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Hopkinton mourns loss of Supervisor Marvin Rust

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HOPKINTON - The flag outside Hopkinton’s municipal building was flying at half-staff Monday evening out of respect for Town Supervisor Marvin E. Rust, who passed away early Friday morning.

While it may not be hard to miss a flag flying at half-staff, anyone who entered the building last night would have surely noticed something and someone was missing.

That something was the laughter and smile of man, who according to friends and colleagues, truly loved the town of Hopkinton and the people he served.

“He had quite a sense of humor,” recalled Town Clerk Vickie L. French. “He was always smiling in the morning when he came in.”

That someone was clearly Mr. Rust, who took office in November2010 following the resignation of then-Supervisor Stephen J. Bory.

“Marvin was 100 percent professional,” Mr. Bory said. “He had an interest in just about everything.”

And that’s why Mr. Bory said he chose Mr. Rust to be his deputy supervisor for the last couple of years he was in office.

“He would stop in several times per month and ask, ‘What’s going on with this?’ or ‘What’s going on with that’ and that’s a good thing,” Mr. Bory said. “Anytime anything needed to be done his hand was always up. I can’t even imagine how much work he has done for the town of Hopkinton.”

Deputy Supervisor Susan M. Wood echoed those sentiments.

“Anytime anything went wrong in the town, he was there to work on it himself,” she said. “There were just so many things he took care of.”

Mr. Rust became a town councilman in 1998 and served for 12 years before becoming the supervisor, a job that he took very seriously.

“He gave 100 percent to his job,” Ms. French said. “If he started doing something, he completed it 100 percent. He loved this community, and he took a lot of pride in the town and trying to get it moving forward.”

Moving the town forward included his efforts to breath new life into the James A. Tharrett Memorial Park in Fort Jackson and seeking funding to build a new office building for the town.

Town Councilman Gordon O. Jock said while these projects may not have been completed, it is now up to them to ensure they are.

“Marvin had a lot going on,” Mr. Jock said. “We’ve got to keep that going for Marvin. That’s the least we could do. We were very fortunate to have a man like that in this town.”

Brasher Town Supervisor M. James Dawson Jr. has known Mr. Rust since he was a the Hopkinton man was his student in his English class at St. Lawrence Central.

“He was a good student and athlete,” Mr. Dawson recalled, but when describing his career as supervisor the adjectives used by Mr. Dawson went from good to outstanding.

“Marvin was an outstanding supervisor,” he said. “He was a good, honest, hard working man who was very dedicated to his community. He was the kind of supervisor that any town would love to have.”

His service to the town though wasn’t just limited to his role as an elected official.

Ms. French recalls him cooking pancakes each year for the Maple Festival and also serving as a volunteer during the town’s annual Summer Festival, both jobs that he didn’t have to do, but did each year with a smile on his face.

Ms. Wood agreed. “There was just so many things he took care. The town doesn’t really know what we’ve lost, but we’ve certainly lost a good person.”

Former longtime St. Lawrence Central football coach Jerry D. Mahoney remembers Mr. Rust in a different way. His career began shortly after Mr. Rust left the school, but Mr. Mahoney can recall hearing of his exploits on the gridiron.

“He was a great high school player,” he said. “When you walk on at Alabama, you have to be pretty tough.”

Mr. Rust didn’t just walk on at Alabama and play for any ordinary coach though, Mr. Rust played at Alabama for the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant, remaining a die-hard fan of the Crimson Tide until the day he died.

After graduating from Alabama, Mr. Rust returned home and even coached at St. Lawrence Central for a few years.

“He came in and helped us with our JV program for a couple of years,” Mr. Mahoney said. “He was very intense and into athletics.”

Mr. Rust was also a good friend to many, including Hopkinton Highway Superintendent Ronald W. Streeter.

“I’ve known Marvin since 1952. He was a grade ahead of me in school, but then one year he got held back. He always said he didn’t know why, but I told him it was to help me get through school,” Mr. Streeter said. “I’m going to miss that guy.”

The task of ensuring Mr. Rust’s dreams for the town come to fruition now falls to Ms. Wood, who accepted the position as supervisor at Monday night’s meeting.

“I’m willing to step up to the plate, if I have the support of the board and everyone will help me,” she said. “Those are some big shoes to fill.”

The vacancy created on the board by Ms. Wood’s promotion to supervisor is expected to be filled at the board’s December meeting.

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