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Ronald Edward "Ed" Rush

1921 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Ronald Edward "Ed" Rush Obituary
RONALD EDWARD "ED" RUSH was the fifth of eight sons born to Louis Lee Roy and Amy Blanche Purcell Rush on December 23, 1921 in Mendes, Georgia. Raised in a tent with a dirt floor for the first 12 years of his life, Ed is known for saying, "There is something about being poor that can light a fire that glows forever." For Ed, that flame was education. Ed's flame burned through the completion of high school, a feat he was the first in his family to achieve, and shone brightly through four post-secondary degrees as well as partial completion of his PhD in educationwhich he suspended in order to pass the flame to the growing next generation of learners. After taking a brief leave during his 10th grade year to work in the Civilian Conservation Corps for $1 a day to support his family, he graduated on time with his class from Glenville High School in 1941. After graduation Ed enlisted in the United State's Coast Guard aboard the USS Wakefield. A WWII veteran, Ed served his country from 1942-1949. Across his active and reserve years in the Coast Guard, Army, and Navy, Ed received eight combat medals from the US military and campaign stars for his service in 18 countries across five continents. After the war Ed continued his education on the G.I. Bill at Georgia Teachers' College, now Georgia Southern University, where he was honored with the recognition of Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges. Upon completion of his bachelor's degree, Ed moved to Nashville, Tennessee for his master's in education at George Peabody Teacher's College at Vanderbilt University. Because of a growing interest in the language and community of the deaf, Ed went to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. to earn another master's degree, this time in deaf education. It was at Gallaudet that Ed would meet his wife, Anna "Ann" Laura Hereford who was attending Gallaudet as a graduate student in the same program. Ed was immediately smitten with Ann and proposed to her on their first date, to which Ann replied, "Well, I don't want to, but I'll think about it." Ed finally won her over and the two were wed in Ann's hometown of Crocus, Kentucky on August 16, 1953. As a school administrator, Ed ignited the flame of education in many others over the course of his 40-year career. Ed started his career at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, Florida, where he received recognition as 1951's Who's Who in American Education as an instructor and the director of athletics. As an educator for the deaf, Ed won several awards including High School Coach of the Year, Talking Hands Award, and the Good Teacher's Conference Recognition. Ed and Ann moved to Riverside, California when Ann took a job at the newly opened California School for the Deaf in Riverside in 1955. Ed began working as a teacher in the Riverside Unified School District. He quickly moved on to become a principal of various schools across Riverside County. Ed's religious upbringing instilled in him a servant's heart. As a young boy, his poor but proud family would provide each of the eldest five boys one penny to place in the offering plate during Sunday school. Often wondering how his family could spare finances to help others in need, but not enough to provide food or undergarments for themselves, Ed would selflessly give his pennies to the church. As an adult, Ed continued to give back all that he could; he selflessly served on the Board of Trustees at Magnolia Avenue Baptist Church for over 30 years and sang proudly with the Master's Men. As a civil servant Ed held a variety of positions on boards and committees in Riverside County, holding equal pride for his work as a junior high science fair judge as he held for his three-year term as chairman of the Riverside County Grand Jury. Additional positions held included member of the Riverside County Sheriff's Reserve, Riverside County Flood Control Advisory Board, YMCA, American Legion, Red Cross, Commission on Aging, Trade Advisory Council for Women's Prisons, Riverside County Juvenile Justice System, Citizen Committee for Cal Baptist University, and a volunteer for the Special Olympics among countless others. Ed coached, officiated, and played several sports throughout high school and college. He was a notorious jokester, cook, and self-proclaimed "mathmagician." Ed would command audiences as a guest lecturer and speaker across the country with riddles such as the infamous, "Would you rather be like you are, or have good sense?" and "Approximately how far do you live from home?" Ed was proud of his five children and their accomplishments. He kept a pad of paper and a pen on his bedside table where he proudly listed his children's athletic and academic achievements. His torch of education has been passed along to the next generations, which has led the family to an additional 15 post-secondary degrees. Seven grandchildren are still working to add more degrees to his bedside list ranging from high school diplomas to a PhD at one of his alma maters, Vanderbilt University. Ed, one smart fellow, was called home to the Lord at 92-years-old while asleep in his bed on Friday, September 5, 2014. His laughter lives on in the hearts and jokes of his wife (Ann), five children (Reggie, Pam, Lauri, Alicia, and Charles), four in-laws (Kaye, Bruce, Ron, and Denise), and nine grandchildren (Jeffrey, Ryan, Carly, Rachel, Arianna, Davis, Adam, Dalton, and Serena). A celebration of Ed's life will be held on Saturday, September 13, 2014 between 5:30-10pm at The Yanks Air Museum (7000 Merrill Avenue #35-A270 Chino, CA 91710). The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Gallaudet University's Shared Reading Project in his memory. Gifts are accepted online at giving.gallaudet.edu

Published in Press-Enterprise on Sept. 10, 2014
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