PROCTOR - Rufus Packard Cushman III, of Proctor, VT, died on Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2017, at home, from heart and kidney failure.
He was born Feb. 15, 1929, in Waban, MA, the son of Rufus P. Cushman Jr and Clara Morse Cushman.
Educated in Providence, RI, and Bridgeport, CT, he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1946 and Middlebury College in 1950. His connection with Middlebury continued through his work with the development and admissions offices.
He met his wife singing in church choir in Bridgeport, CT, and married Carolyn Jeanne Olney ("Connie") in Proctor, VT, on Aug. 16, 1952. Their son, Robert Allerton Cushman, was born in Fairfield, CT. They moved to Chamblee, GA, in 1956, and their daughter, Jeanne Bradford Cushman, and son, Philip Morse Cushman, were born in Atlanta, GA. They then lived in West Boylston, MA, from 1964 to 1967, Longmeadow, MA, from 1967 to 2006, and then moved to Proctor, VT, in 2006.
Rufus loved to sing! Every Sunday, he sang in church choir: United Church in Bridgeport; Second Congregational Church in Atlanta; First Congregational Church in West Boylston; First Church, Longmeadow; and the Union Church of Proctor. Rufus and Connie sang in the Atlanta, Worcester, Springfield (MA) and Vermont Symphony choruses. For 35+ years, Rufus sang with the Spare Parts, a CT a cappella men's group, as well as annual performances of the Yankee Male Chorus. More recently, he sang with the Rutland Area Chorus and the Hospice group, "Trillium."
An economics major, Rufus worked in merchandising and sales, including State Mutual Life Assurance in Atlanta. GA, Worcester. MA. and Springfield. MA. He then worked as a trust officer at the Third National Bank/Bank of Western New England, Springfield, MA, until his retirement in 1991. Rufus then continued to work part time for the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC), training church congregations statewide the "win-win" of planned-giving to the church.
In his "retirement," he also worked with the Massachusetts and Vermont conferences of the UCC on finance, investments and stewardship committees, as well as the Northeast Ecumenical Stewardship Council. He enjoyed teaching folks how to talk about religion and money.
Rufus was predeceased by his parents; oldest sister Jane Cushman Deyo; sister-in-law Louise Olney Baker; brothers-in-law H. Alden Deyo, Bradford S. Colwell, and William B. Gumbart; and his Vermont cousin, Ruth Morse James Taylor.
Rufus is survived by his wife, Connie; son Robert (Deborah Holmes), of Simsbury, CT; daughter Jeannie, of Proctor; son Philip (Jill Moore), of Napa, CA; grandson Daniel Holmes Cushman (Elizabeth O'Connell), of West Hartford, CT; granddaughters Eleanor Morse (Cushman) Jacobs (Luke), of Boulder, CO, and Chelsea Hanson Cushman, of Santa Rosa, CA; great-grandsons Cameron Cushman and Hunter Jacobs; sisters Mary Cushman Colwell and Elizabeth ("Betsy") Cushman Gumbart, of Cheshire, CT; his Vermont cousins, Carol Morse, of Middlebury, VT, and (Ruth's sons) Richard James (Gail Curtis) and Kyle James (Karen), of Bristol, VT.
Private interment will be in Monson, MA, on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Hillside Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at Union Church of Proctor on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m.
Contributions in Rufus' name may be made to the Vermont Food Bank (give.vtfoodbank.org
); the Heifer Project (www.heifer.org
); the Outreach Committee of Union Church (5 Church St., Proctor, VT 05765); or the charity of one's choice
. Rufus said, "there can be no peace in the world where there is hunger."
Arrangements are by Tossing Funeral Home.