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home : obituaries : obituaries August 1, 2014


8/6/2013 1:02:00 PM
Emma Yerby Rust Gerhart May 28, 1905 - July 28, 2013
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Born May 28, 1905 in Sarasota, Florida, Emma and her family moved to Hanford, California, while she was still a young child.

She grew up on the family dairy farm and later met a young law student named Clarence Rust. She said she married him to protect the money she loaned him to get through law school! She raised two children while living in the Bay Area: Carrol Rust Tosello and David Rust, both of whom preceded her in death.

Very active in the Sierra Club and Contra Costa Hills Club, Emma spent many days hiking and enjoying the outdoors. She summited Mt. Whitney several times and instilled her love of the outdoors with her seven grandchildren. She taught her family the importance of sustainable living and organic farming decades before it became fashionable.

Emma and Clarence retired to Grass Valley, California in the late 1970s. After he passed away she met and married Hank Gerhart. Emma reluctantly gave up her driver's license at age 100, but continued to live in her own home until age 104, when she moved to an assisted living facility in Bend, to be closer to her grandsons who live in Sisters.

Her sharp wit and eternal optimism drew many friends over the years as it was hard not to smile when in her presence! Emma passed away peacefully on July 28, 2013 at the age of 108.

She leaves behind four grandsons: Carey Tosello, Garth Tosello, Chris Tosello from Oregon and Gregg Tosello from California; three granddaughters: Debbie Rust and Marcia Hammill from California, and Sharon Rust from Georgia; eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, all from California.





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