Mary Louise Rust, devoted to family, friends

October 31, 2017

Mary Louise Rust, née Donnelly, 74, passed away Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. She was born in West Chester, Pa., Feb. 21, 1943, to Francis Xavier Donnelly and Beatrice Ann (Himelright) Donnelly.
Mary Lou attended the parish schools of St. Agnes Catholic Church in West Chester. At St. Agnes School, at age 5, she first met her kindergarten classmate Gail Sheller, now Gail Fitzgerald. The pair quickly became inseparable, graduated together from Bishop Shanahan High School in 1960, and remained lifelong friends. After high school, Mary Lou enrolled at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, and earned an associate degree in May 1962.
A classmate at Goldey-Beacom invited Mary Lou to spend a weekend at her home near the beach towns of Sussex County. On that visit, Mary Lou met a young man from the neighboring farm, who was home visiting his family on leave from the Coast Guard. On Aug. 25, 1962, Mary Lou married Gerald Clifford Rust at St. Agnes Church. They built a home on Gerald's family's farm in Delaware and lived happily married there for 55 years. Mary Lou was a devoted mother and full time homemaker, raising and caring for three children. When her children were all of school age, she took employment with the Indian River School District and spent many happy years working in the guidance office at Sussex Central High School, where she was known for her cheerfulness and love for all people. Mary Lou and Gerald enjoyed traveling together, and hosting family and friends at their beach cottage on Prime Hook Beach. In later years, they renovated a small cottage on Tybee Island, Ga., and enjoyed spending vacations there with family.
Mary Lou is survived by her daughter, Sharon Rust of Georgetown; her son, Michael Rust of Oxford, Md., and her daughter, Diane Wyatt of Charlottesville, Va.; her grandchildren, Jillian Dalton, Gabrielle Bowden, Brady Bowden, Megan Rust, Sarah Rust, William Rust, Cyrus Wyatt and Georgia Wyatt; her great-grandchildren Brynnlee Dalton and Westyn Dalton; her best friend, Gail Fitzgerald, Gail's husband Tommy, their children, Timothy Fitzgerald and Michelle Walker (Fitzgerald), and their granddaughters Nicole and Ashley Walker. Mary Lou will be always remembered for her devoted love to her family and friends, for her constant gracefulness, even in times of trouble, and for her kindness and compassion for all people.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Beatrice, by her husband, Gerald, who died in June of this year, and by their first child, a son, William Granville Rust.
A visitation will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 3, at Short Funeral Services, 609 East Market St., Georgetown. A funeral service will be held at Short Funeral Services with visitation at noon and the service at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963.