On the blustery afternoon of April 4th, 2014, Dr. Cyril Berwyn “Doc” Rush, 84, cherished husband of Julia Gordon and beloved father of Cy, Paul, Betsy, and Bunny, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by the ones he laughed with, lived for, and loved. He was predeceased by his precious wife of 52 years, Lucie Solomons Rush, his parents, Ellison Carlisle and Merlee Hudson Rush, and his sister, Muriel Rush.
Born on June 20, 1929, Berwyn grew up in Olanta and Lake City where he and his brother Dick ran barefoot and sold boiled peanuts by the side of the road. Brimming with academic curiosity, he graduated from Davidson College in NC and the Medical University of South Carolina. He proudly served as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy on active duty from 1954-1956 and in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1956-1976, retiring with the rank of Commander.
From 1957-1970, Doc served as a family physician at the Davenport Clinic in Timmonsville, SC. Beyond treating sore throats and hypertension, he delivered some 3,500 babies and frequently joked that he had the largest family in the community. In 1970 he embarked on a residency in orthopedics at Richland Memorial Hospital. Upon completion, he served as the Chief of Orthopedics at the V.A. Hospital in Columbia for two years. In 1975, Berwyn and his wife Lucie founded a thriving orthopedic practice at Marlboro General Hospital in Bennettsville, SC–a practice that continues serving the community through his son, Dr. Paul Rush.
After retiring in 1993, Berwyn and Lucie traveled extensively, enjoyed their lake home in Santee, and helped care for their eleven grandchildren until Lucie’s death in 2006. In 2007, he married Julia Gordon and built a home in Deep Hole Swamp, his family farm in the Sardis Community. He and Julia spent six happy years together, “driving their obligatory 200-miles per day” to visit family and friends–an activity that the two of them adored.
For those who knew Doc, he will be forever remembered for his love of family and friends, generosity, compassion, humor, wisdom, frankness, curiosity, and his love of adventure. Throughout his life, his favorite pastimes included reminiscing with family and friends, fishing and boating at his beloved Santee, farming, raising animals including cows, horses, buffalo, and emus, traveling, flying his airplane, woodworking with his buddies, and most of all, healing and helping others. He loved the practice of medicine and always considered it the most honorable of professions. Until his last days, he was still diagnosing and dispensing medical advice, and continued to carry out his Hippocratic oath. A finer diagnostician would be hard to find.
In addition to his wife, Julia, he is survived by his brother, Dr. Richard Rush (Jo) of Conway, SC, and his children: Cy (Gayle) of Columbia, SC, and their children, Tripp (Sara Beth), Lauren, and Elizabeth; Paul (Judy) of Laurinburg, NC, and their children Rebekah (Eric), Erin (Wyatt), and Sam; Betsy (Doug) Hidlay of Charlottesville, VA, and their children, Doug Jr. and Lucie; and Bunny (Joe) Critcher of Laurinburg, NC, and their children, John (Kimi), Paul (Katelyn), Hannah, Elizabeth, and Allison. He leaves behind six beautiful great grandchildren: Francie, James, Nolan, Jaxson, Adelaide, and Alissa. He also leaves behind his loving stepdaughter, Christa (Greg) Worrell of Rochester, MN and their son, Sam, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, innumerable friends, and his dog, Tessie.
Even in his final days, Doc was blessed with a sharp recall of events and the gift of story-telling–a pastime he and his visitors enjoyed. He remained upbeat and positive throughout his illness. His family would like to express their gratitude to his physicians, Dr. Shoukath Ansari, Dr. Matthew Block, Dr. Tim Moses, and Dr. Kelvin Raybon. Thanks also to the doctors and nurses at Scotland Memorial Hospital and McLeod Hospice for their excellent care.
The family will receive friends at Layton-Anderson Funeral Home, 4210 W. Palmetto Street, Florence, SC on Monday, April 7, from 6-8 pm. A graveside service will be held at Thomas Cemetery, 220 Park Avenue in Olanta, SC, on April 8 at 1:00 p.m. with Reverend Kirk Lawton officiating. The funeral procession will begin at Layton-Anderson Funeral Home at 12:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers (which are also welcome), the family requests that donations be made to McLeod Hospice of Florence, SC, or Thomas Cemetery (P.O. Box 368, Olanta, SC, 29114), or any charity of your choice.