Andre with salmon catch
André Rustad
  • Date of passing: May 5, 2014
Gone fishin' ...

One of André's favorite quotes...
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
~Theodore Roosevelt

André Rustad, beloved husband, caring father and grandfather, devoted son and loving brother, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2014. He was just 56 years old when we was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2009. He had been fighting this disease for nearly 5 years but his brave battle ended with his family by his side. André is survived by his loving wife Julie and their three sons Nick, Eric, and Justin.

André was born in Los Angeles to Einar and Francoise Rustad, third of six children (siblings Steve, Ronald - deceased, Larry, Frances, & Yolanda). André grew up in Gardena, CA, attended Junipero Serra High School, and then served in the U.S. Army from 1972-1975. While in Germany he met his true love Julie and they married in 1976 and raised their family in a log cabin they built themselves in Etiwanda, CA.

During the last 37+ years, his substantial achievements in the medical device industry earned him the prestigious designation of Engineering Fellow. André was a passionate inventor and held several patents for his innovative designs. He truly loved creative problem solving and applied it to both his job and personal life. In his free time he loved to be outdoors and particularly took pleasure in fishing, hunting, and gardening. At home he also enjoyed repairing/tinkering on things, cooking gourmet meals, and chasing around his four grandchildren (Andie, Michaela, Mason, and Ethan) which he doted on. André had a deep love for family, a passion for life, a great sense of humor, and an infectious laugh. The void in our lives is significant but we will forever carry him in our hearts and cherish our memories of him!

In lieu of flowers, if you feel compelled, we would appreciate a small donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of Andre.


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by joseph Showa on 1st August 2015

"Hello Julie, it's been a long time and wanted to find Andre but it wasn't happening. I am his Navajo friend from Serra High School. Went to your wedding and enjoyed his friendship. Ours was short. Good to hear that he had a great life. Looks like he followed a red road of his
own making. May the Great Spirit love him always."

This tribute was added by Joseph Kovach on 30th January 2015

"I still have a hard time believing that Andre is gone. But as long as he is remembered and loved he is not gone, he is forever in our hearts and thoughts."

This tribute was added by Carlos Aguirre on 21st May 2014

"Dear  Julie and Family;

I wanted to send you a note just to let you know that I was  so deeply touched by the news of the   passing of Andre. I cannot imagine the difficult days you are experiencing but please remember that our prays are with you and with all of Andre’s family .

Andres’s legacy is all around Mexicali specially in Plastics,  because as you know,  he was a very solid support in this organization’s foundations. I feel proud of having the chance of working with him for many years and many  projects.

We send you a big hug from the entire Mexicali’s Plastics team.


This tribute was added by Chris Zollinger on 21st May 2014

"Andre you were a great mentor and friend to me.  I owe a great deal of my success to you. You took the time not to just school me, but help me understand the problems and to show me real examples of how to solve them.  I was always amazed that you could open up a box or drawer or another box and find an old part that applied to a specific design.  I will miss you.

I will also miss our numerous discussions on gardening and tree pruning etc.  

Although I will miss you, your legacy will remain through the knowledge that you have instilled in me.  Thank you.

My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you Julie and your family.  May God bless you.

Chris Zollinger"

This tribute was added by Jenny Mallari on 12th May 2014

"Julie, Nick, Eric and Justin. My thoughts and prayers go to you. I’ve only had the honor to  know Andre for a short amount of years during my time at Riverside and my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend more time getting to know him.  He was such a diverse person. He came across to me as a serious person when I first met him. But later down the road found that underneath that tough shell he is a character. I can  remember one time when I was having a bad day he would turn it around and make the day more amusing with his sarcasm and wit. I just had a conversation recently with Ken Witscher (former mold tech from Riverside) and he recalled a time when the production floor was having molding problems and Andre was the only on one deck to get the mold running. He said to him “Here is my number. Now if you need anything… call me. I don’t care even it is 3 in the morning”.  There are not too many people out there to extend sincere gestures to offer a helping hand. That makes Andre one of a kind. The world has truly lost a great man."

This tribute was added by Joseph Kovach on 12th May 2014

"I met Andre in Germany when He was in the army. I will always regret that I did not get to know him better. I am deeply sorry that He is gone and I hope that someday to meet him again. I pray that he is in a better place. I will forever cherish the time that I spent with him in Daytona, that was years ago but to me it seems like yesterday. My thoughts and prayers go to my daughter and grand sons. Love you always."

This tribute was added by Chris Sammons on 11th May 2014

"Andre is one of those people you come across in life, be it personal or professional, who leaves a resounding impression. I always felt like the young rookie around him ever since we first met in 1989. His passion and charisma regarding problems is infectious...almost as infectious as his laugh. All who knew him well can hear his laugh echoing in their minds as they read this. He always tried to seem strong and tough on the outside...and he was. But, once you got past his initial wall you had a friend and confidant forever. I always got a kick how he could sit across from an engineer for years, but if they never took the time to engage him, he would rarely recall their name. That's not a dig, just one of those Andre-esque attributes that I came to enjoy and get a kick out of.

I can't speak much for his personal life, but on his professional side he could never say "no" to someone who asked his help. Thus, when he would leave work you would always see him gathering all his notes and items to bring home so he could work on whatever challenge he was presented with. I'm sure every time he did this Julie was rolling her eyes. I always tried to pick the right time to involve him in an had to be a time when I knew I'd have time available to brainstorm with him. You'd give him a problem and ask him to think about it when he can, then he'd swing by with his hand on his chin gazing out the window and throw out some ideas or ask some additional questions. Then, go back to his desk. 15 minutes later, there he was back by your desk giving it more thought. The man was a genius and I will greatly miss his mentor-ship, sense of humor and friendship.

