When Susie Rush was pregnant with her first child in 1962, she was sick a lot, she recalls. To combat the time Rush was ill during the pregnancy, she learned how to knit from a woman in Logansport who had a knitting shop.
She used her new knowledge of the needlecraft to open up a yarn shop in Walton, which operated for 10 years. She then had a sewing business from 1989 to 1993 with 13 employees, selling applique sweatshirts.
Since perfecting her craft, Rush has begun teaching the craft to others. Rush, a Walton resident, spends her Monday afternoons teaching knitting and crochet at the Walton Public Library.
When storms rolled through Walton one week ago, the town was left in darkness and Rush taught a knitting class with no electricity.
Rush, who is a certified instructor for National Needlework Association and American Professional Needlework Retailers, continues to teach others even when she travels to the Sunshine State each January.
Rush enjoys helping people and encouraging them to help others.
“I like to give people the knowledge to do things,” Rush said. “I think that’s why we’re here — to help others.”
Along with her knitting and crochet talents, she helps make food items at Onward Christian Church — by the hundreds.
Rush is one of several people in a group at the church who make 100 pounds of noodles and 900 cookies in preparation for a church dinner.
“I’m not doing anything different,” Rush said. “I’m just doing one small part of what numerous people do. I’m not doing some miraculous thing.”
Both Rush and her husband were selected as Good Neighbors in previous years, Rush said.
Rush also helps seniors in the area. Rush is in an aerobics class at Area Five in Logansport that meets three days a week. The group has become close, as they also have dinners and birthday celebrations outside of the aerobics class.
Rush has also used her van to take those in her knitting class to a yarn shop in Kokomo previously.
Mary Gangloff, Logansport, nominated Rush to receive the Pharos-Tribune’s “Good Neighbor” award and has attended the aerobics class for at least 15 years, she said.
Gangloff describes Rush as a good, caring and Christian person.
“She is the most wonderful person,” Gangloff said. “She’s one of the best neighbors you could ever find.”
Another thing Rush does for others is create prayer shawls. Rush knits and crochets a shawl and then passes it around for people at her church to pray over it. The shawl, along with a card, is given to someone in need, so they can be wrapped in prayers.
The prayer shawls are given for different reasons, including a marriage, death, the birth of a baby, or an illness.
Rush, who has two children and three grandchildren, said she doesn’t help others to be paid back.
“I’m sure there are a lot more people more deserving than me,” Rush said. “Everyone helps someone.”
“She doesn’t expect to be thanked,” Gangloff said. “I wouldn’t know how many people’s lives to tell you she has touched.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.