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Bill Rusk

John William (Bill) Rusk, 87, completed his journey Monday, September 30, 2013 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on February 1, 1926 in Newton, Iowa just as the 7:00 o'clock Maytag whistle blew. He was welcomed by his parents, Opal and Earl Rusk, and his sister Glendoris. Bill grew up in Ringgold County since the age of 6 years. He moved to Mt. Ayr to join his fifth grade classmates. Bill had three younger sisters, Mary Ann, Patricia, and Jean.
Bill graduated in the class of 1944 from Mt. Ayr High School. Following graduation, he joined the United States Navy. He was stationed in Hawaii and Guam as a First Class Yeoman for Admiral Nimitz's headquarters. Bill proposed to his wife, Thelma Anderson, following basic training. Bill and Thelma were joined in marriage June 25, 1946 following his military service assignments.
Bill and Thelma enjoyed raising their four children, Bille Jean, Andy, Scott, and Bobbie. Their children kept them busy with all of their activities. Bill was very proud of his children and all of their accomplishments. He was blessed to see them grow to adulthood, get married, and provide him with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bille Jean married Ron Snyder from Diagonal and they currently live In Brooklyn, IA. They have two sons Dan, married Traci, with two children Connor and Carli; Nate, married to Erin, who have two children Liam and Jillian. Andy is married to Dotti and they live in Colorado Springs, CO. They have one daughter, Courtney, who is married to Aaron; they have three sons Hunter, Tanner, and Spenser. Scott is married to Julie and they live In Manhattan, KS. They have three children; daughter Monica, married to Geryd, with two girls Amelia and Gabby; son Jesse, his fiancée Michelle, and daughter Caitlin. Bobbie is married to Marty Ivey and they live in Galveston, TX. They have two sons; Doug who is married to Valerie and Bill who is married to Danielle, they have two sons Leo and Ames.
Bill enjoyed carpentry work, which he frequently used while remodeling their long time residences. He was also very active in his children's activities such as; sports, band boosters, cub scouts, announcing MACH football games, little league, hunting, and fishing adventures. Bill was an avid sports fan. He officiated many high school football and basketball games. The highlight of his referee career was when he officiated the Iowa State Girls' basketball tournament in Des Moines for two consecutive years. Bill was a member of the Mt. Ayr United Methodist Church where he was president of the Methodist Men. Bill was also active in the American Legion where he progressed through the ranks all the way to the Iowa State Commander. During his later years, he was instrumental in establishing the Ringgold County Senior Activity Center as a member of the initial steering committee member for this wonderful program.
Bill worked at the Rexall Drugstore as well as helping out his father-in-law Jesse Anderson at the Mt. Ayr Mill early in his marriage. He was the District Manager for the World Book Encyclopedia, which was the internet in hardcopy. He then managed the Skelly Station on the South side of the square. His sons were active in assisting to run the station and worked side-by-side with Bill. He later worked at Don's Aryliner as assistant manager. He retired from the Ringgold County Veteran's Affairs Office after serving for 23 years. He loved his job to assist veterans of Ringgold County to receive their compensation for their service to our country.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law; sisters Mary Ann and Glendoris; brother-in-law Max Anderson; nephew David Lynn Anderson; and niece Kelly Walters Liddell.
He is survived by his loving wife Thelma; children and their spouses; 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; sisters Pat and Jean; sister-in-law Maxine Anderson; brother-in-law Keith Walters; cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorials are to the American Legion of Iowa Foundation; Ringgold County Senior Activity Center; and Methodist Men Scholarship Fund.

  • Open Viewing

    October 04, 2013
    1:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Family Will Be Present

    October 04, 2013
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Funeral Service

    October 05, 2013
    10:30 AM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Military Rites By

    Saturday October 05 2013

    Rose Hill Cemetery

    Ringgold Post #172
    US Navy Honor Guard

  • Burial

    Saturday October 05 2013

    Rose Hill Cemetery

    Hwy 2 & 169
    Mount Ayr, IA


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bill Rusk, please visit our flower store.



Guestbook

My dad, "Obie," was always glad when Bill was assigned to be one of the two referees for our basketball games. The two of them had a lot of respect for each other.

Posted by Lynn - Colorado Springs, CO - former MACHS girls'' BB player   October 05, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Thelma, Billie, & Family,

I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of Bill, your beloved husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. I always enjoyed getting to spend time with him during the visits to Ron and Billie Jean''s at the Lake. I will truly miss him! Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Miss you all and love you lots,

Jill & Donovan Kilmartin

Posted by Jill Kilmartin - Mobile, AL - Friend of the family   October 04, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Thelma and kids: We are so sorry we can not be there for you. Bill and Thelma have always been special folks for us. We remember all of the activities that Bill and Thelma shared with us at school. Always a smile and a great greeting could be counted on from them.

We are in Omaha waiting on test results for a liver transplant for Marie. We should be back on Saturday if things go well. Phil and Marie.

Posted by Phil and Marie Burmeister - Mt. Ayr, IA - friend   October 04, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

A true mentor and friend to all veterans who sought his advice and wisdom over the years. Thoughts and prayers for Thelma and the family are with you, and your extended Legion family!

Posted by Kathy Nees - Ankeny, IA - Extended Legion Family   October 04, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Bobbie,

Just wanted you and your family to know we are thinking about you down here in Texas. We all enjoyed meeting your Dad at the garden. Our prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Julie Cartmill - Alvin, TX - Bobbie''s friend from Texas   October 02, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Thelma, you and Bill made my experiences with the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary count. All the encourgement and friendship have been treasured. I think often off all the times we were together at conferences, meetings, and celebrations over the years with fondness. Bill will be greatly missed by so many of us left behind and especially to you and your children and grandchildren. His love for live should inspire all of us. Sue Spilman

Posted by D Sue Spilman    October 02, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

My sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to Thelma and her family.

Posted by Mark Avitt - Lewisville, TX - Friend   October 02, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Bill was a dedicated Legionnaire and a true friend. When I started work at The American Legion National Headquarters in 1995 he had to check on the "Iowa guy" at National. Whenever he was in Indy for a meeting he would always stop by to say hello.

As a fellow high school sports official we shared many a story of the same schools we worked for. Bill was atop notch basketball official.

I will miss my good friend Bill but I know he is watching from heaven still checking on the "Iowa guy."

Posted by Mike Buss - Indianapolis, IN - Fellow Legionnaire and friend   October 01, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of Bill''s passing, he was a very caring man. He was a great neighbor when I lived in Mt. Ayr for a while. He came and cleared my sidewalks with his snow blower and got a peach cobbler in exchange for that. My only regret is that I never made him another one. He will be missed.

Posted by Lois Ibbotson - Tingley, IA - Friend   October 01, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

I really began to "know" Bill when we were starting up the Senior Citizens Activity Center. He didn''t think we could do it, but when we were able to he was our biggest cheerleader. He was always donating his time whether making our coffee cup holder or putting rollers on a table to make it easier to move. We will never hold a meeting without thinking of him, especially when expenditures surpass revenue! He was always quick to laugh and to offer a suggestion. We will miss him and thank God he was a part of our start-up!

Posted by Janet Hogue - Mt. Ayr, IA - Friend   September 30, 2013

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

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