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Open Visitation

Armstrong Funeral Home
Thursday April 14th, 2022
12:00pm - 8:00pm

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Family Present

Armstrong Funeral Home
Thursday April 14th, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Funeral Service

United Methodist Church
Friday April 15th, 2022

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Rose Hill Cemetery
Friday April 15th, 2022

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Thelma Rusk

           Thelma left to be with the Lord April 11, 2022.  Thelma Jean was born December 13, 1925, to Edna and Jesse Anderson.  She lived her entire life in Mt. Ayr graduating from Mt. Ayr High School in 1944.  She married her high school sweetheart Bill Rusk on June 25, 1946.  They were married 68 years and to this union, four children were born, Bille Jean, William Anderson (Andy), John Scott and Bobbie. 

            Before marrying Bill, Thelma spent a year studying at Iowa Teachers College (now known as University of Northern Iowa).  Professionally, Thelma worked at the funeral home early in her marriage.  She spent several years employed at Mt. Ayr Community School in the capacity of the Superintendent secretary, teachers’ aide, and secretary to the high school principal until 1988.  Following retirement, Thelma worked at Iowa Southern Utilities and the Record News. She spent many years as the Methodist Church Sunday School Superintendent leading the children in praise and worship. 

            Thelma was very involved with the community she loved so much.  She was active in many organizations including PEO, Eastern Star, United Methodist Women, where she served many offices.  Thelma and Bill were very instrumental in getting the Senior Activity Center in Mt. Ayr as well as the development of the Depot Museum, where she was on the board.  Thelma was extremely involved in the American Legion Auxiliary local unit 172 level as well as on the District 5 level and the State level in numerous offices.

            Thelma was an avid gardener.  She always had beautiful flowers and garden.  She loved her “dirt therapy.”  Her home was always open, and she was such a gracious host to all who walked into her home.  The welcome mat was always open at the Rusk’s.  Thelma was involved in her kids’ activities at school and outside events.  She was a lifelong member of the Mt. Ayr United Methodist Church, where she served graciously in any capacity that she was called upon.  Thelma lived her live filled with grace and mercy for all who met her.  She lived her life for her Maker, her country, and her family.

            Thelma’s lifelong passion was to be a wife and mother which she fulfilled with dignity and grace.  She was preceded in death by her husband, the love of her life, her parents, parents-in-law, sisters, brother, and sister-in-law. 

            Left to cherish her memory is her beloved children and their spouses, Bille Jean (Ron) Snyder, Andy (Dotti Johnson), Scott (Carol Donovan), Bobbie (Marty) Ivey.  She loved her 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.  Family, friends, and community meant everything to Thelma.

            Thelma’s family would like to thank all of the care givers at Clearview Estates and Clearview Homes, who treated her with the upmost dignity and kindness.  To continue to honor Thelma, you can contribute to her favorite charities of United Methodist Church, Mt. Ayr Senior Center and the Mt. Ayr Depot Museum. 

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


A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Chad & Vera Hunt, Joy Mitchell Apr 16 2022 9:29 PM

Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of Thelma, Bill and family!! Living in a small community we knew everyone. Thelma was special!! Pat (Rusk) Braby and I were very special friends and so I would go to their home sometimes. I always tried to see Thelma when I came back to Mount Ayr on occasion. She did so much for her community!! My heart and prayers continue to be with her family.

Cynthia (Wheelock) Harper Apr 16 2022 10:18 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Lynne & Hazel Foltz Apr 15 2022 9:27 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Craig and Ellen Elliott Apr 15 2022 1:40 PM

Rest in peace Mrs Rusk. Thank you for your amazing service to all us"kids" at Mt Ayr Community School. (Class of 1982)

Lori (Bishop) Tull Apr 15 2022 12:18 AM

Thelma was also so kind & caring with a smile that brightened your day! She was the first to welcome me to the school. I always volunteered to go to the office to get to see her! She just made you feel better by being around her!

Such a Beautiful Christian, I'm sure she was welcomed by, "Well done my good & faithful servant!" I can't begin to imagine the number of lives made better by Thelma! She truly had the gift of a loving & caring heart & doubt she ever met a stranger!

My Deepest Sympathy to her family & loved ones, but So Glad she's back with the Love of Her Life! It never seemed the same without him, as Bill & Thelma were always together, blessing everyone they met!

Jodi Angus Apr 14 2022 11:09 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Jerry & Janet Haley Apr 14 2022 9:47 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Shon and Karen Berry Apr 14 2022 7:16 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Thelma Rusk

Laurie Clark Apr 14 2022 3:38 PM

I am so saddened to hear of Thelma's passing. She was such a wonderful friend and neighbor to Mom. What a kind, sweet heart and what a wonderful example to us all. Bless you.

Connie (McGahuey) Stoltzfus Apr 14 2022 11:06 AM

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