Rudolph Alphonso Milligan, beloved father, son, brother, uncle, teacher and friend, transitioned unexpectedly on June 2, 2022, at the age of 85.
He is survived by his sons, Michael and Rudolph Milligan Jr.; daughter, Patricia Milligan; brothers, Raymond, Kenneth and Magella Milligan Jr.; sisters, Rita Milligan, Berenice “Bea” George-Francis and Providencia “Judy” Morales; nieces, Natasha Cepeda, Roslyn Hodge-Smith, Shekema and Tewanna Hodge, U-necia Lockhart, Ninette and Jamel Hansen, Alecia Francis and Maria Simon; nephews, Bernell, Rema and Justin Rollins and many other relatives and friends, too numerous to mention.
Rudy, as he was known to his family and friends, was born on April 6, 1937, in Frederiksted, St. Croix, to Araminta Normil and Magella Milligan Sr., who are both deceased. He moved from St. Thomas to New York (with his late grandmother Laurentina Felix) where he attended high school and upon graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy on July 25, 1972. In the Navy, he received certifications for welding, AC/Refrigeration and personnel management.
Rudy eventually returned to St. Thomas with his family to start his career and be close to his mother, grandmother, siblings and his extended family. In St. Thomas he earned a bachelor of arts in business administration and an associate’s degree in business management from UVI, then the College of the Virgin Islands.
He began his teaching career at Evelyn Marcelli Elementary school where he was a physical education teacher for many years until his retirement. Rudy was a well-known figure in St. Thomas; many will remember him for his dedication to health, physical fitness, basketball and the youth of the Virgin Islands. He would often be seen jogging around the island or challenging much younger guys to a game of basketball at Griffith Park.
He founded the Virgin Islands skipping team with his students from E. Marcelli school who participated in Carnival’s Children’s Parades. He also coached many students in basketball over the years and was inducted in the University of the Virgin Islands’ Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rudy had many other hobbies, including singing. He released a calypso album featuring the songs “Manjack” and “Wheeling & Dealing.” He was also an avid weightlifter and took pride in being physically fit and eating healthy. He would often enter triathlete competitions and was preparing for a Green Beret-sponsored athletic event at the time of his death.
Rudy will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He will be remembered and cherished for his wisdom, strength and devotion to the Virgin Islands community.
A memorial service will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, at Turnbull’s Funeral Home.
Funeral arrangements are by Turnbull’s Funeral Home and Crematory Services.