Rudolph William Bratz, 61, of Wilton, formerly Easton, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, after a courageous battle with a sudden illness.

Known to family and friends as “Rudy,” he is survived by his mother, Elizabeth R. Bratz, of Fairfield; and his sisters, Leiza A. Allard, of Fairfield, and Helen Malsbary, of Meza, AZ. He was predeceased by his Father, Rudolph Bratz.

Rudy was a collector of vintage automobiles, especially Packards and Pontiacs. He had just recently acquired a rare Crosley automobile. Rudy was a NASCAR fan and loved Star Trek. In his earlier years, he bore a resemblance to Dan Ackroyd and in later years Stephen King. Rudy was employed most of his adult life at a popular Auto parts store in Wilton and was known as the “go to guy.” A truly gentle, friendly person, Rudy will be missed by all who knew him.

Mike Wood, Rudy’s longtime friend, shared his memories:  “Rudy had a tremendous amount of mechanical ability and old car knowledge, and for 42 years he was available for consultation and advice. He was an avid reader of old manuals and instructional material that he referenced on a daily basis, to help anyone with a problem. He never stopped learning, remembering and sharing his vast experience, and love of cars. Rudy’s memory was incredible and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. He was truly one of a kind.”

His burial will be private at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield. A gathering to celebrate Rudy’s life will be announced at a later date. Visit his online guest register to send a message of condolence.