COL (Ret) Pierce Albert Rushton Jr., US Army, 82 years old of Shawnee, Kansas, passed away on September 6, 2018 following an illness. Al was born on May 18, 1936 in Richmond, Virginia to COL (Ret) Pierce Albert Rushton and Virginia Rushton of Memphis, Tennessee. He was the brother of Lynne Ouzts of Greenville, South Carolina and was pre-deceased by his brother Brian Wayne Rushton (CPT, US Army, KIA Vietnam).
Al graduated from Treadwell High School in Memphis, and attended Sullivan's Preparatory School in Washington D.C., before receiving his appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from West Point in 1959, and soon after, married Charlene Richmond Rushton, also of Memphis, on June 12th of that year.
Al's long and distinguished career spanned over 36 years. He made immeasurable contributions to the nation through his service to the US Army and the United States Military Academy.
As a Soldier and Signal Officer, he served in Germany, Vietnam, Korea and the United States. He commanded four different companies and a battalion. Among these were command of the 1st Infantry Division's Command Signal Operations Company during the height of the Vietnam conflict, and subsequently, on the Department of Army Staff in Washington, DC. In Korea, he served as the battalion Executive Officer of the largest signal battalion. He returned stateside to serve with TRADOC Combined Arms Test Agency at Fort Hood, Texas prior to assuming battalion command of the 142nd Signal Battalion, 2nd Armored Division.
The family has asked in lieu of flowers donations be made to West Point Association of Graduates or West Point Directorate of Cadet Activities, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996 www.westpointaog.org/
He was a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; and received a Master of Science degree in management from the University of Alabama.
His most enduring contributions; however, likely came from the years that he spent on the staff and faculty at West Point, a place that he loved dearly. From 1972-75, he served as an Associate Director of Admissions. He returned in 1979 as the Deputy Director of Admissions. In 1985 was appointed by President Reagan as the U.S. Military Academy Director of Admissions, a position that he held until his retirement from the Army in 1995. During those years, along with his leadership and others, West Point made many advancements, including the admission of women to the Corps of Cadets. As a result of his dedicated leadership in attracting and admitting some of the best young people the nation had to offer, West Point retained its position as one of the country's finest institutions for higher learning and leadership development. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States.
When not in uniform, Al could be found hunting quail and pheasant in the Kansas farmland, cheering for Army and Alabama football, and most of all enjoying visiting or keeping up with his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 59 years Charlene; his two daughters, Stephanie Patelli and her husband Ralph of Basehor, Kansas and Cheryl Neuburger and her husband David of Katonah, New York; and four grandchildren, LTs Caroline Patelli and Lauren Patelli Painter and Cadets Daniel (USMA '20) and Leigh Neuburger, all of whom were his ultimate joy and who are all following in his legacy of military service to the country.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 10th at Old Cadet Chapel, 219-253 Washington Road, West Point, NY. Interment will follow in West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for memorial donations to West Point Association of Graduates or West Point Directorate of Cadet Activities, 698 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996 www.westpointaog.org/