Kelly Logsdon Rush, RIP

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I met Kelly Logdson Rush the way so many people met her: she was my teacher at Champions School of Real Estate in 2010. She was also one of my dearest friends, a woman I grew close to over the last ten years. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone with more friends, anyone more loved by an entire industry and community. Kelly was a Dallas Realtor out of Ebby Halliday’s prestigious Little White House. To say she touched many hearts and lives is an understatement.

Kelly died Sunday night after being rushed to Parkland Hospital from her Turtle Creek home. Her passing is a huge loss for the Dallas real estate community.

Kelly started teaching real estate at Champions February 25, 2005. She taught 950 classes, including mine. Although every teacher at Champions is incredibly professional, Kelly stood out. As a teacher, she drew you in, you paid attention, you participated. Hers was the class you hated to see end.

Kelly was the most engaging and uplifting woman in the world. She never failed to say something positive about you about five minutes after saying hello. She made you feel like a million dollars. She had an elegance, a style, a sophistication.

She knew real estate better than anyone. How many times had I called her with technical questions? Her style was graceful, but when it came to real estate, the lady was a tough-as-nails negotiator and tireless worker. When I needed to get my condo leased, Kelly got the job done, and she styled it in her own inimitable way.

We went to Ebby’s 75th Anniversary Gala together in January, with another Kelly friend and client, Christina Lee. My ankle was hurting (would later find out it was fractured) and Christina was wearing heels, so Kelly drops us off at the door and parks so we don’t have to walk!

Kelly was born in Cumberland, Maryland. Never mind her birth date because she would not want us to publish that. She grew up in a military family. She held two masters degrees, including one from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Kelly was married to a dashing young man named Javier, twice actually, and she lived in Mexico and also in Europe. She had no children. She was devoted to her mother, Constance, who died December 18, 2016. Kelly cared for her mother lovingly for 25 years, right up to the very end.

Here is what a sprinkling of her many, many friends and colleagues are saying this week about Kelly as we all mourn her loss, and make a toast in her honor with her favorite champagne.

Please feel free to write your favorite memories of Kelly in the comments.

I have so many special memories of Kelly. She always brightened my day every time she was teaching.  With a simple walk in my office, kiss on the cheek and a sweet “I love you” she always reminded me to cherish the special bond I have with my mother, as she did with her mother. There were many times I would find a “love gift” on my desk, a love gift for my family — and even our golden doodle — a bottle of champagne (her favorite), cards found on my desk or in the mail, and the most beautiful floral arrangements.  

She was incredibly thoughtful, down to earth and so funny.  My most treasured memory that  I am forever thankful for is the time we had together before our move to Austin.  She took me out for champagne prior to a surprise going-away party our DFW Champions planned – this was part of the entire plan.  We laughed, we cried and laughed some more.  I am so thankful that we had that special time together, but heartbroken not knowing it would be the last time I would see our beautiful Kelly.  I will miss her gorgeous smile, red lipstick, hats, suits with her sandals and most importantly her friendship.  

Love you, Kelly.

Kim Dydalewicz
Champions School of Real Estate

My favorite memory of Kelly was how her Mother, called “Mother,” was the center of her universe. When we went to dinner together we included “Mother.” We always invited Kelly’s mother to our company parties! Her loving approach to her Mother was the most respectful I’ve ever seen. Kelly was a truly thoughtful person. 

Rita Santamaria
CEO/Owner, Champions School of Real Estate

The fondest memory I have of Kelly is when we would be talking about our moms.  Mother and my mother-in-law were just about the same age and we would share stories of caring for our elderly parents.   We had a lot of laughs out of love for them, but we also shared some of the challenges we faced.  She also shared some personal things with me which I felt honored that she trusted me enough to confide in me.  I remember her love of orchids and she shared that love with me.  The orchids just remind me of her – elegant, stately, classy and beautiful.   I remember her laugh and the twinkle in her eye.  I remember one day she hugged me and told me she loved me and thanked me for being her friend.   She will always be in my heart.   Love you too, Kelly!

