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Local News: Rex Rust — finance expert, community leader, athlete — dies at age 52 (1/10/22)

Local News: Rex Rust — finance expert, community leader, athlete — dies at age 52 (1/10/22)
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Rex Rust, co-chair of Rust Communications, throws the ball to his brother, Gary II, during the dedication and open house of the new Rust Center for Media at Southeast Missouri State University on October 7, 2016. Southeast Missourian File

By Rick Fehr ~ Southeast Missourian

Rex Dermont Rust, co-chair of Rust Communications, died Thursday evening after a year-long battle with cancer. The 52-year-old Rex was remembered for his community involvement, leadership, charitable work, and positive and energetic personality.

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John K. said: Rust, Co-President of Rust Communications and Publisher of Southeast Missourian: “It has been a difficult and heartbreaking year for my brother and sister-in-law as he battles cancer.” “But all the while, as his character was, Rex sought to make others laugh. His dedication to Sherry and celebration of friends has always been wonderful, and it has been a pleasure to see his affection return to him over the past months in so many, beautiful ways. Thank you to everyone who reached out to him – in messages and clips The video, the messages, the prayers. He was so meaningful. Rex, more than anything, was a joy to be around and we will miss him so badly.”

Born September 12, 1969, he was the son of Gary Wendy Corka Rust and brother of the late Robin Rust, Benny Rochelle (Alan) Terry, Gary Wayne (Suzue) Rust II, Holly Rust (Richmond) Payne, Wayne Bradford (Kim) Rust, and John Kurka (Victoria). ) Rust.

In 2005, Rex married Sherry Johnson in a ceremony in Maui, Hawaii.

Education and early career

Rex attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and graduated with honors after being named class president in his second, third, and third year. While there, he displayed athletic prowess that would become his hallmark. He received the Tom Ashley Award, awarded to the best football player in the school, and was the captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams at the academy.

In 1992, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a BA in Economics. He was active in various groups at the university, including the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, played on the university’s baseball team, and was awarded a Major H.

Later, he would spend a semester studying at the London School of Economics.

In 1992, he began working with Smith Barney in New York City. He will continue to work on Wall Street and in private equity management roles in Chicago and Virginia – with a focus on mergers and acquisitions totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

In February 2001, he and John K. Rust co-chaired the family business, while their father, Gary Rust, went on to serve as chairman of the company that owned more than 40 newspapers in eight states, numerous magazines and websites, as well as minority ownership of 17 radio stations. The older brother, Gary Rust II, later joined the company as director of its digital agency, rustmedia.

Social interaction

Rex has held a number of positions with civic, community, and professional organizations. He has served as chair of several – Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Board, Old Town Cape Town Council, Southeast Missouri State University’s Athletic Enhancements Board, and Indoor Press Association Board. He served on the boards of directors of the American Press Institute, the Page Cooperative, the state’s Department of Youth Services, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and The Guardians, a group formed to help meet the financial needs of families of fallen law enforcement agents and firefighters. A member of the St. Louis Young Presidents Association, he was also the chairman of the finance committee at La Croix United Methodist Church.

The Old Town Cape honored him with the 2020 Charles L. Hutson Visionary Award.

His involvement in another effort was much less.

Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr., the chief federal judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, summoned the Rex Department of Prisons.

“There was an incident a few years ago when I called Brix to invite him to play golf on Saturday. He said, ‘I can’t play,’ and then told me why – he was due to be in Charleston. [Missouri] To be part of Saturday’s ministry in prison, the judge said. “As good as he was as a civic leader and businessman – and he was great in these roles, he was a better Christian.”


In recent weeks, community leaders and friends have paid many tributes.

A December 28 letter from Cape Girardeau, signed by Mayor Bob Fox and members of the city council, praised Rex’s civic mindset: “You have influenced Cape Girardeau’s future and ensured its success for generations to come. Your contributions to the community will impact the lives of generations, and for your innovations, the city will be forever grateful.”

Peter Kinder, former state deputy governor and senator, honored him at the January 5 meeting of the Cape Gerardo Nun Lions Club, of which Rex was a member. He praised his positive example.

“Thank you for your gift of encouragement. Thank you for your dry sense of humor. Thank you for joining us here at Lyons,” he said.

John Miner, former president of the Cape Girardeau District Chamber of Commerce, said Rex has a dynamic personality.

“It has been a pleasure working with Rex on many projects and in many organizations. He is such a big personality and fun to be around. He may explode singing or he may stop and pray. Rex and Sherry have done a lot. Behind the scenes stuff to help people in this community I miss Rex so badly.”

John Thompson, interim CEO of Cape Area MAGNET, spoke about his friend’s ability to connect with people.

He noted, “Rex is handsome and handsome, and he has an infectious smile that he uses to make everyone he meets feel so special. He truly is a gift.” “And his sense of humor? Well, let’s just say Rodney Dangerfield doesn’t have anything on Rex.”

Old Town Cape manager Liz Hines referred to Rex’s community service but said his belief was inspiring.

“Rex’s faith in God is so amazing,” she said. “It was such an inspiration to me to face the battle he fought and stay steadfast in his faith in God,” she said. “I was so impressed by Rex and Sherry’s deep love for each other. What a wonderful union between two truly exceptional people in love in each other’s lives! I am forever grateful to have met Rex.”


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