Doris “Rusty” Folger of Cornelius died Tuesday, March 15, 2011, two months after celebrating her 85th birthday. A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held Friday, March 18, at Christ Community Church in Huntersville (details below).
Nicknamed “Rusty” because of her stunning red hair, pictures from her youth portray a beautiful young woman whose long, lustrous locks resembled Rita Hayworth’s.
Rusty was born in New York City to Harry and Mabel Wolf. The youngest of four, her sisters, Alice and Betty, and brother, Kenneth, doted on their precious little sister and Rusty readily admitted, “They all spoiled me.” But who could resist? Her sparkling personality and infectious laugh never failed to light up the room. Rusty was an excellent student, an accomplished pianist and a terrific dancer.
In 1946, Rusty married George Folger. In the early 1950s, George took a job as an electrician for the Panama Canal Co. and moved his wife and their two young sons, Gary and Wayne, to the Canal Zone. Rusty put her talents and fine intellect to work for the U.S. Army, first as a secretary and later as an intelligence analyst. Over the years, Rusty garnered many awards and letters of commendation. In 1977, George and Rusty retired and moved to New Orleans but, sadly, George died of leukemia just two years later.
In 1991, Rusty met a wonderful man named John Ward. John became her ballroom dancing partner and for the next 20 years, her loving partner in life. They traveled extensively and set the standard for draining every ounce of joy from the flask of life, spreading that joy to everyone they met.
Rusty was preceded in death by her parents, siblings and loving niece, Kathy Ensor.
She is survived by John Ward, her son Gary Folger and his wife Theresa, son Wayne Folger and his loving partner Cindy Brown, grandsons Jason, Jordan, Jonathan, George, and Didier Folger, great-grandson Jackson Folger, niece Sharon and her husband Michael Smith, grand nieces Alice Ensor and Kristin Kirkby, and grand nephew Tim Kirkby and his wife Samantha.
In November, 2010, Rusty held the honored position of “grandmother of the groom” at Tim and Samantha’s wedding in Chicago. She will be remembered for her warm, kind, generous spirit and sparkling personality – to the very end, an inspiration to us all.
A memorial service and celebration of Rusty’s life will be held on Friday, March 18, at 11 a.m. at Christ Community Church, 16301 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. Visitation will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Levine-Dickson Hospice House, at 11900 Vanstory Dr., Huntersville, NC 28078, where Rusty received the utmost compassionate care during her last days.
Samuel S. James, FSL of Huntersville is serving the family. www.samuelsjamesfsl.com