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Obituary: Rus, Vladimir

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/.

News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com