School 29


Harold Cleaves Rusk

February 13, 1929 ~ April 8, 2018 (age 89)
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Harold Cleaves “Hal” Rusk 

1929 - 2018

     Harold Cleaves Rusk, 89, of Webster Groves, MO and Fayette, MO, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at the Fayette Caring Center. He is survived by his loving wife Marian.

     Hal was born on February 13, 1929, in Denver, CO.  He served in the U.S. Marines and attended Colorado College with the aid of the G.I. Bill and countless part time jobs that included construction, house painting, clerking, and washing dishes in a student boarding house to pay for his meals. He was also a state wrestling champion. After graduating, he taught high school mathematics and coached the high school football and wrestling teams. 

     He and his family moved to St. Louis in 1959, and he became head football coach and later an administrator at The Principia Upper School in Town and Country.  A lifelong student and educator, he received his Master’s degree in counseling and high school administration at the University of Wisconsin and became ninth grade principal at Lindbergh Senior High School.  After his retirement from Lindbergh in 1989, he worked ten more years as an administrative counselor at the Granite City Alternative School in Granite City, Illinois.

     On April 21, 1990, Hal married Marian Olson Heltibrand of Webster Groves, an AP English teacher at Lindbergh High School.  She was a graduate of then-CMC and one Saturday in 1992, brought him to Fayette to see the town and college.  Hal fell in love with the town, the college, and the friendly people, just as Marian had as a student, and they purchased their “weekend cottage” on West Davis, thanks to George Smith who first showed them the property.

     Becoming very involved in the town’s activities and interested in its history, Hal and his wife joined numerous historic associations and spent as much time as possible in Fayette—Hal’s favorite place.  Hal loved auctions, repairing and refinishing furniture, working on the property, and participating in the Citywide Garage Sale. He was a talented writer and storyteller with a beautiful singing voice. A lifelong student of Christian Science, Hal was blessed with perfect health for almost all his life. He loved going out to the Fayette Lake, especially at sunset, and loved the peace and beauty of the surrounding farms and rolling hills. 

     Survivors include a daughter, Pamela Kay of Marina, CA., and two sons, Kevin Rusk of Steamboat Springs, CO and David Rusk of Estes Park, CO, one sister, Carol Wiltse of Las Vegas, NV, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  Also surviving are a stepdaughter, Elizabeth (Rob) Westrich and two step-grandchildren, Meredith Rusk Westrich and Robert Joseph Westrich of Webster Groves, MO.  He was a much-loved brother-in-law, colleague, and friend.

     Hal will be missed every day and never forgotten.  His quiet warmth and kindness will be cherished in our memories.  A memorial service is being held in Affton, Missouri, at the Kutis Funeral Home Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road (St. Louis County) on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 10:30 A.M.  The family will receive friends from 10:00 A.M. until time of service.

      Memorials may be made in Hal’s memory to The Fayette Caring Center, 501 South Park or PAWS, 293 Highway 5 & 240, Fayette, MO 65248.

     Arrangements entrusted to Carr-Yager Funeral Home in Fayette with the kind assistance of Kutis Funeral Home Affton Chapel in St. Louis.

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