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William "Big John" J. Rust

May 5, 1928 ~ September 13, 2019 (age 91)
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William “John” Rust, age 91, of Goodwin, SD, passed away on Friday, September 13, 2019, at the Lake Norden Care Center. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel. Rev. Terry Drew will officiate. Music will be provided by A.J. Sherrill as organist with Robbyn Givens as soloist.  The family is requested to meet at the chapel by 1:30 p.m. for a family prayer service.

Visitation will be at the chapel on Tuesday, prior to the service, starting at 1:00 p.m. 

Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers will be all of his friends from the numerous clubs he was a part of throughout the years. Active pallbearers will be: Rick Rust, Martin Rust, Robert Rust, Nathan Miley, Nicholas Miley, Lance Powell, Cody Powell, Michael Thurston. 

William was born on May 5, 1928, to Klass and Ora (Leemhuis) Rust, on a farm near Castlewood, SD. William grew up on that farm and attended country school until the 8th grade. In 1946 they moved to a farm in the Goodwin, SD area. He worked for the elevator in Waverly, SD for a year and then in December of 1946 William started working for Swift & Company in Watertown.  He served in the U.S. Army from May 8, 1951 to March 13, 1953. William fought in the Korean War for 17 months.  After his honorable discharge, he returned to Watertown and went back to work for Swift & Company. In 1967 he relocated to Clovis, New Mexico for one year, then moved and lived in Tolleson, Arizona from 1968 to 1978. During this time Uncle Bill met the love of his life, Josephine “Josie” Thurston and soon after, he met Josephine’s children, Michael and Anita, whom he considered his own. In December of 1977, William and Josie moved to Guyman, Oklahoma before moving to West Chicago in January of 1981 where little Rudy and Sarah came into their life whom became like children/grandchildren to them. William retired in June of 1990, having worked for Swift & Company for over 43 years. He returned to South Dakota in 2016. 

He was a member of the American Legion; Life Member of the VFW; Amvets;  Tiger Club; Third Ward; and Irish Club.  His hobbies included hunting, club memberships, playing cards, reading newspapers and visiting with family and friends on the phone and in person. 

William is survived by Josephine’s son Michael (Michelle and children Joshua and Benjamin) Thurston and daughter Anita Thurston; sister-in-law, Carol Rust; his nephews, Steve (Cheri) Rust of Aberdeen, SD, Roger (Lori) Rust of Goodwin, SD, Richard Rust of Watertown, SD and Gary (Ardis) Rust of Sioux Falls, SD; his nieces, Karen Powell of Sioux Falls, SD and Diane (Steve) Addison of Oregon; along with several great-nephews and nieces.                                   

He was preceded in death by his longtime companion, Josephine Thurston; parents, Klass and Ora; two brothers, Peter and Robert Rust; and his niece, Eileen Schoenwetter.











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