Donald Robert Rust, age 68, son of Edgar and Majorie (Flowers) Rust, was born July 31, 1951, in Houston, Mo. He passed away April 4, 2020, at his home in Houston, Mo.

Don is preceded in death by his mother.

He is survived by his wife, Janet; two sons, Daren (Pattie), and David (Amanda) of Houston, Mo.; three grandchildren, Mackenzie, Madeline and Jackson Rust of Houston, Mo.; his father, Edgar of Houston, Mo.; brother, Charles Rust of Licking, Mo.; and sister, Lesa Kinney of Houston, Mo.

Don graduated from Houston High School in 1969. He attended college at Southwest Missouri State University and returned home to Houston.

Don and Janet (Haney) were married March 29, 1975, in Houston, Mo. From this union two sons were born.

In 1976, Don began his business, Rust Excavating, and with his sons he served Texas County for 40 years.

Don joined the Houston Fire Department in 1976. In 1983, he became the Fire Chief of the City of Houston. He dedicated a total of 38 years volunteering, serving and protecting.

During those years, some of his greatest accomplishments included: replacing safety equipment, improved training, upgrading equipment and to obtain better compensation for the volunteers. In 1992, Don started the Junior Fire Fighter Program. One achievement he was most proud of was the purchase of the Pierce Quint Ladder Truck in 2006, which contributed to the major reduction of Houston’s ISO rating.

Don was dedicated to the community and served on various boards and committees.  In 2007, he received the U.S. Presidential Service Award which recognizes volunteerism in the Fire Service.

Don included his two sons in all aspects of his life, from the family business to firefighting.  Without fail, he always found the time to be involved with their individual interests, whether it be cheering on or coaching their various sports and activities.

Don’s family devotion carried on to his grandchildren.  He loved and cherished just spending time with them and he was always there to encourage and support them.

Don will be greatly missed by his family and the community he served.

Memorials are suggested to Union Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at

A private family graveside service is 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at Union Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.


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