The wife of Stockton Rush, the OceanGate CEO whose submersible, Titan, vanished on June 18 during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic, is a direct descendant of two famous Jewish passengers who perished when the ocean liner sank in 1912.
Wendy Rush is a great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus. Isidor was co-owner of Macy’s department store.
She is descended from one of their daughters, Minnie, who married Dr. Richard Weil in 1905. Their grandson, Dr. Richard Weil III, is Rush’s father, said Joan Adler, executive director of the Straus Historical Society.
She married Stockton Rush in 1986, according to The New York Times. She serves as OceanGate’s communications director.
Wendy Rush’s famous ancestors were remembered for their chivalric behavior aboard the Titanic; Isidor refused a seat on a lifeboat as women and children still remained aboard the doomed liner.
Ida was equally heroic, refusing to leave her husband of 40 years. They were last seen sitting arm in arm on a pair of deck chairs as the ship went down.
Hollywood director James Cameron, in his 1997 film about the Titanic, borrowed from the Strauss story, featuring an elderly couple embracing in bed as the boat sank.
Isidor’s body was found at sea about two weeks after the ship went down. Ida’s remains were never recovered.
Search-and-rescue efforts continue for the Titan, the exact location of which has not been pinpointed. The Titanic’s remains rest at a depth of 12,500 feet.