Rome – Curtis Wayne Rush of Rome, Ga passed away in his home with his family at his side on May
24, 2021. He was born on July 27, 1940, as the third son of Paris Newlin and Dorothy Mae Rush and
named after his grandfather, all who predeceased him. Wayne was very close to his in-laws, Eschol and
Howard Mannen who also predeceased him.
He was born and raised in the small farming town of Haviland, KS on a wheat and livestock farm
which his family still operates. His roots in Haviland go back to the Woodward family, some of the
town’s early residents. Growing up in the Haviland Friends Church; Wayne quickly learned the beliefs
which guided him through his life. Simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship,
the basic tenants of the Quaker faith, provide a perfect description of his life. A humble man who loved
and accepted all, he became a role model for not only his family but for those he met throughout his
life. Wayne excelled in sports in high school, including six-man football, baseball, basketball, and track. His
love for sports never diminished, even playing what his family describes as a “creative” form of golf.
Wayne was involved in both chorus and drama during high school. He was named Best Actor of the
cast in a one-act play during his senior year in high school. Upon high school graduation, he enrolled at Kansas State College (later to be Kansas State University).
During his time on campus, he was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and “bled purple for KState”. At K-State, he met his future wife, Jeanettia, on a blind date that almost did not happen. Due to the untimely death of his father, Wayne went home after his freshman year at K-State and worked on
the family farm while his older brother finished college. He then returned to earn a degree in Physical
Education in 1963. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy. His time in the Navy was cut short due
to receiving a medical discharge. His brief time with the U.S. Navy led to an opportunity to volunteer
with NASA by participating in astronaut weightlessness trials for the growing space program.
Following discharge from the Navy, he returned to K-State to complete additional education minors.
Wayne taught at Meridan High School for 2 years, teaching General Science, Physical Education, and
Driver’s Education while also serving as head coach for basketball and track and assistant coach for
football. Wayne left teaching and made a career change leading him to work at the Kansas State Department of
Insurance as a Policy Examiner. Four years later he was offered a job with Standard Mutual Life and
he, Jeanettia, and their twins (Chris and Joel) moved from the Topeka area to Lawrence, KS. Their
youngest son, Steve, was born a couple of years following this move. Wayne became very involved
with their sports and Scouting activities. After 18 years in Lawrence, a corporate merger led them to
Rome where he worked with State Mutual until his retirement.
Wayne, true to his Quaker upbringing, believed in participating in his local community and was active
in the Exchange Club of Rome and Rome First United Methodist Church. Friendships he made with
these organizations were important and he participated in numerous activities with both.
Family was his most important love and he spent many thousands of hours not only with his sons’
sporting activities but attending his two grandsons’ games. Any conversation with Wayne always
included an update on his grandsons’ (Jack and Ryan) sporting achievements and they are blessed to
know his love and support for their activities.
In his last months with his family even though his health was uncertain, Wayne’s heartfelt belief was
“We will make the most of the time we have”.He is survived by Jeanettia, his much-loved wife of 56 years; sons Joel (Tim Barroso) of Tomball, TX,
Christopher (Bobbie) of Charleston, WV, Steve (Kristin) of Rome, GA and grandsons Jack Rush and
Ryan Rush; brothers Philip (Janice) of Haviland, KS and Keith (Sally) of Gaithersburg, MD; three
nephews, one niece, great-nieces and nephews; and two honorary daughters, Jodel Wickham and
Wayne’s remains will be returned to his hometown (Haviland, KS) for internment. Donations to the
Rome First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, 202 East 3rd Avenue Rome, GA 30161 or the
Kansas State University Foundation, 1800 Kimball Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan KS 66502-3373 are