Linda Chase
Champions School of Real Estate

My favorite memory of our Kelly is more a collection of memories simply in the way she was. She always asked how you were, she surprised you with unexpected personal notes and simple gifts, such as a coffee mug or a gift card as if she knew you needed lifting up. Little did she know, she could lift you up with just her presence, particularly her red-lipsticked smile. Those hats — oh those hats were made for her. I saw her ONCE without a hat, and champagne flutes were designed with Kelly’s hand in mind.

She was so graceful, so proper, and just everything a woman aspires to be, and yet if she was the only lady in the room, she was comfortable with, in fact, being just one of the guys. She was funny, with a great sense of humor. And her acumen for business was something else. She took great pride in being as competent as one could be on whatever subject.

Kelly was easy to like and to love. At first thought, this describes our Kelly as I will always remember her, and I will ALWAYS remember her.

Randy Smith
Champions School of Real Estate

I am a building contractor and we did lots of houses together.  I was able to be around her in all types of situations and with all types of people.  There was lots to admire about her.  The one thing that moved me the most about Kelly was that she treated everyone the same.  She would treat a plumber the same as a bank president — always respectful and uplifting.  My crews would always drop what they were doing to help her when she needed it, and it was because she treated them with respect and honor.

She is going to be truly missed by so many.

Tod Fields

Kelly was a true professional in our real estate industry. She was full of positive energy and had a unique way of connecting to each individual in a personal way. A true lady. We will miss her and her style.

Joe Kobell

Kelly was the consummate professional and had a unique and confident style. She knew what she was talking about. I’ll miss the sound of her wonderful voice and her wicked sense of humor.

Joe Gall

Kelly was my favorite teacher at Champions and I will always remember her use of her hands to make a point in class, not to mention her knowledge of real estate! 

She was extremely bright, and an excellent conversationalist, truly a gem and will be greatly missed.  Kelly guided me to Ebby Halliday Realtors, however, she recommended making a list of 10 brokers to interview.  She said to visit with them all by starting with your least interested and then working your list to the one you really wanted to join. For me, it was the Little White House. 

Kelly was always available if you ever had a question.  Her answers were well thought out and very direct.  Last time I saw Kelly was at the Ebby Halliday 75th Anniversary Party.  Her big smile, red lipstick, black hat, and black colored clothing style made her an icon in herself.

Terri Gum

Kelly was always the first to congratulate others for their achievements. Never a negative bone in her body. She was one of those people that you looked forward to seeing at the office. Her colleagues and many students were blessed to know her and will have cherished memories of her beautiful smile.

Amy Schultz

I loved that Kelly had her own style. She was a trendsetter in real estate and made all of us better for it.

Janis Wells

Kelly’s love of fine dining and five-star restaurants bonded us. I will miss her and the anticipation of our next glam dinner. 

Lou Nettle

Kelly, like many agents, would call me to help her with her deals and various contract issues. However, unlike many, she would call and just ask how I was doing. She was always very gracious and kind and even amidst stressful deals, she always took the time to ask how I was. I very much appreciated that about her.

Ashley Cook

“Kelly was there after each child I had and visited in some dark hospital times when my children were hospitalized.  She always brought me hope in those times and could bring a smile to my face. Kelly and my three children (ages 6, 4, and 2) and I took a horse carriage ride in downtown Dallas one Sunday. Kelly dressed all in black with one of her fabulous hats, me the mom who barely got out of the house dressed on time with three small children.  She was such a sport at lunch and in the carriage. 

Kelly has never met a stranger and put everyone at ease. Our favorite goodbye exchange to each other was “I Love You To The Moon and Back,” and she always used that quote with her mother, Constance, as well. I hope my children love me someday as much as Kelly loved Constance.

