Merla Jean Rust Profile Photo

Merla Jean Rust

July 23, 1941 — May 6, 2023


Merla Jean Rust


     Beloved and devoted Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Friend and Neighbor, Merla Rust went to be with her Savior on May 6, 2023 after a courageous fight with cancer.  The void in the lives of all who knew and loved her is only partially filled with the wonderful memories of her laughter, countless acts of caring and the selfless energy in taking care of her family.  Merla never put herself first and always ensured everyone’s plate was full with the best home-cooked meals.  She enjoyed entertaining, cooking – especially baking bread or her Clay County Fair first-place ribbon cinnamon rolls - quilting, bird watching, antiques and helping in Church or for anyone in need.  She was never one to not speak up, often with a saying long-remembered, that summed up the situation and made everyone laugh.  “Things aren’t so bad that they couldn’t be worse” was an appropriate one for tough times.  Merla loved the Lord - showing her faith and grace through her last days with supreme confidence in her relationship in God.  The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to Gentiva Hospice for Merla’s compassionate, devoted care.

     Survived by her husband of 61 years, Leonard, son Dan (Barb) of Pinehurst NC, daughter Jill Sievers (Mark) of Cameron MO.  Grandchildren Evan (Laura) of Raleigh NC, Mollie White (Colton) of Blue Springs MO, Emily of Omaha NE, and Quinton Sievers (Katie) of Belton MO as well as four great-grandchildren Oliver, Conrad, Henry and Charles.  Siblings Harlan Freerks (Bentonville AR), Nancy Boumann (Georgetown TX) and Randall Freerks (Little Rock IA).  Preceded by her father, Harm, and mother, Luella, Freerks and siblings Marlys Alwine and Grant Freerks.

     Merla graduated from Little Rock IA High School in 1959 and then obtained a certificate of cosmetology.  Her formal working years were short as she married the love of her life, Leonard, in 1961 and had her son, Dan, in 1963.  The family moved to Spencer IA where her daughter, Jill, was born in 1967 and they raised their family in the house her and Leonard built.  Merla was actively involved in school activities, Church organizations, community work and countless informal efforts to help others.   She and Leonard traveled to Australia, Alaska, Florida and Niagara Falls as well as to see their family in various states but her love for her family knew no boundaries. We are left with the comfort that she walks with her Savior as assured in one of her favorite verses: “Fear not for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine…I will be with thee.” 

To order memorial trees in memory of Merla Jean Rust, please visit our tree store.

Past Services


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

4:00 - 6:00pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, May 11, 2023

10:30 - 11:30am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1764

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree