David Lee Rukstalis, Sr., a 44-year resident of Mission Viejo, California, died unexpectedly, Saturday, February 25, 2012, at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Irvine, California.
He was pre-deceased by his son, Michael Bollinger Rukstalis. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ladona Joan Bollinger; his children, David Lee Rukstalis, Jr., Victoria Lynn Avery, and Bart Paul Rukstalis. He is also survived by his grandchildren, David Lee Rukstalis, III, James Robert Rukstalis, Tiffany Monet Rukstalis, Michael Alexander Rukstalis, Timothy Rukstalis, Christy Rukstalis, Maggie O’Dell, Matt Cole, Gregory Lee Dyas, and his great-granddaughter, Leilani Naomi Rukstalis. He was a cousin to Joseph Rutherford Walker, the first explorer to set foot in what is now known as Yosemite National Park.
David was born in Lynwood, California on February 25, 1934, the son of Addie Elizabeth Rosson and Peter Rukstalis. He passed away on his 78th birthday.
He began work at a young age delivering the Los Angeles Herald Examiner; he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1951 at age 17. He was a Korean War Veteran and a member of the Marine Corps Rifle Team–he was awarded the Distinguished Marksman Medal, the youngest Marine to earn that distinction at the time.
He met his wife, Ladona, while they were students at Compton College, where he played on the National Championship football team; in the early 1950Ã¢‚¬Ëœs, Compton had the number one Community College football team in the United States and routinely shut out their opponents. David played on the team that won the Junior Rose Bowl in 1955.
David was a very active member of the Mission Viejo community, where he donated his time with the Kiwanis, the Rotary club, and the Elks club for many years. He was an ardent believer in community service, which he continuously demonstrated by donating his time and money throughout his life. He was a cabin owner in Holy Jim Canyon, during which time he also served as President of the Trabuco and Holy Jim Canyon Cabin Owners Association.
A memorial service for David Rukstalis, Sr. is scheduled to take place at O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, March 2, 2012. He will be missed and remembered. The family asks that in lieu of flowers you could make a contribution to the Rotary Foundation by calling 949/859-1574.