Floyd Jerry Rush, 80, died unexpectedly after a car accident near his home on November 20, 2023. He was born On June 4, 1943 in Rushville, Nebraska to Hazel Irene Morgan and Clarence James Rush. Floyd grew up in various towns in Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming including Rushville, Custer, SD, Newcastle, WY, and Casper, WY. As a young teen while living in the Casper area, he was electrocuted after touching a metal pipe to a power line, a story that made the local paper not just at the time, but also 50 years later in an “On this day” article in the Casper, Star Tribune.
When he was still a child, Floyd’s uncle owned a piece of property in the Sandbar area and rented it to a young couple with a young son and a baby daughter. That daughter would grow up to be his wife, Phyllis.
Floyd attended various grade schools including Newcastle, WY and Casper, WY before attending Dean Morgan Junior High in Casper. He finished his school career at Natrona County High School before dropping out to join the army where he got his GED.
In 1960, he enlisted in the army. He received his basic training at Ft Riley, KS. He received advanced individual training at Ft Benning, GA spending much of the last of his enlistment there. He often relayed the story of sleeping in the cab of a truck during the Cuban Missile Crisis, waiting for orders to ship out that thankfully never came. He was honorably discharged in 1963.
After his first stint in the army, he worked washing cars at Spaniol Ford. In January of 1966, he reenlisted in the army and, upon being assigned to the Army Security Agency (USASA), went to school at Ft Monmouth, NJ for fixed station transmitter repair. He spent 2 years at the Hakata Station in Japan before being transferred to Vint Hill Farms Station in Warrenton, VA. He was discharged from his second term of service in August of 1967.
Although the details are not known, Floyd was married twice during his early adult years, both of which ended in divorce.
In January of 1969, he was introduced through mutual friends to Phyllis Marie Wolf, who told him they would marry. They did indeed marry, just over a month later on February 28. Later that year, Phyllis became pregnant with their first daughter, Connie Marie, and, in an effort to take care of his new family, he reenlisted for a third tour in the army.
In early 1970, he was once again assigned to a signal group at Vint Hill Farms Station in Warrenton, VA with the USASA where they were living when Connie was born in March of 1970. He was transferred to Ft Carson near Colorado Springs soon after.
In the summer of 1970, he was assigned to a base in Taegu, Korea where he worked with the USA STRATCOM running the MARS (Military Affiliate Radio Station). It was here that he filled his spare time by learning how to take and develop photographs. His baby daughter was a good luck charm for the locals as he often told people how the Koreans would rub her blonde hair for luck. The toddler also could scare them by simply giving them the “Evil Eye.”
In the summer of 1971 after 11 months, Phyllis became pregnant with their younger daughter, Pamala Sue thus beginning the running joke of her having been “made in Korea” and being smuggled into the US tucked in her mother’s belly. Phyllis was sent back to the states at that time while Floyd stayed for a short time to finish his job.
His abilities in keeping communications open between the Asian area and the US were met with many grateful people including the commander of the base who, after hearing that Floyd had only 20 minutes upon receiving his orders to get to the airport for his flight. The commander dispatched some MPs who helped Floyd pack his bags and drove him to the airplane with their lights blazing. He made his flight.
After leaving Korea he was stationed at Ft Monmouth, NJ where he was assigned to the US Army Signal Center & school where he taught the incoming radio specialists.
They lived in a little apartment near the beach during their time at Ft Monmouth. In March of 1972, Pamala came in a hurry while Floyd was in the bathroom on the first floor of the military hospital. He often described how he saw them cleaning up a baby through the window of the nursery and thought, “What an ugly baby.” It was only when returning to his wife's room that he was informed that his daughter had been born and was the child who had been being cleaned. He then phonetically spelled her name on the birth certificate with three As.
In December of 1972 he was discharged for the final time and he returned to Casper, driving cross-country with his little family.
After his arrival in Casper, He was employed by the City of Casper in the sanitation department. In the days before plastic bins and the automated truck, the trash was loaded manually into the back of the truck and Floyd injured his back. He was unable to continue with the job and obtained employment at Casper Fire Extinguisher Service. There he quickly earned the respect of his boss and worked his way to the job of Systems Manager in which he would install fire suppression equipment in restaurant hoods and large equipment, and also serviced and installed sprinkler suppression systems earning the respect of the firefighting community all over the state.
He traveled the state extensively for his job and often took his family along during the spring and summer, giving his children the experience and ability to see towns and cities of the State of Wyoming but would also visit the Black Hills of South Dakota for vacations every year, often with his mother, who had a close cousin residing in the area.
He retired in 2005 after spending 27 years installing systems and traveling the state with and without his family. He spent his retirement years fishing, working on his home and various cars, and taking care of his now ex-wife, who had become homebound due to her health. They celebrated the 51st anniversary of the day they were married before she died in April of 2020 during the early weeks of the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdown after a long illness.
On the morning of November 20, Floyd got into the van that had once belonged to his ex-wife to get a morning coffee at a local restaurant. A block away from his home, he had a health event and passed out, veering the caravan through a yard, causing some damage before being stopped by a tree. He was taken to Wyoming Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries with his youngest daughter and only granddaughter at his side. His oldest was there in spirit since she was under quarantine due to COVID.
He had been a member of the LDS church since 2022.
He was preceded in death by his ex-wife of 36 years, of whom he was a caretaker for the last 15 years of her life (total of 51 years together), his mother, Hazel, father, Clarence, two sisters, Carol and Sandra Rush, and one brother, Royal.
Floyd is survived by two sisters, Betty (Blaine) and Debbie of Casper, three brothers, William Rush of Sioux City, Iowa, Dennis Rush of Cleburne, TX, and Joseph Bradley of Casper, his daughters, Connie (Brian) Jones and Pamala Rush of Casper, one granddaughter, Amanda Danielle (Chris), three great-granddaughters, Charlotte and Calliope Fergen of Menno, SD and Ophelia Marie White-Elk Tyndall of Casper, plus numerous nephews, nieces, and in-laws and outlaws.
Funeral services will be held on November 28 at 11 am at Memorial Gardens and are being arranged by Bustard’s & Jacoby Funeral Directors. Memorials of flowers can be sent in their care. Donations may be sent via PayPal in care of Pammie918@aol.com.
A graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at 11:00am at Wyoming Memorial Gardens.