Sharon Rusak

May 24, 1942April 2, 2021

Sharon B. Rusak, 78, passed away on April 2, 2021, at Matthews Glen Retirement Community in Matthews, NC. Sharon was born on May 24, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, to the late Richard and Viola Poljan. The daughter of 1st generation Polish immigrants, she grew up in Washington Township, MI with her two brothers, Richard and Paul Poljan and her sister, the late Patricia Cottrell.

Sharon attended St. Clement grade school in Romeo, MI, and graduated from Romeo High School in 1960. She participated in cheerleading, Girls Athletic Association, Drama, Student Council, and she was crowned “Miss Romeo” aka the “Peach Queen” during her senior year at Romeo High. She went on to attend Oakland University, and then transferred to Michigan State University where she earned her degree in Education. It was while attending MSU that she met her future husband, Alexander Rusak. She married Alexander in 1965, and they travelled to California, Germany and North Dakota with the U.S. Air Force before settling in Charlotte, NC in 1973.

Sharon worked as a public school teacher in Charlotte at Billingsville Elementary, Chantilly Elementary, and Randolph Junior High School. She was also an employee at the GAP for many years at SouthPark Mall, a job where she thrived due to her unsurpassed skills at making conversation and forming bonds with everybody--once scoring front row tickets to the musical Jesus Christ Superstar by unknowingly striking up a conversation with one of the lead actors in the show.

Sharon loved to meet people and learn about their lives. She took a genuine interest in others, and she was considered a second mother to many of her children’s friends. She instilled in her children the values of hard work and strong faith and will be dearly missed by many. Sharon is survived by her brothers, Richard Poljan and Paul (wife Carole) Poljan; her three children: David (wife Julia) Rusak, Steven Rusak and Karen (husband Ben) Slocum; and her five beloved grandchildren who were the light of her life: Henry, Jake and Cooper Rusak, and Annika and Alexander Slocum.

The Funeral Mass to celebrate her life will be held at 11 am on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 3016 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC. The family will receive friends from 10 am until the time of Mass.

Memorial contributions may be made to Urban Promise Charlotte or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


  • Receiving of Friends

    Thursday, April 8, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, April 8, 2021



Sharon Rusak

have a memory or condolence to add?


April 8, 2021


Jim and I were so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. We have so many happy memories of her from our time at PDS. Sharon was the mom with the best smile and laugh. She had a wonderful way of lighting up gathering and conversation and was always positive , kind, and loving to our family. As we reflect on the years you and Lydia shared at PDS, your mom’s smile will always be a warm presence in our memories.

Love and big hugs to you and your family. We are thinking of you and sending positive thoughts and prayers.

Wylly and Jim


April 7, 2021

I will always remember how deeply and passionately my mom loved her grandchildren. Up until two days before she passed, she was making them food and buying them treats. She facetimed Alex the day she passed, and they would just stay on the ipad and chat for hours. We will miss her so much.
Thanks so much to everyone for reaching out and sending love and prayers. It truly helps so much, and her heart would be touched by all the beautiful memories.

Lydia Guterman

April 6, 2021

Karen and Family, my deepest condolences. Ms. Rusak was always such a welcoming presence. As a child and as an adult, I so enjoyed my time with her. I hope to move through my life with the warmth for others that she exuded in hers.

Sending lots of love,

Britton Hawk

April 6, 2021

Karen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mama Ru was a truly wonderful person. I was blessed to have her as a second mother to me growing up. Not only did she always take good care of me when I was younger, we had a lot of fun together and we shared a lot of laughs over the years. She had a fun loving positive spirit that would lift up those around her. She holds a very special place in my heart and always will. Love you Mama Ru ❤️