Angela Wingo-Rust, one of Lindenwood University-Belleville leaders who helped forge the college’s exponential growth in recent years has died, the university announced.
Wingo-Rust, 47, of Millstadt died on Friday at her Millstadt home. The cause of death was not released.
“Our Lindenwood family has lost a very important member who will always be remembered as one of the ‘originals’ whose vision and commitment to the possibility of a great university helped shape what we are today,” Lindenwood University-Belleville President Brett Barger said in a news release.
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She was courageous. We’re going to miss her dearly.
Mayor Mark Eckert
Wingo-Rust joined Lindenwood University-Belleville in the spring of 2010 as dean of students. The university’s news release said she played “a vital role” in converting Lindenwood from a night school into a university with full-time students and dormitories. Lindenwood took over the former Belleville West High School campus at 2600 W. Main St. in 2003.
Barger said that Wingo-Rust had told him earlier this year that she was facing serious health issues and he asked her how Lindenwood could help her with the fight. She said she wanted the school officials to treat her as they always had and that she “found comfort in her work” in helping students, Barger stated in the news release
“She was courageous,” Mayor Mark Eckert of Wingo-Rust’s battle with health issues. “We’re going to miss her dearly.”
Eckert praised Wingo-Rust for her efforts in building Lindenwood’s relationship with the city as the college’s enrollment grew and Lindenwood began buying homes and apartments near the campus for student housing.
“She was so committed to the students at Lindenwood to their ability to get an outstanding education,” Eckert said. “She was wonderful to work with because she was straightforward.”
She was a loving mother and wife and she fought until the end with pride and dignity.
Mary Reuter, assistant vice president and executive director of community relations for Lindenwood
Mary Reuter, assistant vice president and executive director of community relations for Lindenwood, said in the school news release, “She was a loving mother and wife and she fought until the end with pride and dignity.”
Eckert said Wingo-Rust’s husband, Robert M. Rust, is a police officer for the city. Two of her children, Jordan Wingo and Taylor Wingo, attend the college, the university said.
Earlier this year, Wingo-Rust spoke to the News-Democrat in connection with a complaint raised by Belleville Ward 2 Alderman Mike Buettner and about students donating leftover household items to area charity Moms on a Mission.
A visitation for Wingo-Rust will be 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kurrus Funeral Home at 1773 Frank Scott Parkway West in Belleville. By her request, her body was cremated.
Memorials may be made to the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.