John Rudolph, a successful entrepreneur, community leader and family man who heralded Lima, Ohio-based Rudolph Foods Corp. from making pork rinds to a global snack leader, died on April 16 at age 88, after a struggle with health issues.

Rudolph served three years in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following the war, he graduated from Bowling Green University, married and moved to Lima, Ohio, where he launched Rudolph Foods in 1955. He never retired and stayed involved in the business, going to the office within the last few weeks of his life.

“The Snack Food Association and its members mourn the loss of a key industry leader, former SFA chairman and friend, John E. Rudolph,” says Jim McCarthy, SFA president and CEO. “He was also the 2001 recipient of the SFA Circle of Honor Award, the industry’s highest honor.”

Rudolph’s experience in the snack food industry included a variety of leadership roles within the SFA, the Food Industries Center at The Ohio State University and the Young Presidents Organization. He also was active in numerous organizations in his community, including the Lima Rotary Club, Lima Chamber of Commerce, Lima YMCA and St. Luke’s Church Council.

Rudolph is survived by his wife, Mary; four children; eight grandchildren; and four siblings.

Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. on Friday, April 19, at Chiles–Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Shawnee Chapel in Lima, as well as one hour prior to the funeral at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, which will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 20.

Donations may be made in Rudolph’s memory to the Lima YMCA or St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. For online condolences, visit

Source: Snack Food Association