Mr. and Mrs. Rush enjoy the congressman’s birthday celebration hosted by Rainbow PUSH. Photo: Mary L. Datcher

CHICAGO – With great sadness, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) announced the passing of his wife of Carolyn, 68, who died this morning of congestive heart failure at the University of Chicago Hospital.

“Today I have lost my best friend, the love of my life, my confidant and my best half,” said Rep. Rush, who was at her bedside, along with her children, when she died. “This one of the most difficult days of my life. If there is any comfort at all, it is in knowing that Carolyn is no longer suffering and that she has returned to our Father in Heaven. I will always cherish her. She was everything to me. I am devastated.”

He also said, “I want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support over the last several months as Carolyn’s health faded. I want to commend the University of Chicago’s medical staff who provided excellent care for her for the duration of her illness. 

“I also express my sincerest appreciation to my colleagues in Congress, and to my constituents for understanding why it was so important for me to be with my wife when I also had to be in Washington. Choosing to be with her until the very end was really no choice for me at all. As her husband it was my duty and as a man of God it was also my responsibility to be by her side,” Rush reflected. “Carolyn never left my side when I was diagnosed with cancer. She’s the reason I’m still here. I will forever miss my friend.”

Born May 27, 1949 in Memphis, TN, Carolyn Rush moved to Chicago at an early age. She graduated from Hirsch High School and later graduated with high honors with a Bachelors of Art in Organizational Leadership from Roosevelt University in Chicago. In addition to her work as a community organizer, precinct captain and political strategist in many campaigns, she was also instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement working to end discrimination in housing and employment.

Mrs. Rush and her husband Congressman Bobby Rush, have a blended family of seven children (one son is deceased), and 11 grandchildren. The couple were married for 36 years. Funeral arrangements are pending and there is no further information at this time.

An official statement from Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Mrs. Rush’s passing:

“Carolyn Rush was a loving mother, a committed partner to Congressman Rush, and an uplifting voice for compassion and inclusion in the City of Chicago. Amy and I join Chicagoans throughout the city in extending our deepest condolences to Congressman Rush, the entire Rush family, and all those who are mourning her loss.”

Information provided by the Communications Office of U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush.

 

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