Cover photo for John Lester Rush's Obituary
John Lester Rush Profile Photo
1943 John 2024

John Lester Rush

June 5, 1943 — February 14, 2024

   John Lester Rush, 80, of Edenton, NC, peacefully passed away Wednesday, February 14, 2024 in his home surrounded by his wife and family.

   Mr. Rush was born in Huntington, IN on June 5, 1943, and was the son of the late Lester Charles Rush and Margaret Poehler Rush.

   A graduate of Southern Illinois University, he was proud to be the Originator of the “Hey Dog” Saluki Mascot in 1962. He was an accomplished college gymnast and created a fun character to entertain crowds at games and events during his time there. The mascot has been continued ever since. He studied geodesic design with the renowned Buckminster Fuller. He retired as a landscape architect following many years of developing and designing golf courses and commercial resorts in Myrtle Beach, SC. Among his other amazing accomplishments, he was an avid outdoorsman, sailor, private pilot, inventor, teacher, animal whisperer, and the ultimate Naturalist. He was known for saying “Shoot with a camera, not a gun!” He taught his family to respect life and appreciate the magnificence of nature, music, art and to live life with gusto. He was THE cheerleader for our team and always had a knack for his wit and humor which will be sorely missed by his friends and most of all by his family. He passed on his love and knowledge of all things to his grandchildren and will be remembered for being a pillar of strength and wisdom. He was pretty darn good at warm cuddles too and making one laugh even in times of sorrow. He is probably one of the best men one would have ever known. “Amazing” just seems lacking when thinking of “our” John.

   Surviving is his wife of 51 years, Dixie Thurmond Loo Rush; a daughter, Heather and her husband Brandon; a son, Sterling and his wife Danielle; sister, Elizabeth; brother, Charles; and nine grandchildren, Gavin, Sophia, Brooks, Scarlett, Everleigh, Naomi, Vivienne, Ava, and Sydney.

   In accordance with his wishes, services will be private. There will be one last grand journey to all of his favorite places with his family to Myrtle Beach, SC, Athens, GA, and finally the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, NC.

   Miller & Van Essendelft Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, is assisting the family with arrangements, and online condolences may be made by visiting

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