Born February 20, 1939 at Toledo Hospital to Gerald R. And Nellie J (Fitzpatrick) Rusk, Jerry attended elementary school in Perrysburg, Ohio and graduated from Maumee High School in 1957. He graduated from the University of Toledo Business College in 1962.
He served as a Deacon and Youth Group Sponsor for several years at First Presbyterian church in Maumee and later as a founder and 20-year member and Trustee at First Church of the Open Bible (nee. Heritage Christian Church) in Oregon, Ohio. His current church home is First Church, Toledo, Ohio.
He was employed by the Freeman Mfg. & Supply Company, the Rusk family business in the metal casting industry, and remained there for 55 years as owner and Chairman until retirement at age 72. He was a member of the Board of Directors for many years of the Toledo Chapter of the American Foundry Society, serving as Chairman in 1971-72. He was elected to the National Board of Directors of the 9000-member organization for a three-year term 1974-1976.
Together with his wife Kathy and daughters Lori and Traci, he moved to Port Clinton, Ohio in 1983. His love of hunting and fishing together with expediency of location between business operations in Toledo and Cleveland prompted the move. An old hunting lodge and a 200-acre marsh on the shores of the Sandusky Bay were purchased and extensively renovated over a 30-year ongoing project. The marsh wetland has over the years been used extensively by the Ohio State University School of Natural Resources for various wildlife study projects and by the Port Clinton City Schools for the student science department discovery projects and for the 3rd Grade Fishing Day at the Rusk Marshland, an annual program lasting over 10 years.
An avid hunter and fisherman, he took multiple trips to Mexico, Canada, Alaska and many of the lower 48 states pursuing his avocation in addition to spending every Ohio duck season on Lake Erie in his layout boat or since 1983 at Sandusky Bay in his beloved marsh. He and Kathy purchased a second home on Captiva Island in 1989 where their family now spends their vacation time.
Active in the community, he served the Ottawa County Commissioners as a business advisor on tax abatement requests for several years. As a longtime member of the Port Clinton High School Athletic Boosters, he was Chairman of the annual Athletic & Music Boosters Auction for many years. He served as a member and the President of the Board of Education of the Port Clinton City Schools for 10 years.
Member of Rockwell Trout Club; Catawba Island Club; a 55-year member and a 35-year sponsor of Ducks Unlimited; a 35-year member and Benefactor of The National Riflemen’s Association; Buckeye Firearms Association.
Survived by his wife of 40 years Kathy Jane (Davenport) Rusk, daughters Lori Rusk (Daniel) Grabowski and Traci Rusk Fillmore and sons Robert (Ofer) Rusk, Corey (Diane) Rusk and Douglas (Christine) Rusk. Grandchildren Lilly, Tyler and Lyla Grabowski, Janey Rusk and Lucy Rusk Fillmore. David (Elise) Rusk, Daniel (Dannielle) Rusk, Louis Rusk and Sarah (Christian) McKinnon.
Visitation will be held Monday, November 22, 2021 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Neidecker, Crosser & Preisman Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 1124 Fulton St. Port Clinton, OH where funeral services will be conducted 11:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2021. Pastor Larry Vriezelaar will be officiating. In the spirit of Jerry’s generosity, the family encourages donations to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.neideckercrosserpriesman.com.