Kenneth “Bubber” Rustad was born 18 October 1929 to Nora (Sullivan) and Harry Rustad, right before the beginning of the Great Depression. He and his five siblings (Roy, Gordy, Phyllis, Donna, and Nyra) were raised in Hawley under trying but character-building circumstances. He grew up poor, working hard picking potatoes, shucking corn, and doing other odd jobs to help get his family through the 1930’s. Despite the hardships, he excelled as a student, an athlete, and a Hawley citizen, beloved by everyone in the community with many friends, including Allen “Stretch” Wastvedt and Tom Burns. He graduated valedictorian from Hawley High School in 1947. He then went to North Dakota State University where he majored in mathematics. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Army as a mathematical research assistant from 1951-1953 during the Korean war. Following his Army service, he moved to Hallock, MN where he taught math and coached basketball and baseball. He married Rachel Stensland, also of Hawley, in 1954. The two of them continued to live in Hallock for another year, and then moved to Golden Valley, MN in 1955 where Ken began a long career in the Minneapolis Public School System, teaching math and working as a school counselor at Washburn and Marshall. In 1974 he obtained is Ph.D. in Educational Psychology under Norm Sprinthall at the University of Minnesota while continuing to work as a counselor. He then moved into broader administrative duties at MPS, finishing his career at West High School in 1989. In life he had an adventurous spirit, finishing several Grandma’s Marathons, canoeing down the Mississippi River with journalist Bruce Benidt, and working on the family cabin at Stark Lake. Molded by his youth, he reveled in physical labor and was a particularly accomplished leaf-raker and builder of massive woodpiles. Most importantly he was wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, with legendary generosity and kindness, always encouraging his family members to, above all, “trust your instincts”. He was preceded in death by four of his siblings and his wife Rachel. He is survived by his sister, Nyra; children, Jenny and Jim (Katie); grandchildren, Amanda (Jason), David (Kristen), Robert, and Alex; great-grandchildren, Declan, Cullen and Jared; and beloved dog, Murphy
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Thursday, October 27, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., at Wright Funeral Home in Hawley.