Rufus P. Cushman III
1929 - 2017
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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.

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Published in Rutland Herald from Sep. 5 to Sep. 12, 2017.
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Union Church of Proctor
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Memories & Condolences
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24 entries
August 30, 2020
Rufus was a joy to be with while singing and rehearsing. I think of him fondly.
Sandy Stephen
Friend
October 2, 2017
So sorry to hear that Rufus has passed. He was such a lovely man.
Karen Walker
September 29, 2017
On behalf of the Springfield Symphony Chorus we all hope that Connie and her family know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We remember Rufus having such a bright cheery personality.
Cynthia Welch-Moriarty
September 22, 2017
So very sorry to hear about Rufus' passing. He was a wonderful man and always had a wonderful smile on his face. He will be missed.
Jacqueline Simpson Gilson
September 19, 2017
Dear Connie,

I am much saddened to hear of Rufus' death. I treasured my time singing with him in the Rutland Area Chorus. He often helped me while I was learning our part. May The Lord's peace be with you.
Tom Ward
September 18, 2017
So sorry to hear that Rufus has died. He was always fun to sing with and to talk with. He had the ability to make you feel you were important to him. I will miss him.
Sandy Stephen
September 15, 2017
Dear Mrs Cushman and family,
We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr Cushman. He was such a kind gentle soul. I remember all the years on Blokland - his garden and walking. His stopping and talking to my Mom.
In this most difficult time we hope the memories you have will help comfort you at this most difficult time.
With deepest sympathy,
Lynn & Charlie Katz
Lynn Katz
September 14, 2017
Dear Connie, Jeannie & family,

We feel so blessed to have known Rufus, albeit for to little time! His smile, care and concern for his loving family, friends, church & community was unwavering and all those lives he touched are better having had Rufus in theirs! Thank you sweet man, we will truly miss you & your beautiful voice

Blessings, prayers & love,
Debbie & John Sanborn
Deborah Sanborn
September 14, 2017
I am saddened to hear of Rufus' passing. I enjoyed singing with him in VSO Chorus Bass section and will dearly miss both his voice and his good humor.
Rich Reed
September 14, 2017
Rufus will be dearly missed. An angel, for sure. An officer (trust) and a gentleman rolled into one. After many committees and extra-curricular charity work together, he has left me a better person. With the highest respect, I bid you farewell, my friend.

George David
George David
September 13, 2017
God bless Rufus, Connie and the entire Cushman family. Rufus was a class act, and Lucy and I were blessed to know him when we all lived in Longmeadow. He was one of the most uplifting and generous men we have ever known. We've missed him ever since he left Longmeadow, and join his family in feeling a great sense of loss.
Dwight Shepard
September 13, 2017
Rufus and I shared a birthday and we corresponded on our joint birthdays as late as last year. We worked together at Third National Bank for several years. Rufus was kind and gentle and knew what he was doing in the Trust business. I always said that he was the best that he could be. He gave his all in whatever he was doing. He was a very good man. They don't come any better. Suzanne Renault-Morgan
September 13, 2017
I was saddened to hear of Rufus' passing. We worked together on many projects, committees and mutual clients over the years, and he was the epitome of a trust officer and gentlemen. Please accept my sincerest condolences.
Hyman Darling
September 13, 2017
Thank you for Rufus from Agawam Congregational Church for our financial meetings with his guidance . He was a wealth of knowledge and we appreciated his help.
Dale Melanson
September 13, 2017
Connie and Jeannie, our deepest condolences.
Lyn & Ferdinand Lauffer
September 13, 2017
My deepest condolences to the Cushman family . Rufus was a long time colleague at the Third National Bank and a fine gentleman.
Joe LoBello
September 13, 2017
Rob, dear

Shep and I send you and your family our heartfelt sympathy.
Over the years he was a Trust officer at Third National, we so enjoyed and benefited from the quiet wisdom and gentlemanliness of Rufus--encouraging, guiding, endlessly patient, generous of spirit. Even before we knew you, we knew through him the kind of family he and your mom had to have created--built on caring for the other, responsible stewardship, and love of music. What more is there?!
Love to you all,
Myra and Shep Fein
Myra and Shep Fein
September 13, 2017
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the passing of Mr Cushman. Growing up and seeing him walking by in his jaunty way with a big a smile and hello or stopping and chatting with my Mom. He was a charming, gentle, kind soul. He will be missed. I hope your memories will help you through this difficult time.
Fondly,
Lynn Katz
Lynn Katz
September 12, 2017
Our Deepest Sympathy to all of you at this sad time, Rufus was a Great Guy and we will Miss Him Dearly.
Leslie and Lynn
Kinney Motors VW Service Dept.
September 11, 2017
So sorry to hear of Rufus' passing. He was such a cheerful and welcoming man. Rufus was one of the first people we met when we moved out here to Vermont for my husband's first job out of graduate school. While we were renting the house a few homes down from the Cushmans in Proctor, Rufus made sure Chris, little Lyle, and I all knew we had a neighbor we could count on if we ever needed anything. I remember always thinking how I should be the one offering my help to him, especially through that tough winter of 2014, but he usually beat me to the punch. He was always speaking lovingly of Connie and his children. He is sorely missed by many.
Sarah Nisbet
September 8, 2017
My deep sympathy to you, Connie and Jeannie, and to all who are touched by Rufus' passing. He was a trusted advisor and mentor during my days in seminary and preparation for ministry, a participant in my ordination service, and at my installation in Newbury (VT). And a tireless advocate for his ministry of stewardship. I owe him! And I will miss him, a lot.
Susan Tarantino
September 8, 2017
It was with a heavy heart that I read of Rufus's obit in the Herald.
September 8, 2017
Dear Connie & Family, It was with deep sadness that our family learned today of the death of our beloved Rufus. Please know that our thoughts and prayers got with you. Your Longmeadow frends, The Ditzler Family-John, Mary Jane, Kathy, Charles, Laura, Lindley and their families
September 5, 2017
Connie & family,
We are so sorry to learn of Rufus' passing. It was a pleasure knowing him these past ten years and sharing our love of singing. I shall always remember him reminding everyone to "smile" when we sing. I am sure he is already singing with the choir of angels in Heaven. May he Rest In Peace. A big hug, Margaret & Gil Nadeau
Margaret & Gil Nadeau
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