Richie Rudkin, 27, died suddenly on July 20 of an unexpected illness.

Born Jan. 27, 1983, Rudkin graduated from Lewisville High School in 2001 and received a degree in journalism from the University of Texas in Arlington in 2005. He worked as the manager at Buli Café.

Rudkin’s infectious smile and huge heart touched every single person he met throughout his brief but amazing life. For the past four years, he was a shining light on Cedar Springs, greeting everyone with his spectacular smile and charm while serving his loyal friends and customers as manager at Buli Café.

Rudkin cared deeply for his family and many friends and they for him. They all flocked to visit him for their daily dose of his overwhelming generosity, compassion and razor sharp humor.

In a farewell message to him, Rudkin’s family and friends said, “Today we have lost a true angel. Our Richie has left us for a better place. The world will never be the same without your gentle kind and wonderful spirit. Richie, you were adored more than you ever knew.

Rest peacefully, sweet boy. We will love you and miss you forever.”

Rudkin  is survived by his mom, Penny Picker Rudkin; his father, Richard Rudkin; his step-father, Ed Mathews; his sister, Molly Elizabeth  Rudkin; his brother, Mathew Rudkin; his grandmother, Jennilind Rudkin; several cousins, aunts and uncles; and hundreds of loving friends.

Visitation will be held Sunday, July 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Restland Coppell Chapel, 400 S. Freeport Pkwy. in Coppell. A burial mass will take place 10 a.m. Monday, July 26, at St. Ann Catholic Church , 180 Samuel Blvd. in Coppell.

A memorial service celebrating Rudkin’s life will be announced. Call 214-528-5410 for more in.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 23, 2010.