Mervin passed away at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in the early morning of August 13th at the age of 98. Who could have imagined he’d live almost a century!
Merv was born on a homestead in rural Saskatchewan and spent his early years in Melfort, SK. As the eldest child of four of Ida and Art Rush, Merv was a responsible and curious child, and a clever student. Family moves took the Rush family to Calgary in the 1940’s and when WW2 broke out Merv joined the RCAF in the “wireless” unit and remained in Calgary until discharged from the Air Force. He was very proud of his service in the air force. Given Merv’s high scholastic achievement in high school he was encouraged to apply to university under the veteran’s program. While he was also interested in medicine, he was accepted in the electrical engineer program at the University of Saskatchewan in 1945. While in Saskatoon he met the alluring and beautiful Marjorie Fair at the local telephone company whom he wooed throughout his university years and married on graduation from U of S in 1949. Work opportunities took Marge and Merv to Flin Flon, Shawinigan Falls, Ft. St john, Abbotsford and finally Castlegar where he worked for Celgar Pulp & Paper, retiring as plant engineer in 1985. In 2002 Marge and Merv bought an ocean view condominium (their dream) in Sidney, BC and enjoyed their retirement years on the west coast.
Throughout his life Merv was passionate about giving back to the community. His proudest volunteer role was serving as Board Chair of the Castlegar and District Hospital. On retirement to Sidney he happily volunteered with Kiwanis, Meals on Wheels and the Shaw Centre of the Salish Sea.
Both Rob and Libby knew their dad as a kind and compassionate person; one who was so curious and civic minded. They didn’t realize he was seen as a studious and shy boy in his youth because those that knew Merv as an adult saw him as a huge extrovert, one who loved asking questions. Merv had a strong work ethic, lived to plan things (we mean “everything”) and had an amazing curious mind, one who was always interested in helping others. He was kind to his siblings and was very, very proud of his children.
Merv is predeceased by his wife, Marge, his parents, brother Donald, and sister Audrey. He is survived by his daughter Libby (Glen) of Victoria, son Robert of Sidney, and sister Lois in Regina and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the amazing staff of the South Unit and Palliative Care Units of Saanich Peninsula Hospital for their compassionate care of Merv in his final months.