by Molly Morris|
A memorial service for John Rushford, 65, will be held on St. Thomas at 3
p.m. Sunday, June 4, at the Baha'i National Center in Contant.
Rushford, who died May 14 in Haifa, Israel, after having been diagnosed
with cancer in January, became a member of the National Spiritual Assembly
of the Baha'i of the Virgin Islands in 1977. He moved from St. Thomas to
Haifa in 1989 to serve at the Baha'i International Teaching Centre. There
he met and married Serena Hamilton that same year.
Known to friends as "Twiggy," Rushford lived on St. Thomas from the late
1960s until he moved to Haifa. In the '70s, he was part owner of the
Driftwood Inn, a popular hillside dining spot. Around that time he starred
in a movie, "Pink Net in the Sunset," filmed by local personalities
including David Chrobak of the Floraphernalia flower shop.
Rushford, who also was known as an accomplished tap-dancer, worked in the
1980s for Cathy O'Gara at Advertising Production Services. "There was never
a dull moment with him around," she recalled. "If someone walked into the
office, he was just as likely to jump up and do a little tap routine, as not."
Fellow Baha'i William Nedden, who lived on St. Thomas when Rushford was
on the island, recalled, "Years ago, it was John's fantasy that he be
permitted to serve and die in Haifa," the world center of the Baha'i
community. "I had the opportunity to spend some time with John and Serena
in January, when his wish was to turn back the cancer just discovered, to
be able to serve the faith after his retirement," Nedden said. "He has other
ways to serve now."
Friends are invited to the memorial service. For directions to the Baha'i
center and for further information, call (340) 776-7024.