DANA McTAVISH RUST


Dana McTavish Rust died on Tuesday, March 12 at 1:15 PM while among family and friends.

Dana was an unusual man who lived a rich and widely varied life and often profoundly affected the lives of people who knew him.

Dana finished Franklin Pierce High and enrolled, first in Skagit Valley Community College, then in the University of Puget Sound.

A talented writer and the grandson of a newspaper man and journalism textbook author, Dana took umbrage with the English teaching methods at UPS and left for greener academic and philosophic pastures upon mutual agreement with the UPS administration. Dana attended several colleges during his academic career but graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in English and eventually matriculated into a masters of education program also at Western. Dana helped pay for his education as a sportswriter at various newspapers including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in the late sixties. He was sports editor at the Caldwell News Tribune in Nampa, Idaho and later was sportswriter at Western while attending school.

Toni Ann Ursic married Dana on Christmas Day 1965. During the first years of their marriage, the couple moved throughout the Northwest including Montana where Dana taught sixth and seventh grade and where their first daughter, Jennifer Ann, was born. After the family moved back to Washington, a second daughter, Anna Lorca, was born in Bellingham. The family finally found root in Edison in what was at the time a large vacant commercial building previously occupied by the Edison Hardware Store.

Soon after moving to town, Jim Costanti needed a skiff man and Dana needed a job. Thus began Dana's fishing career. He eventually invested in a commercial fishing boat, a purse seiner named the Pacific Breeze, which he skippered until 1994. The Pacific Breeze was often found setting its net in Bellingham Channel on the flood tide--fishing for local kings.

Dana's entrepreneurial spirit and gift for naming things spawned the Old Edison Hardware Building (an auction business), the Heavenly Worm Farm, the King Kong Deconstruction Company, Samish Bay Seafoods, and finally the Edison Eye Art Gallery.

Dana possessed a keen eye for artistic talent and made it his personal mission to encourage and challenge artists he found promising. Even after his illness took its toll on him physically, Dana could be found in the gallery pointing out art work he found particularly compelling and explaining to patrons why a particular artist was someone they should keep an eye on. At bottom, Dana viewed the Eye as a place for art education. Indeed, he often would host local elementary school children, engaging them in discussions about art and providing a venue for the kids' own artwork.

Dana is survived by his wife of 47 years, Toni Ann Rust; his two daughters, Jennifer Rust Murray and Anna Lorca Hansen; his sons-in-law, Steve Murray and Leif Hansen; his granddaughters, Laura Murray (17), Douzy Murray (14), and Zinnia Hansen (9); his mother, Rachel Rust; his siblings, Michael Rust, Kathy Gyurkey, and Bret Rust; his sister and brother-in-law Mary Louise Rust and Nick Gyurkey; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Dana was predeceased by his father Sam Rust.

Dana died just after low tide in his home on Edison Slough just in time to set his net.

In honor of Dana's life, family and friends are invited to gather at the Edison Eye Gallery the afternoon of May 18th, 2013 at 2 pm.

Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Mar. 24, 2013