Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
Dr. Vladimir Rus, 86, of Levittown, passed away at his home on June 11. Dr. Rus was born in Zlonice, Czechoslovakia. He grew up under Nazi occupation, and spent time in an internment camp. He later attended law school at Charles University in Prague but was forced to emigrate at the time of the Communist takeover in 1948. He lived in a displaced persons’ camp in Italy for two years, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1950. He met his future wife, Viola Daphne, in South Carolina in 1952, and the couple married that year in New York City.
Dr. Rus completed his PhD in German Literature and Language at NYU in 1963. The couple moved to Greenport, on Long Island and, in 1959, to Levittown, where they resided up to the present.
Dr. Rus taught at Great Neck South Senior High School for over 30 years before his retirement in 1996. He chaired the Foreign Language Department and taught Latin, Italian, German, Russian, and French. Subsequently, he taught Latin for over 10 years at the Wheatley School in Old Westbury,
Dr. Rus published translations of German and Russian poetry, and translated extensively the correspondence and writings of Freud in preparation of a book titled Freud Without Hindsight.
Dr. Rus actively participated in the Levittown Property Owners’ Association (LPOA) for over 30 years, providing legal research and writing to support the property rights of his neighbors and the integrity of the local zoning ordinance. He also served as a trustee of the Levittown Public Library for 10 years. In earlier years, he coached baseball teams in Levittown Little League and Pony League.
In the last few days, a former colleague at the Wheatley School wrote to the Rus family that Dr. Rus “was a gentleman and scholar of the highest caliber. The students always held him in the highest regard and sang praises of him as their teacher. We all admired his understated style and humility. Everyone that knew him respected his intelligence, kindness, skill and professionalism. He is missed.”
Dr. Rus is survived by his wife Daphne, and by three children, Francis (Todd), Kristina and Thomas, and five grandchildren. The family is hosting a memorial service on Saturday, June 29, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes, 2786 Hempstead Turnpike, in Levittown.
Condolences may be sent to the Rus family at: 82 Woodcock Lane, Levittown, NY 11756. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in the name of the deceased to the New York State Natural Heritage Trust, c/o NYS Natural Heritage Trust, 625 Broadway – 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12207, or online at http://nysparks.com/natural-heritage-trust/support-state-parks.aspx/.