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March 6, 1951 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old
Donald “Don” Gene Rusk, 72, of Newport, Indiana, unexpectedly passed away in his childhood home on January 16, 2024. He was born March 6, 1951 to the late Robert “Bill” W. and Dorothy M. Rusk in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Don grew up in Newport, bantering with his dad and enjoying the spoils of being his mom’s “little” boy. As the youngest of the Rusk boys, he graduated from North Vermillion High School with the Class of 1969. After graduating, he moved to West Lafayette, Indiana to pursue a degree from Purdue University. While at school, he soon found he enjoyed extracurricular activities more than time spent in the classroom, which led him to forgo a diploma and become a student of life. He ventured down to Tampa, Florida, where he lived and worked for many years as a carpenter. Don loved his time in Florida, taking road trips to visit friends, listening to excellent music, and developing a fondness for horticulture. Although quiet by nature, he became quite animated sharing stories of his many adventures and musical experiences. Don left Florida in the mid-2000s, returning to Indiana to care for his ailing parents. Not one for sentimental words or moments, the love he felt for his parents and brother became evident in this gesture. He spent several years working for the Town of Newport, giving back to the community that would always be his home.
Don is survived by brother Bob (Janet) of Rockville, nephew Rob (Meghan) and family of Lafayette, and his niece Katie (Mike) Pivowar and family of Sorrento, Florida. His aunts Mary Jo Livengood of Lafayette and Donna Cunningham of Veedersburg, his uncle Roy Rusk of South Hutchinson, Kansas, and many cousins also survive.
No formal services will be held as of the present date. The family will hold a private gathering to honor his memory when warmer weather arrives, as Don did not enjoy the cold. In his memory, the family asks that you play your favorite Grateful Dead song, sit back, and smile as you recall your favorite memories of Don. Should contributions to his final care like to be made, please contact Sunset Funeral Home in Cayuga, who are helping the family during their loss.