Rodolfo “Rudy” de Paolis of Bridgehampton died November 24 at Southampton Hospital. He was 74.
Born July 29, 1939, in Rome to Alessio de Paolis and Ines Maggiori de Paolis, he left Italy after the end of World War II with his mother and sister, Alexandra, and came to America when he was seven years old. There they joined his father, a world famous opera singer and theatrical character actor, who had moved to New York in 1939 to join the Metropolitan Opera Company and had since become a U.S. citizen.
He grew up in Sea Cliff and attended Coindre Hall Sacred Heart Academy in Huntington and LaSalle Military Academy in Sayville, followed by Fordham University and C.W. Post College. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959 through 1963, stationed at Hancock Field, Syracuse, where he served as airman with the 12th Weather Squadron.
A successful Wall Street businessman, he opened his own brokerage firm, dePaolis & Company, in 1980. After shifting from Wall Street to Main Street, he then took pleasure in amusing his many friends by writing passionate poems. He published two semi-autobiographical novels, rich with historical references, vivid conversations and often graphic human interaction, survivors said. They said he was known for his devilish wit and charm, his incredible intelligence and his “humility that manifested itself through good humor, self-depreciation and sincere concern for anyone that crossed his path,” a quote taken from his novel, “Three Women.”
He is survived by his former wife, RoseMarie (Brandstaedter), whom he met on the beach in Bridgehampton; and his two adopted children, Victoria and Mario. He is also survived by a sister, Alexandra de Paolis; and a niece, Francesca Banci.
A memorial Mass will be held in June 2014 at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Bridgehampton.