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Rustige, Raymond F.

rustigerRustige, Raymond F. Entered eternal life on March 5, 2016. He leaves behind the love of his life, best friend and wife, Margaret (Peggy) Doyle Rustige. Ray and Peggy married on Nov. 26, 1971 and lived Everyday as the first day of the rest of their life. Ray was described as a gentle, humble man who was happiest in service to others. Do everything with love was his mantra. He served people in a number of communities always with mercy, love and a firm belief in social justice. Ray attended Cathedral Latin School, St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained a priest on Mar. 8, 1952. He served the Archdiocese of St. Louis for 18 years in a number of parishes: St. Joseph's, St. Edward's, St. Barbara's, Ste. Genevieve DuBois, Chaplain of Sisters of Mercy Mother house, and St. Engelbert's. July 1953, he was assigned to Mercy High School as an instructor where he became Director of the Speech and Drama department.

There he cultivated lifelong friendships. June 1959, Ray was assigned as Associate Editor of the St. Louis Review. During this time, he was challenged by the state of the church and civil rights issues. Ray was moved to do even more in service to others. He became an ardent admirer of Pope John XXIII and advocate for his visions for the church. Vatican II Ecumenical Council ushered in an era of renewal for the Catholic church. Through his Review editorials and articles, Ray worked diligently to keep St. Louis Catholics informed of the workings of the College of Cardinals and became an expert on the various documents produced at the Council. Vatican II provided him with a model for his priesthood and church renewal and collaboration with the laity. He became a fervent proponent of Aggiornamento (modernization) of the church - one based on hope, love and unity.

He was particularly strident in his belief that the people were the church. He became actively involved with groups of laity anxious for the implementation of the tenets of Vatican II. And in 1964, Ray was appointed to the Archdiocese Commission of Ecumenism.

In 1970, Ray made the decision to leave the institutional priesthood. Ray then held a number of positions. He worked for Civic Employment, a job development and education program for hard-core unemployed, under-employed minorities and women. In 1973 he transitioned to the healthcare field serving as a nursing home administrator. From 1977-80, he served as Executive of the Alliance for Home Health Services a group of 37 organizations devoted to making home care an effective, significant factor in the total healthcare system. During this time he was also an instructor of Health Care Administrators at Florissant Valley Community College. Ray began teaching at Saint Louis University in 1980 retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1994.

He served as Asst. Professor teaching courses in Long Term Care Administration and was instrumental in the development of the Mission of Catholic Health Care, a program for hospital executives. He coordinated internships, fellowships and job placement for graduate students and coordinated Alumni Affairs for the School of Public Health. He published numerous articles on Long Term Care and made presentations at various healthcare organizations both locally and nationally. Ray was active in the Academy for Catholic Health Care Leadership, a collaborative effort of SLU and the Catholic Hospital Association, serving as Interim Executive Director '84-86 and remained a member and Board of Trustees through '92.

Ray truly exemplified the good life of service, found the freedom to live and love and in all things promoted the Kingdom of God. Ray was the beloved brother-in-law to Bob (Diane) Doyle, Larry (Sue) Doyle and Joni Doyle; Uncle to Trevor Doyle, Erin and Kevin Doyle, and Johnny Prunty. Godfather of Erin Doyle, Julia Margaret Snook, Kadie Devine, and Maggie Croghan; a favorite cousin and friend to many. Ray was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Gertrude Rustige.