Lyle E. Rushford, Sr., age 88, of Munising, died early Saturday morning, December 22, 2018 at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. He was born on January 23, 1930 in Manistique, Michigan to the late William and Olive (Lalond) Rushford. Lyle and his family moved around the U.P. when he was growing up while his dad worked in lumber camps, and the family settled in the Munising area when he was a teenager. He attended Wm. G. Mather High School and then went to work in the woods.
Lyle enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from February of 1947 until June of 1948. He returned home and went to work at the Munising Woodenware. Lyle married Bernetta F. Bower on February 3, 1951 and together, lovingly raised their five children. Before the Woodenware closed its doors, Lyle and his family briefly moved to Lower Michigan for work. They returned home where he was trained as a crane operator at Williams Crossing in the Van Meer area. The company relocated its operations to Munising and Lyle continued to unload the trucks and load the trains. He went to work at Hartho as a crane operator and then was trained as a saw filer. He retired from the sawmill in 1980. He and Bernetta were members of the Hiawatha Square Dancing Club and Lyle was a member of a horseshoe team. He coached Little League and boxing and as a family they enjoyed camping. Lyle loved to visit and talk to people, and he never met a stranger. He enjoyed spending his time in the winters ice fishing, but his family believes he enjoyed visiting his friends in the different ice shacks more than the fishing. He loved old Western movies and especially enjoyed the old country music of Gene Autry, Eddie Arnold, and Jim Reeves. His favorite television show was Lawrence Welk and would enjoy the same show over and over again. Lyle and Bernetta also enjoyed their evenings they spent at the Hong Kong Buffet in Marquette. They not only enjoyed the food, but the fellowship of the other patrons and the staff. They were all very dear to Lyle. Above all, Lyle enjoyed when he was surrounded by his family. He was happy most of the time, but he was truly happiest when they were all together.
He is survived by his wife of over sixty-seven years – Bernetta Rushford of Munising; their children – Lyle (Sue Ann) Rushford of Munising, Nan (Bill) Cota of Van Meer, Jeanie (Tom) Daniels of Munising, Ron (Andrea) Rushford of Fernandina Beach, FL, and Don (Kathy) Rushford of Munising; grandchildren – Amy, Kurt, Mark, Cheri, Scot, Joel, Josie, Brett, Samantha, Carly, Tyler and Wesley; great-grandchildren – Mason, Mitchell, Bradley, Mya, Rylee, Ryder, Trinity, Elson, and Audrey; numerous nieces and nephews; and brother-in-law Roland (Rexine) Bower of California. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Emery and William Rushford.
Services will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising on Friday, December 28, 2018. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Military honors will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. by the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard and George Balko will continue with Lyle’s funeral service. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising next year.