Cover photo for Dr. David John Rusilko's Obituary
Dr. David John Rusilko Profile Photo

Dr. David John Rusilko

December 14, 1951 — September 2, 2022

Dr. David John Rusilko

Dr. David John Rusilko "Big Dave", 70, of Meadville, passed away Friday, September 2, 2022, at UPMC-Hamot Medical Center, Erie.

David was born in New Eagle, on December 14, 1951, a son of the late John and Sophie (Hazuga) Rusilko.

On November 16, 1974 David married Susan Marie Baker or as he called her  "His Better Half"; she survives.

He was a faithful member of The Epiphany of the Lord Parish, St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church and a 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus Council #388.

A graduate of Bentworth High School in Bentleyville, David was also a 1973 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his BS Degree in Microbiology.  He was employed as an orderly at Washington Hospital, in Washington, PA, before moving to Meadville where he became employed in Quality Control at the former Talon, Inc.  On July 3, 1975 David enlisted in the US Army.  During his service time he worked at Walter Reed Hospital in the field of Microbiology, and published several research papers.  He was honorably discharged on March 2, 1978. In 1980 David continued his education at Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, where he earned his Chiropractic Doctoral Degree in 1983 becoming the first in his family to earn a doctorate degree.  Shortly after Dr. Rusilko opened his Meadville practice in November, 1983, where he established a strong rapport with his patients until his retirement in October of 2013.

In addition to his wife, Susan, of 47 years, David is survived by three children Dr. Paul John Rusilko (Kathryn Lupo) of Pittsburgh, Dr. Matthew Ivan Rusilko (fiance Cecilia Leguizamon) of Miami Beach, FL, Cathryn Sweeney (Stephen) of Edinboro, and an adopted son through friendship Dr. Patrick Herness of Ormond Beach, FL; five grandchildren Domenica Marie Rusilko, Francesca Ann Rusilko, Michael David Sweeney, Leo Christian Sweeney, David Pasquale Sweeney; a sister Donna Jean Santi (Rembrant) of Ellsworth; a sister in law Elaine Rusilko of Canadohta Lake; several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by an infant son Stephan James, who was a twin to Cathryn; and a brother John "Sonny" Rusilko.

Big Dave was known by his closest circles as an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, a world class winemaker, and a culinary genius in the art of beef jerky and smoked pheasant from which he procured using his famous lineage of point labrador retrievers. No matter where he was, be it a stream, a field or a treestand Dave was sure to fill the world around him with laughter and cheer. He will forever be remembered as the person that left you with a smile on your face, happiness in your heart and a stomach full of his famous wine and infamous smoked pheasant platter.  Legends never die and Dave was legendary.

Family and friends are invited to call from 4-7 PM on Sunday, September 4, 2022, at STEPHEN P. MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE, where a Scripture Service will be held at 6:30 PM.

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 10 AM on Monday, September 5, 2022, The Epiphany of the Lord Parish, St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church, 353 Pine St., Meadville, with Fr. Marc Solomon officiating.

Dr. Rusilko will be laid to rest in St. Brigid Cemetery will Full Military Honors by VFW Post #2006.

Memorial contributions may be made in David's memory to The Epiphany of the Lord Parish, 353 Pine St., or Knights of Columbus C/O Pat McHale, 11957 Thurston Road, both in Meadville, PA  16335.

Share a memory or condolence at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. David John Rusilko, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, September 4, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. - Meadville

404 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA 16335

Scripture Service at 6:30 PM

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated

Monday, September 5, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Agatha Roman Catholic Church

353 Pine Street, Meadville, PA 16335

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 17

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree