Andrew E. Rusnock

Andrew Eric Rusnock died peacefully on August 27, 2020 from complications associated with advanced Parkinson’s disease. He was predeceased by his wife, Alice, who died earlier this year, in April.

Born on the eve of the Great Depression, Andrew grew up in western Pennsylvania, first in Smock, later in Uniontown. His father, who was also named Andrew (originally Andrej Rusnak), had immigrated from Galicia (then part of Austria-Hungary), and worked as a coal miner. Andy was raised in a house full of women: Mary, his mother (née Smail), and five older sisters: Pauline (Polly), Ann (Honey), Mary, Elizabeth (Lib), and Irene (Renee), all of whom predeceased him. Like many men in western Pennsylvania of his generation, Andy was also called ‘Bud’ or ‘Buddy’.

He graduated from Uniontown High School and then was drafted into the army during the Korean War, serving in Germany from 1951-1953. Afterwards, he moved to Chicago and worked at Marshall Fields, where he met his future wife, Alice McKenzie, who was his boss at the time. While working at Fields, he enrolled at Roosevelt University, with support provided through the GI bill, and graduated in 1958. Andy also had an aptitude for technical subjects, particularly mathematics, and was among the first to be trained to work with computers. It was in this field that he made his career, working as a programmer and systems analyst for several decades for the Navy and a number of private companies including General Electric, the Illinois Central Railway, and Washington National Insurance.

Andy and Alice were married on June 7, 1959, and raised two children, Andrea and Paul, in Evanston, Illinois. Through more than sixty years of marriage, their home was full of love and reflected the values that they themselves had grown up with: hard work, frugality, education, and conviviality. Music, good food, and lively discussion were constant features of their home life. Andy was a voracious reader and he assembled an impressive library, sharing his love of books with family and friends. A member of his high school debate team, he relished a good argument, especially over dinner and a bottle of wine, or a good beer, or a glass of Calvados, when there was a chill in the air. He was an avid vegetable gardener and fine cook.  He loved card-playing and sports, especially thoroughbred racing and ice hockey, which he played in his younger days.  Andy was a generous, thoughtful, learned man who was devoted to his family: his wife Alice who predeceased him, his children Andrea and Paul, and his grandchildren Sophie, Harry, Oliver, and Rosalind.

His funeral service will be private.  For guest book and condolences,

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