He was born in Biloxi, Miss. He graduated from Biloxi High School in 1935 and from Ole Miss with a BS in Pharmacy. He was in Glider Training in Spencer, Iowa, where he met Bernita and they married in Albuquerque, N.M., while he was in the service.
He was a decorated 2nd Lt and WWII Glider Pilot and served in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war he was a medical service representative for Eli Lilly and Company working out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. He operated drug stores in Marshalltown and Webster City, Iowa, prior to owning and operating Rusk Drug and Jewelry in Algona for 20 plus years, with Bernita by his side in the family business. They also owned a second store in Estherville, Iowa, for a period of time.
He and Bernita moved to the Gulf Coast where he was a hospital pharmacist at the Singing River Hospital in Ocean Springs for eight years. He retired and then studied art and voice and became a qualified boat captain and operated a deep sea fishing boat. He also served as an officer in several coast art associations. They moved to an acreage in rural Van Cleave, Miss., where he enjoyed gardening, fishing, and golfing as well as painting in his art studio.
In 1994 they relocated to Conroy, Iowa, to be closer to family. In 1996 they moved
to Chanute, where they lived until 2007 when they moved to the Phoenix area.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Agatha (Lean) Minckler and brother, Joseph Rusk.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Bernita, of Peoria; son Gary Rusk, and daughter, Cheryl Orr, Surprise, Ariz.; sisters: Elizabeth Wells, Rita Stevens, and Mary and Jack Tardy; sister-in-law, Arlene Tyler; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and 21 nieces and nephews.
Funeral will be 8 a.m. today, July 1, at Sunland Memorial Park, Sun City, Ariz. Burial to take place at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. Messages can be left at www.sunlandmemorial.com.
Memorials can be made to Highway Christian Hospice of Phoenix, Ariz., or the American Lutheran Church of Sun City, Ariz.