Vernon E. Rustvold, 79, of 3013 6th Ave. S., a retired builder and Marine Corps veteran, died of natural causes on Tuesday [December 6, 2005] at Peace Hospice.
Vernon built about 60 homes in Great Falls including his own home for his young family at the age of 22. He helped build the first house for Neighborhood Housing. In later years he built a family mountain cabin. Many family gatherings were held there and on cold nights he would recite poems to the children at bedtime. He was an avid reader and traveled extensively with his wife. He attended many Marine Corps reunions at Quantico, Virginia, and revisited his battlegrounds at Okinawa and Guam.
Vernon was contacted in 2004, by historian Hugh Ambrose, son of author Stephen Ambrose, to assist with a documentary project they were planning regarding Marine Raiders and events in the South Pacific during WWII. Vern contributed many hours of interviews helping to bring this story to people for whom this war was fought.
Vernon belongs to the DAV, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Scout Sniper Association, Elks Club, Purple Heart Association, Marine Corps League, and Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife Eloise Rustvold of Great Falls; a daughter, Karin (Howard) Schiffman of Potomac, Md.; sons Richard Rustvold and Bruce (Marilyn) Rustvold, of Great Falls; a sister, Sharon (Jim) LePard, of Great Falls; and grandchildren Andrew Rustvold, Hannah Rustvold, Matt Schiffman, and Rebekah Schiffman.
Vernon was preceded in death by his son Alan Rustvold in 1969.
Visitation is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Schnider Funeral Home. His funeral liturgy is 11 a.m. Saturday at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with burial following in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to Peace Hospice 1101 26th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405; or Sts. Peter and Paul Building Fund, 200 44th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405.