Rusty is survived by his parents Russell and Patricia “Patty”; sisters Trisha (Jake) Sanford and Angie (James) Becker; nieces, nephews, and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his sister Gena, grandparents, Eugene and Lois Olness, Laverne and Robert "Red" Sanford; his uncles Wayne Olness and Mark Sanford; aunts Elizabeth Olness and Susan Johnson.
Rusty was born March, 20, 1968, in Princeton, Minnesota to Russell and Patricia Sanford. He grew up in Princeton, and was a graduate from Princeton High School. While in school, he participated in the Special Olympics and many other events. In his younger years, he enjoyed fishing, catching frogs, and riding his “Fat Cat” motorcycle. On Friday nights he could always be found at the races with his dad. He was well known in his childhood neighborhood and made frequent stops for milk and cookies, especially at his grandma’s and Great Aunt Dorothy’s house. He also loved hats and many individuals contributed to his hat collection.
He spent his final years at the Community Living Options (CLO) group home in North Branch where he enjoyed his weekly visits with his mom. He had many outings in the North Branch and Lindstrom area and loved his bicycle rides. His family will be forever grateful for all the school staff, caregivers and healthcare providers that cared for him over the years. He captured the hearts of many special caregivers at CLO and was loved and spoiled in return.
A celebration of life event for Rusty will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2023 at the Peterson Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca with a visitation from 4:30 – 7 PM and a prayer service at 6 PM.