Deborah A. Rush

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.


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11 Messages to “Deborah A. Rush

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Colleen, Ozzie, Freedom and Gracie
June 14, 2016 at 10:07 am

We are truly shocked saddened by the loss of Deb, the best neighbor anyone could every ask for. I will miss our fence chatting. Ozzie always let me know Deb was home. By starting with his barks and then crying as she approached the fence to pet him and the others. I have very few words to say as I have shed many tears. My heart goes out to all of you. With my deepest sympathy. Big hugs to you all. Love Colleen, Oz ,Freedom and Gracie.

Yvonne Gnaedinger
June 14, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I met Deb thought the Gifted and Talented Education parents group in Monroe which evolved into Rewarding Academic Excellence. Deb made sweatshirts (and matching pants) emblazoned with “Rayettes” in glitter on the shirts, for each of the seven ladies in the group. We all looked forward to seeing her, her outfits and nail color and catching up with news about her family and what was happening in the Holt Schools. We will all miss her. My deepest condolences go out to her family.

Vickie and Tommy Roemer
June 14, 2016 at 5:34 pm

To all of Deb’s children, grandchildren, and especially to her dear mother, Lavonne…

Our condolences on the untimely passing of Deb…she was a special friend since our children were in grade school. She was “sparkly” and very creative and talented…we loved to watch Deb and Hal dance together…it was magical…rare for most couples.

May you find comfort in sweet and happy memories that will forever remain.

In Deepest Sympathy…Vickie and Tommy Roemer

Elizabeth, Brian and Jayden
June 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

Our deepest sympathy to the family. May your love, laughter and personal pizzazz always remind you of the joys your mom brought to your world.

Michael Novelo
June 14, 2016 at 10:12 pm

So sorry Jen, be strong for the kids and remember two of the stars in the sky are for your mom and dad and will be constant companions for you.

Karen Thelen
June 15, 2016 at 8:41 am

My heart is broken. I am sorry that I cannot be there on Thursday – I will be thinking of all of you. Ron and I send our love, thoughts and prayers!

Julie Dodge
June 15, 2016 at 11:14 am

My heart goes out to you and your family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Susie and Harris Sacks
June 15, 2016 at 11:24 am

Dear Jennifer, Nicholas, Jonathan, and Family,
Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences at this
sad time.
Debbie not only liked glitter, her personality
exuded love and radiance.
Please take comfort in knowing what a wonderful
person she was, and that her memory will never
be extinguished.
All our Love,
Susie and Harris Sacks

Fran Rayce
June 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Jack and I send our deepest sympathy. Losing a parent is so hard, especially when you have a great one! Uplifting thoughts and prayers that you will one day find peace in your memories are being sent your way.

Steve and Angie Hudkins
June 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Angie and I want to express our deepest sympathy, Debbi was always an uplifting person to be around. Such a vivacious person, sad to see go so young. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family!

Lynn McCloskey Harter
June 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Debbie was certainly a special lady. I remember her well from our PTO days at Hollywood Elementary. I’m sure that she will be “sparkling” in heaven while she and Hal dance the time away. Please know that your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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