John Watters Rush

Born January 6, 1934

Earlier this week, John W. Rush, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 86. John was born in 1934, graduated from Model High School in Rome, spent a few years in the Army, and then went on to college and eventually received his degree from Georgia Tech. He married Gayzell Rush in 1961, and they raised two children. John was a lifelong learner and pursued his interests in photography, aviation, technology and many other things throughout his life. He was passionate about the space program and whenever the family would visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, he would proudly point out the satellites he had worked on as a contractor for NASA. He was a lover of puns and terrible dad jokes that made his family groan (in a good way). He was always curious, always questioning, and always learning new things.

Throughout his career, he worked in telecommunications for many different companies, including Alcoa, Visa, and Coca Cola. His jobs had him traveling around the world, and he enjoyed experiencing new places and cultures through his work. He would always come home from his travels with tales about what he had seen and souvenirs for his children. His love of travel continued through his life, and he took several trips with his children over the years to memorable locations, including places such as Alaska, the Grand Canyon and southwest U.S., and Glacier National Park. But as much as he enjoyed his travels to places large and small, he never forgot his rural roots and always intended to return to Rome to spend his final years there among the family and friends he grew up with. As John and his wife grew older, he became her caregiver as she went through the stages of dementia, and he tirelessly worked to keep her at home as long as possible. When she eventually entered a memory care facility, he was a regular visitor, constantly by her side and helping to take care of her until she passed away in 2017. John was preceded in death by his parents, Lovick and Miriam Rush, and his wife, Gayzell Rush. He is survived by his daughter, Laura Rush; his son, John W. Rush II; his three grandchildren, Logan, Madeline, and Lydia; and his brother, Thad Rush. A memorial service will be held at some point in the future, after the current pandemic has subsided. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial gifts to be made in memory of John Rush to: The National Park Foundation, 1500 K Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005, or to: Rush Chapel United Methodist Church, 1225 Rush Chapel Rd. NE, Rome, Ga., 30161.


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