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1930 Bob 2023

Bob Rush

September 30, 1930 — September 9, 2023

Bobby (Bob) Wayne Rush, age 92, died September 9, 2023, in Georgetown, Texas. He was born September 30, 1930, in Mansfield, Missouri, the son of Wayne Henderson Rush and Edna (Hance) Rush.

Bob’s childhood was spent in Mansfield, and he described the experience as “the whole town being our playground.” He and brother Charles explored the railroad yard, rode bikes, went sledding and swimming and hiking, and played kick the can, chalk the walk, marbles, and more. Church socials were a big deal, as was shooting bb-guns and playing football and basketball with cousins and friends.

The love of writing was a big part of Bob’s life, beginning in high school when he wrote sports stories for the local newspaper, the Mansfield Mirror. After he graduated from Mansfield High School in 1948, he moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri, where he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

On December 26, 1950, Bob married Theda Tutt. He described her as the love of his life, whom he knew he wanted to marry when they were 10 years old and in the same class at school. Over the years, he wrote many poems to her.

Following college graduation, Bob served as a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force from 1952-1956, including active duty during the Korean War. Part of his military service included learning the Russian language in a one-year immersion program at the University of Syracuse, New York, where he graduated in 1953. This training prepared him to serve during the war as a Russian interpreter in Tripoli, Libya.

Bob’s skill with words would lead him to a career that suited him well. He served for 30 years (1956-1986) as the Electronic Security Command (formerly Security Service) Historical Officer at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. During this time, he participated in top secret military meetings, and received numerous awards, including Sustained Superior Service, Outstanding Performance, and Meritorious Civilian Service.

Always the wordsmith, Bob was a speechwriter for several generals, and helped his son Mark write his graduation speech as president of his cadet class with the Austin (Texas) Police Department.

During the Texas years when Bob and Theda were raising their sons, he was very involved in their lives, including coaching their Little League baseball teams and taking interest in everything they did. Both sons describe him as their best friend, and with his friendly nature, he became a second father to many of their friends. He took an interest in their personal achievements and concerns. He was a good friend to their lifelong friends.

Although Bob and his family spent 40 years in Texas, his heart was always in Mansfield. Every summer and every Christmas, Bob and Theda and Mark and Kevin would drive to Mansfield to spend time with his parents and other family members.

While in Texas, Bob was an active member of Riverside Baptist Church in San Antonio. He played on the church volleyball and basketball teams. He was part of the finance and search committees.

In late 1998, Bob and Theda moved back to Mansfield so that he could help care for his mother and spend time with his brother Charles. His craftsman skills (including creating whatever Theda asked for in wood) were put to good use by remodeling his parents’ home during this time. He instilled this love of building in son Kevin, who helped with this large project. Bob’s love for writing followed him home, including being a regular “letter to the editor” contributor to the Springfield News-Leader. His letters were thoughtful, well-articulated responses to issues of importance.

During this return to Mansfield, Bob rejoined the Mansfield First Baptist Church, which was founded by his great-grandfathers. He also served for many years on the Hensley Cemetery board as a member and officer.

Things Bob loved...working jigsaw puzzles (there was always one going on the dining room table), playing card games (especially with a group of men in Mansfield), collecting (ballpoint pens on the basement walls and 4,000 golf balls on the garage walls), bird hunting and fishing (nurtured with annual trips to Canada with his father and brother, and Port Aransas with other family), playing games (card games and Scrabble when family came to visit), and eating sweets, especially fudge (he always had a sweets drawer, which the granddaughters and great-granddaughters headed for every time they visited).

A sport that was special to him and his family was golf. Bob went on many golf trips with his brother and sons, and continued to play well into his 80’s. He enjoyed this time with family and friends, and his last game was with sons Mark and Kevin.

Bob’s life was a life well-lived in every way. A caring and loving partner to his wife. Best friend to his sons. The best “papa” to his granddaughters and great-granddaughters. Competitive in games and sports, but never a bragger. Modest about his many accomplishments. A true gentleman and a kind, gentle man with a quiet confidence. Bob was committed to God and his beloved family. A man of character who always did the right things for the right reasons.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Theda (Tutt) Rush; sons Mark Rush (and wife Pam), Georgetown, Texas, and Kevin Rush (and wife Amy), Dallas, Texas; granddaughters Haley Rush, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sarah Rush (and husband Stephen), Westminster, Colorado, Sarah Gonzalez (and husband Ismael Jr.), New Braunfels, Texas, Katie Chandler (and husband Chance), Austin, Texas; great-granddaughters Pammy and Alyssa Gonzalez, New Braunfels, Texas; nieces Debbie Rush Sanders (and husband Don), Mansfield, Missouri, and Karin Rush, Springfield, Missouri; great nieces Stacey Atchley (and husband Jeremy), Republic, Missouri, Allison Davis (husband Mike and sons Andrew and Jackson), Republic, Missouri.

He was preceded in death by parents Wayne and Edna Rush, brother Charles Rush, and sister-in-law Mary Lou Rush.

Bob Rush will be interred at Hensley Cemetery near Mansfield at a later date, and a celebration of his life will be held.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bob Rush, please visit our flower store.


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