A photo of Edward “Mike” Rush, Jr.

Edward “Mike” Rush, Jr.

January 22, 1949 - October 27, 2020

Edward “Mike” Rush, Jr., age 71, of Bear, DE, passed away on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Born in Upper Darby, PA on January 22, 1949, he was the son of the late Edward M. and Helen V. (Tyler) Rush, Sr. Mike was a graduate of Salesianum High School, and later served on the Salesianum Class of 1966 Reunion Committee. He continued his education at Goldey Beacom College, graduating in 1980, and was admitted into Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.

Mike proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps in the Western Pacific during the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1970. He was a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America – Chapter DE0083, the General Thomas Holcomb Detachment Marine Corps League, and a member of the 3rd Marine Division Association. Mike was also actively involved in the American Legion Stahl Post #30 for over 35 years and the 29th Division Association (legacy).

Mike began working in the family operated business, Rush Uniform, Inc., upon its establishment in 1963. Since that time, he took over operations of the entire business, which has expanded to include not only school uniforms and clergy apparel, but also police, fire, security, and industrial uniforms. Mike was an active participant with the Better Business Bureau, serving as Past Board of Directors Member and Past Executive Board Member. He was currently serving as a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Committee with Rush Uniform, Inc., being a charter member of the BBB. Mike received a tribute from the Governor and Lt. Governor for anniversary recognition of the Better Business Bureau Award Presentation in April of 2003. He also sponsored the Edward M. Rush, Sr. Memorial Award presented through the Better Business Bureau, which honors outstanding family-owned and operated BBB accredited companies which exemplify the ideals of the community and civic service.

Mike was a 50-year life member of Wilmington Manor Fire Company, serving 20 years as a line and administrative officer, including president and 5 years as deputy chief. During his service, he was awarded Member of the Year in 1973. Mike was presented with the title of Deputy Chief Emeritus by Wilmington Manor Fire Co. on December 10, 2016. He also served 33 years as a life member and former director of the Christiana Volunteer Fire Company. Mike was a past President of New Castle County Fire Chiefs’ Association in 1990, Delaware Valley Fire Chief’s Association in 1993 and the Delaware State Fire Chiefs Association in 2003.

Over the years, Mike sponsored and won many awards for his service as a fireman. He earned the 2nd Hurst Tool Green Cross Award in 1996 for Vehicle Rescue. Mike was also awarded the New Castle County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association Firefighter of the Year in 2012 and Fireman of the Year (2012), Hall of Fame Inductee (2014) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), all from the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. He sponsored the Helen V. Rush Humanitarian Award through New Castle County Delaware State Fire Police, which honors a NCC Delaware State Fire Policeman active with his or her fire company, for humanitarian activities not exclusive to his or her fire company or fire service involvement. Mike also sponsored the Matthew Sopkanich Award through Five Points Fire Co., which honors an outstanding fire company or ladies auxiliary junior member.

In addition to his service in Wilmington Manor and Christiana Fire Companies, Mike was an honorary member of Cranston Heights Volunteer Fire Company, Hockessin Volunteer Fire Company, Delaware City Fire Company, Port Penn Volunteer Fire Company, Citizens Hose Company – Smyrna, Five Points Fire Company, Mill Creek Fire Company, Good Will Fire Company (New Castle, DE), Delaware State Fire Police Association and New Castle County Fire Police Association. He was also an honorary member of Smyrna/Clayton Past Chiefs’ and Presidents’ Association. Mike was a life member for over 30 years of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Eastern Division (IAFC), as well as a member of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association, and 21-year member of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Association.

Mike enjoyed helping others achieve their highest potential dedicating more than 30 years as an instructor at the Delaware State Fire School, obtaining the title of Lifetime Instructor in 2016. He was also a member of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors for well over 20 years. Mike spent time helping his fellow first responders as a peer de-briefer for Delaware Critical Incident Stress Management Team. A friend to the community, he was a member and Vice Chairman of Selective Service Delaware Local Board #004. Mike also served as the former 1st Vice President of the Delaware Children’s Fire Safety Foundation. He was a member of the Health and Safety Committee and Out of State Coordinator Committee for the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association (DVFA), and was the Installation Chairman for the DVFA Conference Committee and a member of the Union Historical Fire Society.

A man of faith, Mike was the past Executive Officer of Our Lady of Fatima Church Parish Council. He served as a Trustee of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church and was a former member and Executive Officer Diocesan Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Wilmington. Mike was an affiliate of the Catholic Firefighters International.

