Alfred T. (Sonny) Ruston, 83, of Jackson, Ohio, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, at his home. He was born on May 24, 1937, in Athens, Ohio, to the late Alfred E. Ruston and Ruby (Barnhill) Ruston.
He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Marolyn Ruston; a stepson, Steve (Staci) Knisley of Lancaster, Ohio; two step-grandchildren, Kayla Knisley and Seth Knisley, both of Chillicothe, Ohio; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Carolyn Clippinger of Evansville, Indiana; one cousin, Shirley Conner of Rocky River, Ohio; numerous family members; and two special employees, Dina Wilbur and Leah Williams. He was preceded in death by his parents, one uncle, and one aunt.
Sonny was a 1955 graduate of Jackson High School. Following high school, he attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, seeking a degree in electrical engineering and later attended the University of Rio Grande for accounting. Sonny always said he wanted to know both sides of the business. He joined A.E. Ruston Electric, the family business, in 1961. He knew from a young boy that he wanted this to be his life’s work. From father to son, the business has stood and survived the test of time of a family-owned business. His ultimate goal was to have the business reach 100 years. This goal will be met by Marolyn, Dina, Leah, and other loyal employees, Anthony Gabriel, Tom Gabriel, Meredith Tindall, and Matt Fraley, all of whom he considered family. Sonny had two very special life-long friends; Dallas Lloyd, and John Smith.
He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Jackson as well as the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce from which he received “The Business of The Year Award” in 2012. A.E. Ruston Electric has belonged to the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce for 90 years. Sonny was also a member of the Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson.
The family will receive friends at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, from 4 until 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Nov. 2, 2020, at the funeral home in Jackson at 11 a.m. with Pastor Janie Karl and Jay Madigan officiating. Burial will follow in Alexander Cemetery, Albany, Ohio. Social distancing is required and masks are preferred, during calling hours and the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Christ United Methodist Church, 150 Portsmouth St., Jackson, Ohio 45640.