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Eleanor "Rusty" Collier, retired nurse and versatile artist, died unexpectedly on 20 August 2020 at the age of 94.
Rusty is survived by two daughters, Susan and Christine. She is predeceased by her husband, Bob; her sister, Wanda; and her daughters, Kathy, Sara, and Roberta. She leaves behind five grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
Rusty was born in Bristow, Oklahoma in 1926. She was a diligent student who earned status as a National Merit scholar. She began developing as an artist early and took her first lessons from an artist in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project 1939 in Bristow.
Rusty was a uniquely intelligent woman. Not only was she a Registered Nurse, she was president in Toastmasters and an officer in the Oklahoma Business Women's organization. She was very devoted to the United Methodist Church. Rusty was a long time member of the choir in the Jay UMC and later, in Stroud. She also was active in United Methodist Women and enjoyed using her sewing skills to make banners to hang in the sanctuary.
Rusty was fearless. After her life as an Army officer's wife and Domestic Goddess, she returned to nursing. Without hesitation, she started her new career as a floor nurse at the Jay Memorial hospital in Oklahoma. She worked in all departments, progressing up to Chief Nurse. At one point she even delivered a baby in the parking lot! When the hospital closed after Bob's death in 1985, she moved to Zephyrhills, Florida to complete her retirement.
She enjoyed singing, painting, gardening, travelling, poetry, crosswords, Scrabble, fabric arts and driving fast. Rusty loved all animals, including bugs. She travelled all across America and several foreign lands, including Turkey, Greece, the British Isles, Australia, and Europe.
While several strokes may have stolen her mobility, Rusty’s family and friends can attest to her rapier-sharp wit even at 94. Not much got past Rusty; her droll observations made us laugh. She kept her friends at Meadowlark Hills on their toes!
Rusty will be interred in Duffield cemetery beside her beloved husband, Bob, in Jay, Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Good Samaritan Fund, Meadowlark Hills, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.
Arrangements are under the direction of Worley Luginbuel Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.honoringmemories.com or on the Worley Luginbuel Facebook Page.
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