Kelly was a connector of people and leaves a special piece of her in everyone’s heart. Kelly was always going to tell you truth (and not sugar coat it).

After one of Kelly’s hugs, I always let out a big sigh, feeling comforted with someone so special. Anytime I would see her name on the phone via text or call, it just made me smile. I’m going to miss those.

The hole that Kelly has left in our hearts won’t be able to be replaced by anyone else.

Renae Bales,
Kpost Roofing & Waterproofing

I am quite honored to have had the incredible opportunity to teach with Kelly Logsdon Rush at Champions School of Real Estate.  Her intelligence, her great sense of style (especially the red lipstick), and her genuine caring nature were an award-winning combination.  I know that she is with her beloved “Mother” and that brings great comfort amidst the sadness.  Rest in Peace, my sweet friend.

Cynthia Lott
Champions School of Real Estate

Kelly was passionate about teaching because she strongly believed in the importance of education in our industry. I will miss our chats and her intense wit.

She was authentic and she started every call with, “First of all, how are you?”

Susan Kos
Ebby Halliday Realtors

Kelly was an amazing woman, someone I admired immensely. Our friendship developed when I became the Sales Manager of Ebby’s Little White House. Let’s just say, being Kelly’s “manager” required a certain amount of finesse. She would often remind me that while she was calling to ask my opinion, she did, in fact, “teach this stuff.”

She had a sharp mind and a sharp wit. I loved having conversations with her about transactions, contracts, and the psychological and emotional aspects of our business. She was exceedingly smart and moved fast: If you didn’t pay attention, you were toast. She was a clever negotiator, an amazing listener, and she was exceedingly kind.

She was also a very private person who shared only glimpses of her past. There were mentions made of a husband, a glamorous life in Acapulco, days spent on the beach and poolside. Other rare glimpses into Kelly’s private life were sprinkled in with stories about her mother, whom she idolized. She liked fine champagne and it had better be served ice-cold in a chilled glass. Woe to the server at The Mansion, The Adolphus, or anywhere else, who couldn’t get that right! 

I am very thankful for the memories I have and for the time spent with Kelly and Jason Hyland, whom she adored. Lots of laughs at dinners and over cocktails celebrating birthdays and special events. Kelly joined Jim and our family for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations on several occasions, she was a treasured guest. She was the life of a party and never failed to impress with her signature style (attired in black, always a hat, red lipstick, great jewelry) and amazing personality. She told me once that the students at Champions didn’t know how to respond if the showed up to teach without a hat on. In fact, I think I only saw her a small handful of times without a hat on! 

She was a bright spot in my life, someone who cared about me — I never had any doubt.  When things happened in business or in my personal life that affected me she would always check in to make sure I was OK; she was extremely perceptive and sensitive that way. You weren’t going to get away with trying to pull one over on her, she was too smart.

I will miss her very much and will think of her often. She was a force of nature, a big personality with a big heart, and she left the world a better place through her kindness, humor, and gift of teaching.

Keith Newman

Kelly and I have been friends since she was 29 years old and I was 30. She would kill me if she knew I gave out her age. She was not wearing a hat back then; however, she was amazingly gorgeous in whatever she decided to wear. 

One night, in particular, we were at this fabulous party and we had on these gorgeous party dresses. After leaving the party, we stopped by Tom Thumb to get some snacks. You know, things like candy, cookies, and what is a night without ice cream? I thought of something silly; cracked a joke and our sophisticated little Kelly, who was dressed to the nines in Tom Thumb, totally lost composure; she got so tickled that she dropped to her knees, doubled over laughing with hands full of cookies, candy, and ice cream. She laughed so hard I had to help her get up; and of course, I was laughing, too. We were just two young girls having fun. We never lost that ability to laugh and have fun.

