Richard Henry Rust, 94, of Falcon Heights, died peacefully Aug. 19, 2016.
He served in World War II as a captain and lead pilot of B-24 in 8th Air Force/Army Air Corps, 446th Bomb Group, 705th Squadron in Bungay, England, and lieutenant colonel in Army Air Force Reserves until 1964. Richard and his daughter Deanna were happy to be a part of the Honorary World War II Veterans trip to Washington, D.C., where a memorial in their honor is displayed.
Richard attended the University of Illinois, receiving his Ph.D. and became professor of soil science at the University of Minnesota in 1956, retiring in 1989, but also continuing as professor emeritus for a time. He enjoyed contact with his graduate students, now living all over the globe.
He and his wife were both interested in genealogy and family history and were proud of their heritage. Richard was from Germany and studied actual church records, traveling there to do research. Richard wrote a small booklet called Rust Farm Diary, 1885-1985 on the 100th anniversary of the farm in Illinois. The farm is still in the family through his brother Edward and has now been a Rust farm for 131 years. In 2001, Richard also penned a small book called Journey Along the Dusty Road, recalling the days, people and events of times past, mostly in the late ’20s and early ’30s.
Richard was an avid gardener, sharing his abundant produce; he kept busy canning tomato salsa, pickles and jams to give. Richard’s backyard was a small orchard of pear, plum and apple trees. Gatherings of family and friends were always sweetened by his homemade pies.
He was an active member of his church for 60 years. In August 2007 Richard began the Senior Moments group, emphasizing fellowship, noon meal and light entertainment once a month at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Falcon Heights. Each month had a food and topic theme. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Laura, and son James (Joanne). He is survived by his daughter, Deanna; sons, Robert, Richard J. and Mark (Joyce); two grandchildren, Nicole and Nathan (Emily); and a great-granddaughter, Evelyn. Surviving siblings are sisters Corleen and Marilyn, and brothers Dale, Edward and Albert.
His memorial service was held on Aug. 27 at Emmaus Lutheran Church.