Robert “Rusty” John Erpenbeck, Sr. passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in his home in Edgewood, KY on November 13th, 2023 less than two weeks before his 60th birthday.
In 2019, Rusty had a brain aneurysm and a stroke that by all odds should have killed him. But Rusty was a stubborn man, so we were blessed with an extra four and a half years. While he was disabled after his brain injury, he was still Rusty at his core. His personality, sense of humor, and interests never changed.
Rusty was a special guy who lived life by his own rules. He loved weird old sci-fi movies, building and fixing things, Christmas music, comic books, and antiques. Besides his family, Rusty’s biggest passion was his work as a prolific genealogist. It was a gift that allowed countless people to connect with their ancestors.
He met the love of his life, his wife Mary, at a young age and they stayed by each other’s side until his last moment. Many people have been touched by the strong love that Rusty and Mary have always had for one another through sickness and in health.
Rusty was a gifted architect and a generally creative human being. He designed and built the beautiful house where he and Mary raised their children and lived their entire married life. He drew cartoons and started impossible projects like building a perpetual motion device. He loved making people laugh and always had a joke to tell. And he was known to (allegedly) cheat when playing cards with his cousins.
Many people have referred to Rusty as a “gentle giant.” He was a big man who would never hurt a fly. He was a thoughtful gift-giver, an animal lover, and had an enormous heart.
Rusty is survived by his wife, Mary Erpenbeck, his children, Robert Erpenbeck and Tory (Jordin Gough) Erpenbeck, his mother, Barbara Erpenbeck, his siblings, Sandy (Tom) Arnzen and Michael (Jennifer) Erpenbeck, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. He was preceded in death by his father, Bob Erpenbeck, and by the many generations of ancestors he spent his life researching. He’s surely getting all of the best stories from them right now.
Visitation will be on Monday, November 20th, 2023 starting at 10:00 AM at Mother of God Church in Covington, KY. Funeral Mass will begin at 12:05 PM.
If you can't be with us, have a Coke and think of his smile!
In memory of Rusty, please make memorial donation to The St. Anthony Shrine, 5000 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223
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