Lois Schellenberg

Kwantlen student wins first-ever Ed Schellenberg Award

Scholarship honours Abbotsford gasfitter, who was also an innocent Surrey Six murder victim.

Ed Schellenberg would have liked Douglas Rush.

Rush, a Cloverdale resident, is the inaugural recipient of the $1,000 Ed Schellenberg Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

Schellenberg (left) was an innocent victim of the Surrey Six murders. He had been servicing a fireplace on the top floor of a Surrey highrise on Oct. 19, 2007 when he was fatally shot.

“It’s really an honour,” said Rush owned a T-Shirt franchise for 16 years before taking his career in an entirely new direction. One of Rush’s old customers was actually Schellenberg’s business partner.

A single dad raising two teens, Rush is enrolled in KPU’s appliance servicing program. His goal is to provide a better life for his family.

“Douglas is an intelligent, modest and hardworking student,” said instructor and program chair David Fengstad. “He’s had a few curveballs thrown at him – life will do that – and he’s responded by making the most of this opportunity to get a great job that will give him and his family a more secure future.”

Fengstad said Rush is also passionate about giving to others – he’s volunteered for two humane societies in the past – which is a characteristic he shares with Schellenberg.

“What we emphasize in the program is honesty, integrity and professionalism in service. These are the values Ed represented and we will carry forward on his behalf,” said Fengstad.

Schellenberg was a respected gasfitter who had hundreds of repeat customers and referrals. He had a soft spot for his elderly customers, regardless of whether they could pay for his services. He did the work, but it didn’t end up on any bill.

He was also devoted to his family and treasured time spent with them. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hiker, hunter and fisherman who also dabbled in photography.

The Ed Schellenberg Memorial Endowed Scholarship recognizes a student who demonstrates a passion for giving, at work and in life, and strives to perfect his or her skills in order to benefit the lives around them.

Rush received his award during the annual Awards Ceremony at KPU Tech in Cloverdale on Feb. 5.

The Ed Schellenberg Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created through a $20,000 donation raised during five memorial golf tournaments.