I cannot imagine starting a day without Kelly being somewhere in this world.  She has been my friend for 43 years and I was not ready for her not to be here. We talked about going on trips to different places and sites to see. I feel robbed and heartbroken. We also shared grief together when my dad died December 19, 2015, and her mother died December 18, 2016. Her mother and my father were buried on December 23 a year apart from each other.  We always texted or talked on those anniversary days just to nurture each other.  I would have never imagined that three years and three months after her mother passed away, Kelly would be in heaven with her mother. But she is.

Rest in peace, my friend. 

Georgeann Mitchell
Palestine, Texas

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature, and, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. Karen Eubank says

    I only got to know Kelly a few years ago. I’d see her at our events and she never failed to spend a few moments with everyone. She gave you her undivided attention and made you feel as if you were the only person in the room. Her personality was palpable. She exuded glamor and class and was completely unforgettable. She invited me to speak, as a home stager, at her Champions classes several times. She told me more than once “I’ve got my eye on you kid, we’re going places.” She was always plotting the next adventure, the next educational experience. I feel like I only got in on the ground floor of the ride, but I’m so glad I was on it.

  2. Donald Davis says

    Now that a few days have passed and after the emotions and grieving and acceptance of her passing, I have a few thoughts and remembrances I choose to share,I first met Kelly over 35 years ago through a mutual friend that worked with kelly at an commercial/investment firm, Upon that first meeting, Kelly was fascinating both in style and personality, She made me feel so important but as we all know now, that was one of her many gifts, During the next few months, we bonded our friendship. We traveled to Acapulco where she once lived, traveled to Sante Fe and were going to special friends wedding

    in Paris but she had to cancel because her mother;s illness.

    • Eugene Barham says

      Don, Greg and I had the good fortune of meeting Kelly through you so many years ago. We had so many wonderful evenings with you and Kelly and her grace, style, laughter and presence was captivating. The loving and devoted bond that she had with her mother was not only special to both of them but also to all of us that got to witness their devotion to each other. We remember a very special birthday party in your honor that Kelly and her mother hosted in their beautiful home. Heaven just even classier this past week. We will all miss you Beautiful and Classy Kelly. Love, Eugene Barham & Greg Packer

  3. Tracy Lewis says

    Kelly taught one of my classes at Champions when I was getting my license in 2005. I only remember 2 of my instructors from that long ago, Randy because he showed homes on his Harley and Kelly because of her hats and the way you felt she was talking just to you for your benefit. What a loss but I’m glad I received a spec of her glitter while she was here.

  4. Sandy Grayson Landon says

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Kelly through real estate. She closed with us at Capital Title and we loved working with her. But it went way beyond just that. Kelly fell in love and had a deep respect for Joe Rossi (HER Closer), myself and all of our Team. When you had Kelly’s respect you really had something! You had to earn it but when you did it was so gratifying. Kelly would come to closings and lavish US with gifts. Champagne, candles, you name it. She would look at me with that twinkle in her eye that said it all. When Kelly loves you , you know it. We had lots of great lunches, champagne toasts and great conversations about everything. She would give me a glimmer of her private life and her past that was fascinating. Kelly also loved to flirt and never missed an opportunity to greet my husband Mike by saying ,“ well hi there handsome”! Kelly loved me and I felt it. I loved her back and she knew it too. The last time I saw her was at a party we hosted in February. She came straight from teaching at Champions still wearing her headset microphone through the party! Sipping champagne, breezing through the crowd and visiting with her endless admirers whom she had taught along the way. Kelly was one of a kind. A class act. We are all having a tough time accepting that she’s gone so suddenly but I know that there is a beautiful lady in a black hat, red lipstick, sipping champagne up above cheering us on. Love you KLR

  5. Josh Youngblood says

    This is so shocking. I had spoken to Kelly the Friday before she passed away. I had only known her a little over a year but she was one of my favorite clients. The only client I’ve ever had that would break out the prosecco when we would meet. I enjoyed our lunches and discussions about current events and hearing about her life. She will certainly be missed.

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