Dr. Luke Rhodes Hurst, 86, a resident of Harrisonburg and formerly of Penn Laird, Virginia, passed away peacefully following a stroke on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his six beloved children.
Dr. Hurst was born on March 24, 1933, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was a son of the late Luke Auker Hurst and Sallye Magdalene (Rhodes) Hurst Gross. On Oct. 20, 1956, he married the love of his life, the former Pearl Sensenig Mast, who preceded him in death on Jan. 13, 1994. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Paul Rhodes Hurst, and great-grandson, Austin Huffman.
Three brothers-in-law also preceded him in death: Emmett Lehman, Elvin Byler, and Leroy Mast.
Dr. Hurst graduated from Eastern Mennonite College (now University) in 1956 and from the Temple University School of Dentistry in 1964. He practiced dentistry in Penn Laird, Virginia, for 36 years, generously providing care for hundreds of people in need. Luke founded Hurst Bros. Painters, a family business which enabled him to teach first his brother Paul and later his children the value and dignity of positive community relationships, honest business practices, hard physical labor, and persistent, creative problem solving.
Dr. Hurst did short-term medical mission work in the Dominican Republic after the devastation of the U.S. military invasion. In 1966 and 1968 he joined the Christian Medical Society to provide short-term dental care at the missionary base in Yarinacocha, Peru, and to indigenous tribes in the Peruvian Amazon basin. He was active in the Shenandoah Valley Dental Association and American Dental Association for decades.
In addition to his magnanimous generosity and love of his family, Luke was known for his wit, his laugh, his love of nature, his appreciation of a good church potluck, an ever-present hat, and a flower in his lapel.
Dr. Hurst traveled with his wife in Europe and Asia. He traveled to the Caribbean and Middle East with his children. He even dared to load his children into a station wagon for summer trips and winter ski adventures, making visits to 49 states and much of Canada. He was a member of Park View Mennonite Church for almost 60 years and enjoyed being part of Faith and Issues Sunday School Class.
Nothing brought him more joy than family. He was a wonderful father to six children, and grandfather to 19 grandchildren, and delighted in living long enough to meet 11 great-grandchildren. He hardly ever missed a soccer, basketball, or tennis match, or choir or drama performance of his children at Eastern Mennonite High School and College. In recent years he was present to see three grandsons help win three different High School Soccer State Championships as well as a granddaughter who won a state diving championship. All his children, as well as seven of his grandchildren, studied at Eastern Mennonite College (University).
He is survived by his six children: Dawn Rose Hurst-Stultz and husband Steve of Staunton, Luke Mast Schrock-Hurst and wife Carmen of Harrisonburg, Michael David Hurst and wife Judy of Christiansburg, Carol Grace Hurst and husband Jon Nafziger of Crozet, Steven Paul Hurst of Harrisonburg, James Byron Hurst and wife Shawn of Dallas, Georgia.
He is also survived by his five sisters: Eunice Lehman, Lois Weaver (Marvin), Grace S. Byler, Mary Louise Hostetter (James), and Sharon Stoltzfus (J. Lowell), and sister-in-law, Louetta Hurst.
His surviving 19 grandchildren are: Justin Hurst (Hillary), Shannon Ragusa (John), Summer Magdalene Stultz, Dani Stultz Seiver (Bobby); Grace Anna Prasetyo (Yugo), Lucas Schrock-Hurst, Caleb Schrock-Hurst; Kaitlyn Hurst Kao (Richard), Christopher King, Pearl Mae Hurst, M. Tristan Hurst, Scarlett Hurst; Andrew Hurst Nafziger, Michael Hurst Nafziger, Gabe Hurst Nafziger; Liliana Hurst, Luke Purcell (Hayley), Landon Hurst, and Leyton Hurst.
He is also survived by 10 great grandchildren: Justice Huffman Ragusa, Zoe Ragusa, Scarlett Ragusa, Santino Luca Ragusa, Rhiannon Ragusa, Mattox Ragusa; Lincoln Hurst; Kyro Moye; Jeremiah Prasetyo, and Simeon Luke Prasetyo.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, 2019 from 6 until 8:30 p.m. at Park View Mennonite Church, 1600 College Ave., Harrisonburg.
A funeral service will be held at Park View Mennonite Church on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at 11 a,m. Rev. Marvin L. Weaver and Rev. Phil Kniss will preside. Burial will be held privately.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, 21 S. 12th St., Akron, PA 17501, Eastern Mennonite University, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, or Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Dental Residency, P.O. Box 7500 Bristol, TN 37621.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.mcmullenfh.com.