April 13, 1930-July 22, 2021
James Edwin Rushing was a good man. He loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength. And he loved his neighbor as himself. He loved his family and was devoted to his wife of 70 years, Selma Rhodes Rushing. James was so proud of his 3 children, his 14 grandchildren, and his 20 great-grandchildren. He would tell anyone who listened about his family, which numbered 53 when he included spouses. He loved his church, Forest Baptist Church, where he had served as Chairman of Deacons, search committee member, Sunday school teacher of 10-year-old boys, and various other committees. Even in his later years, when a family member started helping him pay his bills, he always wanted to make sure that he and Selma had paid their tithe. He was faithful to the Lord and the Lord was faithful to him.
James had a strong work ethic. He said he got his first job when he was 10, operating a snow cone machine with his brother John in downtown Forest on Saturdays, and selling peanuts. From there he went on to various other jobs as a child\teenager, which included delivering groceries, working at Irby Drug Store, and working at The Scott County Times. When he was 17, he and several other friends enlisted in the service over the Christmas break of his senior year at Forest High School. He joined the United States Navy, and after completing his training, became a submarine sailor aboard the USS Sennett stationed in Key West, Florida.
James was born in Harperville, Mississippi, on April 13, 1930, to Dora Annie Wallace Rushing and Johnny Moon Rushing. His parents preceded him in death, along with his brothers, Theron and JC, and his sisters, Grace McAdory and Tinsy Lucas. He is survived by his brother John M. Rushing, Jr. When he was 9, his family moved to Forest, and he continued his education in the Forest School system. James was a member of the Forest Bearcats football team and scored the first touchdown against Union during his senior year. Unbeknownst to him, his future wife, Selma Christine Rhodes Rushing, was in the stands cheering for the Union team. He will tell you that he first met Selma when they were 16 on a blind date, but that neither one of them remembered that when they met again at midnight on December 22, 1949. He and a friend had ridden to Jackson together. James had taken his date home, which, in some stories was the daughter of the current Governor of Mississippi. He rode with his friend, Glade Dyess, to take Glade’s date home. They arrived at the boarding house where Glade’s date lived and she told James that she wanted him to meet her roommate. So at midnight, Selma and James met and went to the Cherokee Drive Inn in Jackson for some hot chocolate. There is another story that goes along with that meeting, but I won’t tell it here. They married on November 28, 1950, and moved to Key West, Florida, where they lived until James was discharged from the Navy. Then, they moved home to Forest, Mississippi, along with their 5-week old baby girl. After jobs working for Erle Johnston at The Scott County Times, and for his brother-in-law, J .T. McAdory, selling cars, James was hired by Fred Gaddis to be the manager of his chicken hatchery. This began a long career in the poultry business, with jobs at Gaddis Industries, Green Acre Farms, and Lady Forest Farms. He retired at age 70 in 2000 and spent 10 more years raising cattle on his farm outside of Forest.
Other than his parents, and siblings, James is preceded in death by a great-grandson, Mason Wayne Rushing. He is survived by his children, Dianne Rushing Walker and her husband Gene, and sons, Wally Rushing and his wife Angie, and Dr. Richard Rushing and his wife Paula. Also surviving him are grandchildren: Tom Walker and wife Crissie, Christy Walker Cofer and husband Paul, Ben Rushing and wife Courtney, Spencer Rushing and wife Shelly, Zach Rushing and wife Jennifer, Luke Rushing, Will Rushing, and wife Brittany, John Rushing and wife Kelli, Matt Rushing and wife Candace, Mark Rushing and wife Anna, Jeff Rushing and wife Greer, Seth Rushing and wife Caroline, Mary Anna Rushing and Sara Kate Rushing. He is survived by 20 great-grandchildren. As mentioned previously, he is also survived by his brother John, and his wife Jobyna, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was loved by all.
The funeral service was at Forest Baptist Church at 2:30 on Monday, July 26, 2021. Visitation was also held at the church from 1 pm to 2:15 pm before the service. His grandsons served as pallbearers.