Nancy Shuttleworth Rust
1928 - 2018
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Nancy Shuttleworth Rust

Seattle -- Nancy Shuttleworth Rust, 89, died in the early hours of Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Horizon House after a short illness.

Nancy was born in Iowa City, Iowa on September 15, 1928, the second of three daughters of Beatrice Gates Shuttleworth and Frank Kayley Shuttleworth.

Nancy married the love of her life, Dr. Richard Eno Rust, on June 11,

1949. She received a Master's degree in Mathematics from the University of Iowa in 1950.

Nancy served as a member of Washington State's House of Representatives from 1981-1996, having begun a life of political activism by joining the League of Women Voters in the mid-1950s. As a member of the League, Nancy worked on voter registration campaigns, numerous ballot initiatives, tax reform, and the Equal Rights Amendment. From her sixty-some years of community service, she will be most remembered for her work on environmental issues. She chaired the House Environmental Affairs Committee from 1983-1994, during which time she oversaw legislation regarding hazardous waste management, shorelines management, growth management, and legislation to prevent oil spills on Puget Sound.

Along with her involvement in public affairs, Nancy led a vibrant and varied personal life. The mother of six children, she was active in the PTA, served on the board of Greater Seattle Girl Scouts, led Girl Scout troops, and went on countless Girl Scout outings. Having grown up on the East Coast, she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest on her first visit to the area in 1951. She enjoyed getting out into nature, whether by day-hiking, back-packing, skiing, biking or as a member of the Washington Native Plant Society. In synchrony with any other activity, Nancy enjoyed knitting. After knitting multiple sweaters for members of the family, she knit clothing items for a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization, afghans for Afghans.

Memories of Nancy will be cherished by her beloved husband; her two sisters, Margaret Vernallis and Carol Hake and brother-in-law Dexter; her six children, Martha (and spouse Leslie Myrick), David (Janice Reebs), Steven (Cate Brigden), Michael (Julia Sabo), Amy, and Elizabeth; three grandchildren, Arcadia Smails and grandson-in-law Rodney Minott, Alexa Rust, and Benjamin Rust; and one great grandson, Joseph Minott.

A celebration of Nancy's life will be held on August 12 from

3:00-5:00 PM at Horizon House at 900 University St. in Seattle (off-street parking available at the corner of University St.

and 9th Avenue).

Memorial donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy or to the Trust for Public Land.

Guest Book at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Jul. 1, 2018.
Celebration of Life
03:00 - 05:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
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2 entries
July 9, 2018
I had the privilege of serving with Nancy from 1982 through 2001 while we were both serving in the House of Representatives. Along the way, while working on some of the most difficult and controversial issues, we became good friends and colleagues. I loved her boundless energy and her perpetual optimism. I'll miss her presence.

Jennifer Belcher
July 1, 2018
Nancy was unfailingly helpful to me as an volunteer learning to lobby on State and private forestry issues with the Washington Environmental Council.

Her committee was a model of in-depth exploration of key environmental issues, but always with respect for all speakers and all sides of hard, divisive issues.

I only wish we had more leaders like her. She is missed.
Marcy Golde
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