Funeral services for Russell “Rusty” J. Cummings were scheduled to be held today (Monday, September 12, 2011) at 10 a.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Chapel in Minden.
Rusty, an avid Dirt Late Model Racer, crossed the finish line for the last race in the battle of ALS – commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – on Friday, September 9, 2011.
Officiating was Rev. Wayne Howington and Rev. Leland Crawford. Interment followed at Gardens of Memory in Minden. The family received friends from 5 until 8 p.m. Sunday, September 11, 2011 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
Mr. Cummings was born Sept. 18, 1954. He is preceded in death by parents, Vera Idenna and James Loyd “Buck” Cummings and went to be with his Lord on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Rusty lived in Gibsland until 1973 when he married and moved to Minden. Rusty was a Title Operator for Brammer Engineering for 21 years.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Brenda Simolke Cummings; daughter, Dana and husband, O.H. “Hank” Haynes, IV of Minden; and son, Russell Kyle Cummings and wife, Cheree Tharpe Cummings; one brother, Joe and his wife, Peggy of Mount Lebanon; and three sisters, Ann and the late Larry Thornton of Heflin, Gail and husband, Johnny Smith of Dubberly and Lisa and husband, Steve Stroud of Mt. Lebanon.
His six grandchildren are Heather, Coltan, Hollan and Hadley Haynes and Russell “Brayson” and soon-to-be sister, Breelyn Jay Cummings, both named after their grandfather; along with a host of nephews and nieces and other loved ones.
Rusty spent many hours working on or racing in his late model racecar. His glory years in Late Models came in the 1980’s and 90’s including a 1998 Championship on the O’Reilly Southern United Professional Racing circuit. His son, Kyle, is continuing his father’s love of racing.
Few people knew that Rusty spent five years writing the novel, “For A Million Summers.” It is a novel about growing up in a small town, baseball and finding true love. His novel is currently in the process of being published. It was one of his greatest accomplishments, and he dedicated it to those who have set high goals for themselves, did their best and saw it through to the end.
Rusty was a fun-loving, people person. He felt if he met you, you were his friend. His children, grandchildren and children’s friends describe him as someone they loved to get on the floor and play with. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Rusty was a big man with a bigger heart. He was the most caring, concerned, loving person and will be missed tremendously.
Serving as pallbearers were Todd Bridges, Raymond “Ray” Bell, III, Eric Simolke, P.J. Gulley, Al Simolke, Kenny Bryce and Kary Bryce.
Honorary pallbearers were close friends, “Monday Night Football Group” and LIARS, Louisiana Independent Association of Recreational Specialists, their RV group.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made to the ALS Foundation at www.alsalouisiana.org.