nellie rush
Heaven’s choir became just a bit grander Saturday, November 27th, when Nellie E. (Carlton) Rush, 89, brought her musical talent and perfect pitch to the soprano section. Born the middle of five children to Fred and Mary Carlton October 28, 1932, in Verona, Pennsylvania, during her youth Nellie lived in various PA and NV cities. Following an illness and overcoming parental objections, she graduated from Wilkinsburg, PA, high school and then moved as a single adult into her own apartment in Pittsburgh and obtained employment while completing banking and secretarial education. A talented vocalist and self-taught vibraharp player from her youth, Nellie joyfully used her gifts in church ministry. Well-known, her voice ministry was frequently requested for camp meetings, revivals, church assemblies, special occasions, and weekly church services. She taught her children and conducted teen and adult choirs, lead community hymn sings, and served several years as the minister of music at the Follansbee Church of the Nazarene. She especially loved the old hymns of the church. It was while singing at a Clinton, Ohio campmeeting that she was introduced to the somewhat demure and handsome Kenneth Rush Sr. They were quickly lovestruck and despite a challenging courtship, married by year’s end in Paden City, West Virginia. Their fifty-seven-year Christ-centered, love-filled-to-overflowing, healthy marriage was a model of success. A resident of Weirton, WV from her marriage until 2014, she and Kenneth had three children: Cheryl O’Leary of Portsmouth, Virginia, who predeceased Nellie in 2014 and Cindy Koelbl of Maricopa, Arizona and Kenneth Jr. (fiancé, Gaby) of St. Petersburg, Florida, who survive. She also leaves nine grandchildren Jennifer Howell (Jake), Rebecca Meneely, Johnathan Rush (Deserey), Lauren Miller, Heather Oney (Curtis), Kenny Greer (Becca), Michael Miller (Jenny), Sarah (Rush) Lamantia (Ryan), and Kenny Rush (Natalie) and nineteen great-grandchildren Hannah, Logan, Junior (Kenny), Elaina, Dryden, Kayla, Grace, Taylor, Connor, Amaya, Devon, Lizzette, Maria, Carmen, Braxton, Sheamus, Magnus, Trey, and Haylee. Throughout her life, Nellie was often unconventional. A devout Nazarene, she possessed a steadfast faith and belief in God; her pursuit to be like Jesus guided her. An avid Bible reader who had daily morning devotional and prayer times, despite vision difficulties, committed during her last years to reading the entire Word annually. She held unwavering, strong beliefs, convictions and opinions and did not hesitate to share them. She possessed a servant’s heart, a compassionate and empathetic spirit, and listening ear. She constantly demonstrated how to love unconditionally. She valued her family above all else and prayed for each person daily. During an era of stay-at-home moms, Nellie utilized God-given administrative and leadership gifts working outside of her home for many years. Her greatest employment joys were realized while providing legal secretary support for the law practices with Martin (Marty) Bogarad and Joe DiBartolomeo. She successfully tackled gender and pay equality in the workforce, work/life balance, technological advancement, and remote working. Personally, she showcased the joy of living a simple life, managed to get the longest life out of any appliance or piece of furniture, overfilled many a stomach with her great cooking and baking, gave gifts generously, loved traveling with Kenneth, had a green thumb for certain plants and enjoyed collecting – especially bells and hummingbirds. She was a lifelong Church of the Nazarene member and served in various local and district capacities. A master seamstress, she also enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She enjoyed watching sports, especially football, basketball and golf (moreso when Tiger Woods played) and in her earlier years, enjoyed golfing, especially with Kenneth, and wasn’t shy to let us know when her score was lower. Highly competitive, she liked watching Jeopardy, and playing scrabble, crossword puzzles, and word games on her computer or tablet. After leaving Weirton and living in Arizona for a time, late in life she began a second act, showcasing her fierce independence by moving to an independent living center in Spokane Valley, Washington to be near her sister. There she met, dated, and married William (Bill) Rickett. They shared a full, happy, and fun life, even if much too briefly. She became a Seattle Seahawks fan but continued her loyalty to the Steelers and WVU. She readily adopted and loved his son, Randy, relishing times spent together. Her easy smile, and helpful, caring, and friendly demeanor resulted in countless friends, Wii bowling league participation, and community volunteerism. Nellie will be deeply missed by many. In addition to her son and daughter and their families and Randy, her sisters Donna (Ralph) Kramer of Spokane Valley, WA and Vi Matthews of Palo Alto, CA, and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many friends remain. In addition to Kenneth Sr., Bill and her daughter, Cheryl, she was predeceased by her parents, two brothers, nieces and nephews, and close friends who eagerly awaited her heavenly arrival. First Church of the Nazarene on Colliers Way in Weirton, where Nellie was a long-time member, will host her visitation and viewing from 6 to 8 pm, Thursday, December 2nd and the funeral service at 11 am, Friday, December 3rd. Internment and graveside rights will be at Highland Hills Memorial Park, Follansbee, immediately following the funeral service. Pastor Brian Richardson, pastor of the church, will officiate. If desired, in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Weirton Nazarene Church. Share tributes and memories at 304-748-3219

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  1. A very special person in my heart!! Uncle Kenny has been reunited with his soul mate. I will remember her warm heart always!!

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