Obituary for Jennifer Joan Rusk |

Obituary for Jennifer Joan Rusk

Jennifer Joan


June 17, 1956 – July 23, 2020

Mom. Wife. Friend. While cliché doesn’t escape Jennifer, it also doesn’t even come close to encompassing all she gave and got out of life. Wisconsinite, cheese lover and true Green Bay Packer fan help describe her roots after her birth in Madison, Wisconsin, to loving parents Erwin & Joan Zuehlke. Coast to coast trips in the back of a station wagon with 3 brothers David (Carrie), Alan (Barb), and Greg (Hope) taught her to camp, scout, and deal with boys, but even these couldn’t stop her from falling for her tennis instructor and ultimate husband, Steve Rusk, in Rockford, Illinois. Tennis and other athletics remained mainstays in her life even as she raised and chased three of her own boys Joshua (Brianne), Zachary, and Noah (Brittney).

Role model, rule follower, and perfectionist, she strived to make her sons’ handwriting as beautiful as hers and ensured they learned to double and triple check every piece of their work. She rode the early computer revolution wave, incorporating computers into industry after earning a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, and was even a pioneer in bringing computers into primary education classrooms.

Jennifer and Steve instilled their love of the mountains upon their family with a move from Illinois to Utah in 1998. It was here where she serenaded her church congregation with piano music, challenged the local tennis community, and kept professional skier athletes organized and in-line as she volunteered during multiple world-cup championships and also the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. It was also in Utah where she began being robbed of life by early onset Alzheimer’s Dementia. Mentally tough and physically strong, Alzheimer’s slowly stole from her over the course of her last 10 years, despite an outpouring of endless support from family, friends, and caregivers. Ironically, while the disease wore down her intensely private outward facade, it allowed those close to her to peer deeper within and discover a love of dancing and showing physical affection with hand holding and hugs.

Her last days and breaths were spent with family holding her hands, laughing and reminiscing about favorite memories, and singing along to her during her favorite movie ‘The Sound of Music.’

For a more complete memory and tribute to Jennifer Rusk including photos, recommendations for donations in her name, and future arrangements to celebrate her incredible life, please visit An online memorial service is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020.

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