Obituary: Dudley Atkins Rauch
Philanthropist, innovative entrepreneur, ardent music lover
Dudley Atkins Rauch died July 26 at his home in Claremont at the age of 77.
He was born on July 21, 1941 in Greenwich, Connecticut to Alice Atkins and Henry Rauch. In 1952 the family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina.
After graduating from New Hampshire’s Phillips Exeter Academy, Mr. Rauch went to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, graduating in 1963 with a degree in mathematics.
At Duke, he shared his joy of music by singing with a beautiful bass voice in the school’s chapel choir. From Duke, he went to Harvard Business School, graduating in 1965. His class at HBS was the first to admit women, and there he met his first wife, Cecilia Bessell, who died in 2011.
His first job was with the Olga Company in Los Angeles. From there, Mr. Rauch moved to the Teledyne Corporation, where he held a number of positions in California and Alabama before transferring to Upland as president of the airplane battery division.
In 1980, Mr. Rauch and his friend Samuel Salen started a company, Mobile Medical Imaging (MMI), which sent imaging equipment mounted on trucks to smaller hospitals. As president, Mr. Rauch guided the company through a successful listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under a new name, Innoserv Technologies, Inc. Innoserv became the country’s largest servicer of imaging equipment before being sold to General Electric in 1998.
Mr. Rauch then turned to a life as a private investor, philanthropist and board member of several institutions, including the Thacher School in Ojai, the Claremont Graduate School and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as chair of the pension committee and on the executive board and finance committee.
His generous financial support included those institutions plus Duke University and Medical School, Philips Exeter Academy, the Los Angeles Opera, the Master Chorale, the Colburn School, the Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, Pomona Valley Medical Center, Pilgrim Place, Claremont United Church of Christ and many others. His financial support also included gifts quietly made to friends and family.
He loved music in all forms and was an avid attendee of performances at several Los Angeles venues. He was known for his boyish smile, his love of family and friends including famous ‘one on one’ conversations, incisive problem solving, and a mathematical talent that allowed him to solve complex problems just using his mind and a few scribbles on an old-fashioned, yellow lined pad, his family shared.
He leaves his second wife, Michele Moehring; a daughter, Heather Watkins; three grandchildren, Olivia, Simon and Maria; a sister, Elizabeth Rainoff; three nephews and their children.
A celebration of Mr. Rauch’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 15 at Claremont United Church of Christ, 233 Harrison Ave., Claremont, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Dudley Atkins Rauch Memorial Fund at Bright Prospect, an organization that mentors high potential, low-income students through high school and college. Donate online at brightprospect.org or by sending a check to Bright Prospect, 1460 E. Holt Ave., Suite 74, Pomona, CA 91767.