In his spare time, Mike was involved with the National Corvette Owners Association, the Lincoln Club of Delaware and served as past president of the Llangollen Civic Club. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society – Member #5790 as well as the Train Collector’s Association – TCA #09-63630. Additionally, Mike was the Wilmington Manor Rotary Club Business Person of the Year from 1995 to 1996. He was the recipient of the State House of Representative Award in February of 2003

Mike is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Winifred “Winnie” (Cavanaugh) Rush; children, Megan R. Walstrom, Esq. (Eric) and Barbara F. Rush (Joseph Robinson); the light of his life, his grandson, Seamus David Walstrom; and sisters, Barbara Jean Moore (William) and Catherine P. Malavolta (John).

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 4 pm until 7 pm on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, 2431 Frazer Road, Newark, DE. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 am on Thursday, November 5, 2020, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church. Interment will follow at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery, 301 Lock Street, Chesapeake City, MD. Face masks will be required for all in attendance.

Any family members or friends who are unable to attend Mike’s service can live stream the service by clicking here.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mike’s memory to the Wilmington Manor Fire Company, P.O. Box 645, New Castle, DE 19720.


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41 Condolences for Edward “Mike” Rush, Jr.

  • Everyone — Always in my heart. Franny

  • God Bless Mike and all of the Rush family during this saddest of times. He truly was a remarkable man. Our deepest condolences to Winnie, Megan and Barb, we love you.
    Dot and Gary Rullo

  • Barbara and Cathy, so very very sorry for your loss. Keeping you close in thought and prayer. XO Anne

  • My Brother In Arms and Dear Friend. May you rest in God’s perfect peace.

  • Mike Rush was a wonderful man. Smart. Warm and welcoming. Caring. Inspirational. Honest. Humble. And more. So much more. He will be dearly missed. 💜

  • Mike was the nicest man I’ve ever met and he will definitely be missed by many. Rest Easy Chief we’ll take it from here.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you Winnie, Megan, Barbara, Barbara, and Cathy. Michael was a wonderful, kind, funny, generous man. Love Beth

  • My Heart goes out to you Winnie and the girls. I always knew Mike was a Great guy and I knew you two shared a wonderful Fairy Tale life together. I can still remember being awed when you told me about you two flying out to San Francisco ? together to see the Rolling Stones a few years back. And thinking , “what a cool couple to do that.” Just like the boyfriend wanting to impress his girlfriend.
    After reading of his accomplishments and Good Deeds above I cannot imagine how one man could do all of that in just one lifetime.
    But I do know it took a Man with a tremendous heart and a very strong character.
    And I know there are so many who are Thankful to you …for sharing him.
    Gary Rullo


  • Mike was truly humble about every accomplishment. He never wanted praise or accolades. Everything he did was to build others up. His radiant light has moved on but that light will be forever missed here. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences and love to the family. He will be missed by his neighbors across the street. Love, The Gallo’s

  • He will be missed — a tremendous human being. The world could use more Mike Rush’s.

  • Edward M. “Mike” Rush was a very good friend of mine. Not only did he take care of my fire company uniform, but he also outfitted my two daughters who attended catholic schools. Always enjoyed have Mike “MC” our banquet at Five Points. He made it a point to dig up something on me and bust my chops at the banquet. Mike always had a smile on his face and would give you the shirt off his back. There are not going to be many following him who have as diverse a background as Mike. I know that Winnie and the girls and his grandson will miss him, but believe me, I will miss him also. Since moving away from Delaware, I always tried to stop over to the shop when I was visiting and say hello. Rest in Peace Mike, we got if from here. See ya at the big station in the sky one of these days.

  • To the Rush family, you are in my prayers during this very sad time. You shared a truly wonderful man who we’re very fortunate to have crossed our paths.

  • Winnie,
    Randy and I are so very sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed coming up to the store and sitting with Mike and discussing business as well as family which he loved dearly…. (Always great to get my hug from you as well). Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers, and if there is anything we can do for you, do not hesitate to ask.
    With warm smiles.

    David & Randy

  • To all of you: There are no words, but do know the great memories will be with you forever!
    So very sorry for your loss. Peace & comfort to the whole family!
    Debbie Menard

  • I knew Mike for over 45 years he was a mentor to alot of us in the Fire Service. He was a great friend & a Great guy i will miss him dearly he had such a impact on my life & was a Great person . Till We Meet Again My friend…..

  • Winnie and Family, From the A+ School Apparel Family our thought and prayers are with you.

  • Our families thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God continue to watch over you all.

  • Mike, you will be dearly missed, both as a brother firefighter and a Marine.
    May God grant you fair winds and following seas.

  • Sorry to hear about Mike. A great guy.

