Rev. William Rushford

The Rev. William Allen Rushford passed away Oct. 31, 2013, at St. Vincent’s Care Center in Bismarck at the age of 89.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, with the Most Reverend David D. Kagan, Bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck, as the main celebrant. The Most Reverend Paul A. Zipfel, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Bismarck, and the priests of the Diocese of Bismarck will concelebrate. Burial will be Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Riverside Cemetery, Marmarth, at 11 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Visitation will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3, at St. Vincent Care Center, Bismarck, and from 3 to 8 p.m., at Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck, where a rosary/vigil will begin at 4 p.m. Visitation will continue Monday, one hour prior to the service, at the church.

William Rushford was born Oct. 21, 1924, in Mindenmines, Mo., the son of Leo and Regina (Bott) Rushford. He was raised and educated in Marmarth, graduating from high school in 1942, followed by service in the Army from March 1943 to December 1945.

He then attended Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn., and graduated from St. Thomas Seminary, Denver, Colo., with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1955. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Bismarck at the Church of St. Mel in Rhame on May 21, 1955, by Bishop Lambert Hoch.

His first assignment following ordination was as an assistant at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Minot until 1959. He then became pastor of St. Michael Church in Sentinel Butte and St. Mary Church in Medora. In 1963 he became pastor of St. Michael Church in Ray and St. Mary Church in Epping.

From there, he went on to serve as pastor at St. Bonaventure Church in Underwood, St. Catherine Church in Turtle Lake, and St. John Church in Riverdale until 1976. From 1976 to 1979, he served as vicar helper at St. Charles Church in Bowman, St. Mel Church in Rhame, and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Marmarth. He was then appointed pastor of those parishes until 1983. From 1983 to 1986, he was the administrator of St. John Church in Riverdale. Father Rushford became the pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Garrison and served there until he retired on June 30, 1995.

Father Rushford also served as chaplain of the North Dakota National Guard for a long period of time. The Serra Club and vocations were near and dear to his heart. He had a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Rushford spoke Greek and Latin fluently. His hobbies included gardening, hunting and fishing.

Father Rushford is survived by: his sister, Winnifred (Winnie) Wolf, and her husband, Wilfred “Woodie,” Bismarck; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Father Rushford was preceded in death by his father and mother; his brother, Peter; and his sister, Margaret.

Memorials: May be given to the Diocese of Bismarck Priests Retirement Fund.

Go to ( to share memories of Father Rushford and sign the online guestbook.

(Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck)