Joseph Daniel Rusk

October 17th, 1942January 2nd, 2022

Joseph Daniel Rusk was born October 17, 1942 in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Daniel Rusk and Lillian Ferro Rusk. He grew up on the outskirts of Cheyenne and, after graduating from St. Mary’s High School, enlisted in the Navy and served aboard the USS Chickasaw (ATF-83) as an Electronic Technician. Many of his shipmates became lifelong friends. 

Joe graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He married Judy Kathryn Gillespie and they built a life together that lasted more than 54 years. Joe’s first job was in Hopkins, MN with Honeywell. The couple missed the open spaces and mountains of the west and Joe accepted a position with Rocky Flats in Boulder, Colorado where he worked for 27 years, retiring as a construction manager. He moved from Boulder to a little piece of heaven in unincorporated Boulder County where he and Judy remained until his death January 2, 2022. 

Joe was an active volunteer member of Longmont Rural Fire Department which became the Mountain View Fire Department for 32 years, retiring as a volunteer Battalion Chief. He owned Rusk Construction Management and worked as a Building Inspector for the Town of Frederick. Joe was a man dedicated to service of his fellow humans. He was a member of St. Scholastica and Immaculate Conception Catholic Churches. In his spare time, he was a craftsman working with wood on many projects including clocks, cabinetry, rocking chairs, and rocking horses for his home and his family. Joe was a member of the USS Chickasaw Reunion Association and served as Secretary for many years, publishing 2 newsletters a year and a book that was an historical accounting of the life of that ship. Joe was most proud of the family he and Judy reared: sons Brian James (Angelee), Jeffrey Matthew (Kimberly) and Christopher Michael (Teresa) all of whom survive him. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren: Adyn, Camryn, Jenna, Brady, James and Madysen; and a nephew, Daniel (Sarah) Rusk. He was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel and Lillian, and his brothers, Henry Joseph (Anne, also deceased), Thomas Dean, and a baby brother who died at birth.


Services will be held at Immaculate Conception Church on Tuesday, January 11th 2022 beginning with viewing at 10:00 am, Rosary at 10:30 am and Mass at 11:00 am. Burial will follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Erie, after which lunch will be served at the church. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity that speaks to your own heart.

For those unable to attend, please visit on the day of the service and click the red YouTube button in the upper right corner to watch the livestream. 


Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Erie | Map




Immaculate Conception Catholic Church | Map


Your time seems to have come to an end too soon. Will miss you forever,
Joe, it was an honor to have served with you in the US Navy, our condolences to your family and till we meet again my friend as I know you will keep an eye on us, Don and Madeline Chavez.
My prayers and know that Joe is at peace and with his great Military friends. Love to Judy and family.