephews, Kristi & Garret Gauthier, Stephen & Stephanie Benger, Tosha Kelly & Craig Vamos, Denys & Cody Elliott, Richard Kelly & Tessa Rankin, Ally & Greg Fleming, and 4 great nieces and nephews, Mackenzie & Olivia Benger, Glen Gauthier, and Elena Fleming; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John & Janice Kelly, Benjamin Kelly & Kristyn Nowers, Christopher & Megan Kelly, Nick & Mary Kelly, Lyndsay & Jake Deming, 4 great nieces and nephews, Tatiana Lampkin, Brennan & Sebastian Kelly, and Everett Deming. Jarrett's two godparents, Ann Kadey (Danny) and John Rudy (Sylvia) deeply grieve his passing.

Jarrett worked at McGill University as a professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of History and Classical Studies. In the early 2000s, he was Director of the Quebec Studies Program in the university’s Faculty of Arts.

A renowned specialist in the cultural history of Quebec and Canada (from the 1860s to the 1960s), Jarrett authored the book, The Freedom to Smoke (McGill-Queen’s University Press), co-edited the anthology, Quebec Questions (Oxford University Press), and won the prestigious 2012 Canadian Historical Review prize for his article, “Do you have the time?”. In 2009, he became the co-editor of the McGill-Queen’s University Press Series, Studies on the History of Quebec.

After earning his PhD in History in the 1990s, Jarrett made his home in Montreal, going on to become a leading member of the Montreal History Group and principal investigator of its recent research grants. Jarrett was committed to fairness, equality, and the importance of community. He was respected and devotedly loved by friends, colleagues, students and fellow Historians, the world over. Throughout his life, he continued to cherish his roots in Tavistock and actively promoted the preservation of its local history.
While complications from his recent heart surgery cut Jarrett's life short, this tragedy will never erase the love and joy that he gave.

Condolences can be sent to his wife Cynthia Kelly or Bob and Joan Rudy

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Tavistock and District Historical Society, P.O. Box 280, Tavistock, ON N0B 2R0 or to