Obituary

Barbara Rusk
April 11, 1927 - December 9, 2022

Barbara  Rusk

Barbara Rusk
Apr 11, 1927 - Dec 9, 2022

Barbara  Rusk

Visitation

18
Saturday
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Info | Add to Calendar
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Info | Add to Calendar

Service

18
Saturday
3:00 PM
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Info | Add to Calendar
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
Info | Add to Calendar
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When Barbara was 10 days shy of her 10th birthday her family moved from a one-story house originally built as a garage on an unpaved street to a two-story Dutch Colonial house with a fireplace and solarium. The new house also had a feature valuable to a 10-year-old, sidewalks! She felt she was living a dream. Her parents set an example that, with a little creativity and drive, you can thrive even during a Great Depression. Barbara took that lesson to heart.

Barbara was born to Opal and F. Gorodess Phillips on April 11, 1927 in Mason City, Iowa. She passed away peacefully on December 9, 2022 at Green Hills Health Care Center in Ames, Iowa.

Her family moved to Des Moines when she was young. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1945. She spent that summer at Camp Hantesa as a senior counselor training the younger ones. When VJ Day came in August they held a patriotic parade. She often mentioned that memory of the war's end.

She enrolled at Iowa State College in the fall where she met Carl Rusk. They were married on November 18, 1949. Their marriage lasted until Carl's death on February 18, 2006.

Carl and Barbara shared a love of gardening. In 1970 they bought a house with a lot 300 feet deep. Carl landscaped with trees and Barbara organized the flower garden, vegetable garden, and strawberry patch with her favorite plants. Carl's red maple in the front yard drew many compliments in the fall and Barbara became an award-winning flower arranger and then an active flower show judge. They joined the Ames Garden Club and Barbara went on to become the president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Iowa from 1993 to 1995.

For Barbara's 90th birthday her family organized a party at the Reiman Gardens, where she had served on the Advisory Board from the garden's earliest days. Barbara commented that the party room was the same place where the garden club, after a regular meeting, hosted Carl and Barbara's 50th wedding anniversary reception.

Her children have honored her with the gift of a memorial brick at the Plaza of Heroines on the Iowa State campus. Her entry on the plaza's web site lists many of her life accomplishments.

She was preceded in death by her husband Carl, her older brother F. Gorodess Phillips, Jr., and her son William Rusk. Those left to cherish her memory are her sister Dianne Kelley of Mesa, Arizona, her daughter Susan Blair of Ames, son Timothy Rusk of Berkeley, California, and son and daughter-in-law Richard and Edith Rusk of Spring, Texas. Barbara has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on February 18, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. with a public visitation held from 1:00 p.m. until the service time at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010, followed by the burial of her ashes at Ames Municipal Cemetery. Please visit grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com to share your special memories of Barbara.

Steve Libbey on Dec 21, 2022

Barbara's 90th

Steve Libbey on Dec 21, 2022

Barbara was a lovely person and always tried to teach me a bit more about gardening - I am so glad to have been able to know her. - Steve Libbey, Ames

Beth Wunder on Dec 21, 2022

Barbara was a special P.E.O. sister who contributed so much to Chapter KR through her programs, as president, and her warm friendship. I last visited her at Waterford several years ago, where I also enjoyed her doll house of course. She was so talented, kind, generous, and so lovingly cared for Carl in his last years. Our world is better for her having been a part of it and our lives. Sending sympathy and prayers to all of you, her family.
Beth Wunder

Betty Gordon on Dec 19, 2022

To Barb's family,
My heartfelt sympathies to each of you on the loss of your mom, grandma, etc.

I knew Barb and Carl from the Ames Garden club. I learned a lot from each of them especially from Barb being a flower judge.

She helped critique my flower arrangements. She was delightful to be around and always a smile on her face.

RIP Barb; you and Carl can garden now in heaven together as you did here on earth.

Paul Lasley on Dec 19, 2022

I am so sorry for your loss. When Carl passed away, Barbara asked me to build a chancel cross for the sanctuary. The cross continues to grace our sanctuary with a plaque honoring Carl. For years Barbara shared her talents of floral arrangements with the congregation with flowers from her garden. She and Carl were special members of our church family. Barbara will be missed. My sympathies, Paul Lasley

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Visitation

Feb
18
Saturday
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


Service

Feb
18
Saturday
Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care
414 Lincoln Way
Ames, IA 50010
3:00 PM


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