Steven Charles Rusnak died on July 2nd at Duke Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. Steven was a native of Raleigh, going to school in Garner and spending most of his adult life as a skilled carpenter. He was simultaneously rough, stubborn, gentle and compassionate; perhaps a study in the complexity in all of us. Steven loved cats and dogs and could show amazing gentleness to all things great and small. He loved hunting and fishing, and it may be best said that he “didn’t want to throw his fishing line in that old mainstream.” As such, he left his native Raleigh decades ago, first living in Knightdale and when Raleigh grew out, he settled outside of Franklinton, never finding the need to stay in the big city.
Steven would take you under his wing and loved to teach you how to do things for yourself. After our family lost our mom at a young age, Steven helped his younger siblings get ready for school. He got his youngest brother a stool and taught him to cook over-easy eggs at the age of five. He taught his brothers and countless others how to cut a rafter and box the corner of a roof. He taught his nephew to shoot and how to drive in the sand at the beach. He taught us all to greet everyone with joy and never fret.
When Steven was young and healthy, he was the hardest working man we have ever seen, pound for pound as strong and tough as anybody we have ever known. He was also as rambunctious as anyone you would meet. He could carry on long into the night and be at work ready to go the next day. Work hard, play hard sums it up. He did that until his body could no longer take it, and he finally settled into odd jobs to make ends meet. Even then, his mind was always working, and his memory was sharp as a tack. He always had a story to tell from his crazy past, and you’d never know when you would get a call where he needed to “tell you a question” about an old song or a scientific study he saw on TV. It could have been anything, as he was curious until the end.
Steven was preceded in death by his mother, Josephine (1969) and his father, Ernest Rusnak (2004). He is survived by his sisters Kathleen Weaver and husband Steve, Irene Rusnak and husband Rick Bertram, Ilene Rusnak and husband Rich Shock, brothers Daniel Rusnak and wife Roxana, Richard Rusnak and wife Julie and David Rusnak and wife Pam. He is also survived by nine nephews and nieces and seven great nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local animal shelter.
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