Anyone who has gone to a Rush or Brokenshire family gathering always knew who had already greeted Debbie. They were the people covered in glitter. Debbie was always unintentionally adding some pizazz to everyone.
One hug and you were immediately branded by the shiny, incredibly-difficult-to-brush-off substance on her homemade sweatshirts celebrating whatever occasion may need celebrating that day – a Michigan State sporting event, 4th of July, Christmas or the Marine Corps.
That lively lady that was a mom, “Mimi,” daughter, sister, and friend peacefully passed away June 12, 2016, after having suffered a stroke several days earlier.
Deborah Ann (Brokenshire) Rush of Holt, formerly of Monroe, was born January 19, 1955, in Mount Pleasant. She grew up in Holt and graduated from Holt High in 1973. She went to work at Kmart, where she met her “blue light special” who also worked there, Harold Rush. The two married at her childhood home on November 16, 1974, before moving to Monroe so Hal could work for his family’s clothing business, Mister R Men’s Wear.
When her children were young, Debbie was a stay-at-home mom who volunteered at their school, went on field trips, and served as Hal’s unofficial fashion advisor when he would go on buying trips for Mister R. After her children were older, she spent 12 years working at Monroe Middle School as a paraprofessional in an at-risk classroom.
Debbie was a ridiculously talented seamstress and spent time sewing a variety of things: artistic skating costumes for her kids, better Halloween costumes than you could professionally have made, and a variety of her own outfits for weddings and other special events.
She also made her “famous” sweatshirts and took special requests from friends and family, though she would turn down a request if it was meant to be maize and blue.
After Hal’s passing in 2013, she enjoyed watching her grandchildren’s events and spending time at the Lansing 40 et 8 with her mom, where she was a member of the ladies’ auxiliary group, La Fems. She modeled a life of boldly embracing who you are and being darn proud of it as well.
She is survived by her mother, Lavonne Brokenshire, her three children Jennifer (Nick) Fata, Nicholas (Dede) Rush and Jonathan (Sarah) Rush, her brothers Art, Norm and Michael Brokenshire. “Mimi” will be deeply missed by her five grandchildren Andrew, Bella, Gavin, Nico and Bode.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, with visitation one hour prior to the service time. Interment will follow in Maple Ridge Cemetery in Holt. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Community Foundation of Monroe County with a designation for the RAE Enrichment Scholarship (Community Foundation of Monroe County, RAE Enrichment Scholarship, 28 S. Macomb St., Monroe, MI 48161). The scholarship is for students in grades 3-8 who are interested in pursuing, in greater depth, academic subjects beyond those in the classroom.