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Joann Garrett Rusch


1934 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Joann Garrett Rusch Obituary
January 3, 1934 - August 23, 2015 Joann Foster Garrett Rusch Born in Macon, Georgia to Joe and Martha Garrett on January 3, 1934, Joann had one sister, Martha Garrett Wills, who passed away in 2008. She graduated from Weslyan College in Macon. Over her freshman summer, she worked at Silver Bay Family Camp on Lake George in upstate New York where she met her future husband, Willard Van Tuyl (Bill) Rusch. When he asked her to marry him, he brought her a long white box which she thought was filled with roses, but in fact contained a large fish he had caught. Joann completed graduate work at Montana State on a Danforth Fellowship followed by work as Associate Director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of South Carolina. After Bill and Joann married in 1957, they moved to Pasadena, California where they raised their four children and lived for over 35 years. Bill was a professor of Electrical Engineering at USC, and Joann taught elementary school. Joann earned her Master's Degree in Child Development at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and then a second Master's Degree in Social Work from USC. She worked as a licensed clinical social worker until Bill's passing in 1992. She went on to spend two decades living in Los Osos, California where she immersed herself in her faith, poetry, peace activism, family, friends and her life-long association with her fellow Danny Grads. She was a benefactor and member of St. Benedict's Episcopal Church of Los Osos. Her poetry was published in the volume, Where Our Palms Rest. Joann returned to live with her family in South Pasadena in early 2014. She lost her long battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on Sunday, August 23, 2015 at home with her children and grandchildren at her bedside. She will forever be remembered for her wit, humor, and joy for life. Her legacy is one of kindness, generosity, love and support for her family and friends. She is survived by her beloved children, Leonard, Marcy, Tuyl and Garrett; her grandchildren Katie, Casey, Arianne, Sydney, Ashley, Holly, Hannah and Zoe; her brother-in-law Paul Wills and his children Clint Wills and Susan Wilcox. Memorial services will be held September 19th at 10:00 am, St. James Episcopal Church, South Pasadena, CA; and October 3rd at 11 am, St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, Los Osos, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Joann may be made to St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, PO Box 6877, Los Osos, CA.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2015
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