Milo 'Rusty' Spurgeon, April 19, 1926 — April 29, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014 | 6:08 p.m. CDT; updated 6:15 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 1, 2014

No one has ever been more loved by family and friends than Rusty Spurgeon. He was funny, sweet, often plainspoken. Modest and humble, he never wanted any writings of lofty accomplishments, made us promise only bare facts, which we have tried to do:

The Memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 3 at Trinity Presbyterian Church with a reception immediately following. A private burial will take place at Columbia Cemetery.

Milo J. Spurgeon was born in Pittsburg, Kansas April 19, 1926, and reared in southeast Kansas. He served a full apprenticeship in the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers of America, finishing a few months before graduation from high school. He had to report for his army physical and couldn’t attend graduation. He was inducted into the army July 13, 1944, took basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas, with emphasis on small armory repair. He was sent to Germany as a replacement in the 4th Cavalry. Soon after that he was engaged in combat as a tanker. On March 4, 1945, he was wounded and lost both feet in the Battle for Remagen Bridge on the Rhine River near Cologne. He spent eight months at Bushnell General Army Hospital in Brigham City, Utah having reconstructive surgery and being fitted with prostheses before being discharged from the service October 18, 1945. After spending about a year recuperating and learning basic use of his prostheses, he enrolled at Kansas State Teachers’ College in Pittsburg where he received a B.A. in 1950. Three years to the day he was released from the hospital, he met Norma Webber from Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and they were married April 9, 1950.

He attended KU medical school, first in Lawrence, then in Kansas City, Kansas, interned at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and returned to the KU Medical Center for residency in anesthesiology. He started his medical career in Kansas City, Kansas at St. Margaret’s Hospital, then moved to Columbia in 1960, where he worked at Boone County Hospital, Ellis Fishel Cancer Center, and traveled to Cooper County Hospital in Boonville. He retired from medicine in 1980 due to an allergy with latex gloves.

He continued some years to be active physically including, bicycling, bowling, camping, hiking, canoeing, learning Tae Kwando, ice skating and skiing, swimming, household repairs, gardening, small engine repair, and hobbies of woodworking, making miniature dollhouse furniture, cooking, weaving, painting in oils and watercolor. He enjoyed volunteering at church and Tax Aide for AARP. He had helped with Boy Scouts while his sons were active, and enjoyed teaching his children car maintenance, his grandchildren woodworking and so forth.

In later years he enjoyed church, spending time with friends, reading and bird watching, a more sedentary life. He will be missed.

Rusty is survived by his wife, Norma, his two sons, Chris and David of Columbia and his daughter, Sarah Marinelli of Purdys, New York. Chris’s wife, Darla Horman and Sarah’s husband David Marinelli. Rusty’s grandkids are Bryant Spurgeon and his wife Christal of Fayette and Jessica Stroupe and her husband, Patrick of Armstrong.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to The Brotherhood Fund at Trinity Presbyterian Church or the Walter Johnson Palliative Care Foundation at Boone Hospital Center.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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