I consider myself lucky to be one of those in his inner work circle and to have had the pleasure to call him not only a colleague...but a friend. He will be truly missed. God Bless Julie and family."

This tribute was added by Karin Kovach-Allen on 11th May 2014

"I always admired your fierce and protective love for Julie and your pride in your boys and their accomplishments. You taught them well."

This tribute was added by Jo Kovach-Kelsch on 11th May 2014

""Rick and I will always cherish the wonderful times we spent together at family gatherings, vacations and fishing excursions of course.  We enjoyed the outstanding meals you always so generously prepared for everyone and wish we had taken better notes.
Your fun loving, mischievous and humorous spirit will be sorely missed.
You will forever remain in our hearts.
Catch the big one Andre!""

This tribute was added by Erika Abington on 11th May 2014

"To my beloved son in law: "enjoy your eternal sleep...""

This tribute was added by Greg Dugan on 11th May 2014

"I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with Andre for the past 6 years of my career.  He was a mentor and friend always willing to help no matter what the challenge whether work related or personal.  We enjoyed sharing stories of outdoor adventures, the fishing & hunting trips he would take with his sons, and the Scout outings I would take with my son.  He had an ability to see solutions where most could not a true "gift" of innovation, able to break the tension of stressful situations with his great humor, an inspirational work ethic and determination that I will never forget!"

This tribute was added by Neil Korneff on 10th May 2014

"I am grateful to have known André. He was a positive influence on my professional and personal life. My thoughts and prayers are with the family."

This tribute was added by Jan Baker on 10th May 2014

"I will always treasure all the fond memories I have of you. The love, dedication and devotion you have always shown to your family is amazing. You will be deeply missed."

This tribute was added by Steve LaBollita on 10th May 2014

"Dear Julie, Nick, Eric and Justin,

Cristina and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Rustad Family. Andre meant so much to us. For nearly 18 years, he was a constant presence and guide for me- and always just on the other side of the cubicle wall, around which, we had so many great conversations.
Andre’s reputation in our industry- for his abilities, trustworthiness and integrity- was impeccable. And so he was a pillar of support far beyond the walls of Yorba Linda or Riverside. He was as constant and dependable as gravity.

This beautiful website shows he fulfilled this role for his family. And whenever he spoke to me of Julie, Nick, Eric, and Justin, you could see the glow on his face and hear the pride in his voice.  

Andre loved spending time on the manufacturing floor- something he missed in Yorba Linda. He was almost like a celebrity out there and it was amazing to see him at work. You could easily spot Andre from the distance, even though he, and everyone else, were all wearing a blue smock and white hairnet.

We had a lot of fun during all those Riverside mold trials. And after, we would have just as much fun recapping the events of the day and discussing the next steps. These conversations would take place back at the office or over the phone.

This past December, we talked on the phone one evening so I could give him the news about a mold sample, which involved one of his design improvements (a last minute gift he cooked up for our team before vacation). The conversation and the excitement in his voice were just like the old days. Over the next few months, in an attempt to prolong our conversation, I would continue to e-mail him the good news we received on his design.

I am extremely grateful for everything he did for me, and for the days he came to work this year, even though at the the time, I did not understand why he was putting himself through that.

Andre was an extraordinarily talented man, with a wonderful heart. We admired him greatly.  We will miss him tremendously.

God Bless.

Steve and Cristina"

This tribute was added by Brian Pierro on 10th May 2014

"Andre was a great mentor, coworker, and friend. There were no problems that couldn't be solved when Andre was on your team. His work ethic was inspiring to all that were lucky enough to work with him. I'll never forget how his eyes lit up when you got him talking about his family...a testament to how proud and successful he was as a husband and father. I'll have fond thoughts of Andre often and every time I see an engineer's pad. My sincerest condolences go out to Julie, Nick, Eric, and Justin.Thank you for sharing the photos, it was heartwarming reminder that Andre played as hard as he worked."

This tribute was added by David Rivera on 9th May 2014

"So sorry to hear about my friend Andre’.  It was a pleasure working with him back in the Baxter days, some great memories.  I learned so much from him as an engineer and as a man true to his principals. My deepest condolences to Julie and his family.  God bless, David"

This tribute was added by Frances Mackinga on 9th May 2014

"Your sister will always have very fond memories of you.  I love you and miss you."

This tribute was added by Dennis White on 9th May 2014

"Though I only knew and worked with Andre for 3 years, I will always remember him as a passionate, caring and thoughtful engineer.  He was, and remains, an inspiration.  In Israel they have an expression (להתראות) which sounds like "LeHeit Ra-oat" and it means "perhaps we'll meet again."  I hope so..."

This tribute was added by Susanna Rustad on 8th May 2014

"Dad, I will never forget your generosity (it was always about everyone else), gentle nature, honesty, humor, and strength.  You are truly inspirational and have taught us all so much about dedication and perspiration (i.e. hard work) -- it is an honor and privilege to know you.  We will deeply miss you."

This tribute was added by Melissa Cappetti on 8th May 2014

"Thank you Andre for welcoming me into your home and for making me feel like part of the family. I've loved getting to know you over the last 4 years and benefitting from all of your amazing cooking. I miss your smile, contagious laugh, and warm hugs."

This tribute was added by Eric Rustad on 8th May 2014

"Not a day will go by that I won't miss you; always in my heart."

This tribute was added by Justin Rustad on 8th May 2014

"Dad, I am so very proud that I have been able to call myself your son. Your life has been an inspiration and your legacy will remain eternal. I love you and will carry you with me forever."

This tribute was added by Nick Rustad on 8th May 2014

"My father, my hero, my idol ... loved and remembered always!"

This tribute was added by Julie Rustad on 8th May 2014

"I'll always carry you in my heart, my soulmate, my love - forever yours."

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