Cover photo for Shirley R. Rush's Obituary
Shirley R. Rush Profile Photo

Shirley R. Rush

January 31, 1942 — September 6, 2023

Charleston, SC

Shirley R. Rush

Shirley R. Rush, 81 of Charleston, South Carolina, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

Born on January 31, 1942, in Boise, ID. She lived her entire adult life on James Island, SC.

Shirley is survived by her son, Ronald A. Rush, Jr., his partner Tomas Smith, numerous friends and colleagues and her beloved rescue dog, Emma.

Shirley's life was defined by her unwavering commitment to helping others. She loved her decades long career at the James Island Fire Department. Her career path included Secretary to the Chief, Dispatcher and part time Fire Inspector which held the rank of Battalion Chief. She won numerous awards over her career and was instrumental in obtaining funding for the first Fire Safety Training House. She was respected and admired by her colleagues.

Shirley also worked part time in restaurants and never met a stranger who didn't care the world for her. She was an avid gardener who took pride in her yard and was a wonderful cook. It frustrated her to no end that COPD would not let her do the things she loved that were always second nature to her.

Shirley's nurturing spirit extended beyond her immediate family as she formed deep bonds with her extended family and close friends who cherished her for her warmth and kindness. There is a core group of friends she loved dearly through the years who were all like sisters. She will be missed by Addie, Hazel, Beverly, Three Kathys, Belinda, Susan, Nicole, Dot and many others who can't fit onto this page.

The family will receive friends on Friday, September 15, 2023, at McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412 from 2:00-3:00 pm. The Memorial Service will be held immediately following at 3:00 pm led by the Elder Dr. William E. Green.

A reception will be held after the service at the home Shirley lovingly cared for and gardened.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Charleston Animal Society -

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 347 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412, 843-614-8494.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley R. Rush, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, September 15, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, September 15, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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