|Birth: ||Mar. 27, 1926|
|Death: ||Dec. 6, 2005|
Obituary from Ancestry.com; published in Great Falls Tribune:
Vernon E. Rustvold, 79, of 3013 6th Ave. S., a retired builder and Marine Corps veteran died of natural causes on Tuesday at Peace Hospice.
Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Schnider Funeral Home. His funeral liturgy is 11 a.m. Saturday at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with burial following in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Survivors include his wife Eloise Rustvold of Great Falls; a daughter, Karin (Howard) Schiffman of Potomac, Md.; sons Richard Rustvold and Bruce (Marilyn) Rustvold, of Great Falls; a sister, Sharon (Jim) LePard, of Great Falls; and grandchildren Andrew Rustvold, Hannah Rustvold, Matt Schiffman, and Rebekah Schiffman.
Vernon was preceded in death by his son Alan Rustvold in 1969.
A GREAT MONTANAN
Written by his grandson Andrew Rustvold in the 5th grade in 1995.
Vernon E. Rustvold, my grandfather, was born in Great Falls on March 27, 1926, one of eight children.
In April of 1943, during World War II, he enlisted in the Marine Corp. He volunteered for scout sniper training, not knowing what that would involve. Vernon was sent with the 1st Marine Raiders to serve overseas for three years, without a furlough. He first went to New Caladonia, then to Guadacanal, Emarau, and was one of the first Marine Raiders ashore to recapture Guam from the Japanese. Later, he was with the first fighters to go ashore on Okinawa, to a terrible, terrible battle with the Japanese. During these years, he suffered malaria, fright, hunger, shrapnel wounds and was shot by the enemy on Okinawa. He was awarded the Purple Heart. He made another beach landing, his fourth, at Yokasuka, Japan, but at last, the war was over.
Vernon returned home in December 1945. He married my grandmother, Eloise Lenci, in July of 1946. They had known each other since childhood.
He had always loved building and woodworking, so he started his own construction company. He taught carpenter apprentices and blue print reading under the Adult Education Program.
Vernon and Eloise were parents of three boys and one girl. I am the son of Bruce, his youngest. Grandpa was grief stricken by the death of his oldest son, Alan, in 1969, while Alan was in the Marines.
Vernon pioneered the Valley View Addition in Great Falls by building the first seven houses there. He was a project manager or superintendent of construction for North Junior High, the Elks Club building, the International Airport building in Great Falls, the Columbus Hospital, a shopping center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a nursing home in Miles City, a Montana Power building in Billings, a border station at Sweet Grass, the federal building in Bozeman, a dormitory and physical education building at the Dillon College and other buildings, including the Morony Natatorium.
In July of 1979, he became ill and went to Spokane, Washington, for his first heart surgery, which forced him to quit work. I was born in 1982, and have spent many happy hours with Vernon. We share a workshop where we build and talk. We camp and fish and we've traveled to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
In July of 1991, I went with grandpa to Spokane, when he had his second heart surgery.
In 1987, we bought a very old church in Sand Coulee. We spent a lot of time remodeling it. Now, I live in the old church which I now own.
My grandmother said, "I know a great man you can write about for your Montana report." She gave me some information for this report.
In addition to Andrew's obituary, Vernon built about 60 homes in Great Falls including his own home for his young family at the age of 22. He helped build the first house for Neighborhood Housing. In later years he built a family mountain cabin. Many family gatherings were held there and on cold nights he would recite poems to the children at bedtime. He was an avid reader and traveled extensively with his wife. He attended many Marine Corps reunions at Quantico, Virginia, and revisited his battlegrounds at Okinawa and Quam.
Vernon was contacted in 2004, by historian Hugh Ambrose, son of author Stephen Ambrose, to assist with a documentary project they were planning regarding Marine Raiders and events in the South Pacific during WWII. Vern contributed many hours of interviews helping to bring this story to people for whom this war was fought.
Vernon belongs to the DAV, Veterans of Foreign War, Scout Sniper Association, Elks Club, Purple Heart Association, Marine Corp League, and Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Memorials are suggested to Peace Hospice 1101 26th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405; or Sts. Peter and Paul Building Fund, 200 44th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405.
Originally published December 8, 2005
Eloise Ann Lenci Rustvold (1930 - 2011)*
Alan Vernon Rustvold (1947 - 1969)*
Richard D. Rustvold (1949 - 2009)*
CPL US MARINE CORPS
WORLD WAR II
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Created by: A Marine's Daughter
Record added: Nov 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62094748