  • Thank you Mr Rush for your dedication and support for the Citizens Hose Company No 1
    Brian C Jarrell Past Chief

  • Life will never be the same way with out you,I will never let are friendship Die you are and will always be a part of my life rest in peace my Brother.

  • It is with immense sadness that we acknowledge the passing of a GREAT man, Mike Rush. He and I knew each other from our days growing up in the Wilmington Manor/Penn Acres neighborhood so often playing ball together for so many, many years. He was the kindest man who always thought of others. We extend our deepest sympathies to all of his family and will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Be assured of my prayers. I will celebrate a Mass for the repose of his soul.

  • Mike, Cheryl, Wendy and I have fond memories of you since OLF days. You and all your family will be remembers in our prayers and I will celebrate Mass for you tomorrow, 1 November. RIP Mike.

  • The good Lord rewards a life of service
    and you my friend will enter with your
    head held high. We traveled many places
    together and you are one which I will never forget.
    God will bless your family in these trying times.
    Rest in peace – Larry A. Trentham

  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 All our love always.

  • Mike always remembered me at our Sallies reunions . I will miss his smile and his warm greetings and his remembering the old days. Mike we will meet again at the reunion of all Sallies grads . May Almighty God grant you eternal peace . I will miss you . ,

  • My heart felt wishes go out to all the family and members .Mike rest in peace you will be missed by all

  • What a shock I got when I read that Mike had passed away! I always considered him a great guy, and that was before I read all his accomplishments, awards, etc.! He certainly will be missed my many, many people and organizations! I know how close a family you are, Winnie, Meghan, and Barbara. Know that you all will be in my thought and prayers!

  • Winnie and family, we were saddened to hear of Mike’s passing.
    He was such a great person and we always enjoyed seeing you both at the Volunteer Hose Co. banquet. He will certainly be missed up and down the state of Delaware.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Kenny and Nancy Branner

  • To Winnie & family,
    We have shopped at Rush’s Uniform Shop for years … for school stuff; for fired department stuff. Mike has always been there for us. We worked with Mike on Wilmington’s 80th anniversary several years ago. Mike has always been there for us … his knowledge always available. We were saddened to read of his death. We have all of you in our thoughts and prayers during this sad and difficult time. Rest in peace, dear friend!
    Leo & Eileen Sweeney

  • My Sympathies and Condolences extended to the Rush family! Gone but never forgotten, Rest In Peace with His arms wrapped around in you in eternal peace and happiness forever.

  • My time with Mike was short lived but his impression on me has lasted a life time. My prayers are with you and your family Winnie. I am so sorry.

  • I was fortunate to be classmate of Mike’s at Salesianum. Clearly he belongs in the Salesianum Hall of Fame. He touched the lives of countless people during his lifetime and he will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Mike and thank you for everything for your community.

  • Mike was a remarkable, yet unassuming, individual, and it was my privilege to know him. We met when I recruited him — a total stranger at the time — to become a volunteer member of a New Castle County draft board. That was some 18 years ago. Though we have no military draft today, Mike took his position seriously, and he faithfully attended training over the years. Over time, I’m glad to say that we became friends. While most know him to be an icon in the local firefighting community, few probably are aware of this aspect of his civic mindedness. Winnie, I know that I speak for his fellow draft board members and the Delaware Selective Service community as a whole when I offer you my greatest condolences on your loss.

  • Dear Rush and Moore family,
    Our sincere sympathies for your loss of Mike. Always a kind and friendly man and a great neighbor who will be missed by all who knew him. We will always remember the fire truck Santa visits on Clipper Court when the kids were little. May your memories bring you comfort in the days ahead. Sending our prayers, Aldo & Diane

  • What a beautiful tribute to Mike’s life and all of his accomplishments.

  • Mike was one of the greatest guys I ever knew. We met a long time ago in the marines and hit it off right away. He will be always be in my heart. Sadly missed.

  • Like many I have known Mike for a number of years. Real great guy and gentleman. I attempted to make his viewing on Wednesday and tried to arrive at 4:00 p.m. so I wouldn’t end up in a long line due to the virus and being COPD. Coming from Pennsylvania I left early but unfortunately those plans were foiled when I got tied up on I-95, which was at a completed stop.

    Like many of us, Mike was a veteran of the military as well as the fire service. I will miss him dearly.

    Ray Lonabaugh

  • You will missed but not forgotten . R.I.P..❤

  • My parents Betty and Paul Burge from Christiana Fire company want to express their condolences to Mikes family. Betty expressed that Mike treated her with respect and greatly appreciated. Due to their age and the COVID life we now are living in they were unable to attend the services