Kenneth Gilbert Rustad

2014-06-18T00:00:00Z Kenneth Gilbert Rustad The Billings Gazette
June 18, 2014 12:00 am

FARMINGTON, N.M. — Kenneth Gilbert Rustad passed from this life on May 30, 2014, in Farmington, N.M.

He was born to Kenneth George Rustad and Helen Emma Benjamin in Billings on Nov. 17, 1940. His parents divorced when he was 4, and he spent the school year with his mother who taught school in various small-town Montana schools in his youth, settling in Chouteau during his teen years. He spent summers on his father's farm/ranch near Baker, along with his stepmother Irene; two stepbrothers, Jim and Vern McCants; his half-sister, Thelma; and half-brother, Allen.

Kenneth began college at MSU and later transferred to U of M in Missoula, where he earned a B.A. in political science in 1962. He served with the Peace Corps in Bolivia from 1962 to 1964. He was then stationed with the Air Force at Elgin AFB in Florida until 1969. He received a master’s degree from UNM in 1971.

Kenneth moved to Farmington in 1971 to work at what is now known as ECHO, the EOC, where he met the love of his life, Sophia Lucille Irvin. They married in April of 1972. He managed EOC for several more years, and then resigned to commit his time to writing. In 1979, his only child, Rurik, was born. He was briefly a part-time professor at San Juan College in the mid-80s and became the San Juan Green Party secretary for a few years.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Sophia, and his stepbrother Jim McCants.

He is survived by his son, Rurik; half-sister, Thelma (Bill) Witt; half-brother, Allen (Jan) Rustad; and stepbrother, Vern (Linda) McCants.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service was held June 5 in Farmington with Bishop Payne conducting. Inurnment is at Greenlawn Cemetery. Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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