Services: 2pm Friday, July 22, 2022, Forest Baptist Church
Visitation: 1pm till 2pm Forest Baptist Church
Interment: Eastern Cemetery
Selma Christine Rhodes Rushing was an extraordinary woman! She was strong, smart, Godly, and loving. She loved with all of her heart because she knew how quickly life could change.
Selma was born on November 24, 1930, the youngest of 7 children, to Benjamin Franklin Rhodes and Cola Rebecca Breland Rhodes in Neshoba, Ms. By the time she finished high school at Union in 1948, both of her parents had died. Her mother died when she was 14 years old after a lengthy illness and her father died during her senior year. Selma lived with one of her best friend’s family until she graduated as the valedictorian of Union High School. After that, her brother Cecil gave her $30.00 and put her on the train to Jackson for her to find a job and a place to live. She did just that. She gave thanks to God and the employment agency for sending her to the office of Leta Mae Stowers, who was a buyer at Kennington's Department store. Mrs. Stowers hired her on the spot as her assistant, and the rest is history. Selma always said that they needed each other. Leta Mae and her husband Hobart did not have children. They loved her, and, as Selma said, rescued her. They helped her find a place to live and fed her many meals. When Selma married James Rushing on November 28, 1950, the Stowers hosted the wedding at their home on 608 Broadway Street. Selma and James moved to Key West, Florida to begin their married life, but the close relationship with Leta Mae and Hobart continued through the years, as they became Granny and Pappy to James and Selma’s three children.
Selma loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all of her heart; and she was a faithful, devoted member of Forest Baptist Church. She served the church in many capacities: Vacation Bible School director, Sunday School teacher, and WMU member and President, to name just a few. She also served as church secretary, which she told a family member had been a lifelong goal. She did everything she undertook to the very best of her ability. This surely included how she went about being the very best wife to her husband, James, and mother to her three children. Her house was always open and welcoming to her friends and those of her children. She and James were members of a supper club for 50 years and formed friendships that lasted even longer than the supper club did. One of the best memories shared by children and grandchildren alike was Christmas at Mamaw and Papaw’s. She put so much time and thought into choosing just the right gift for each person; and with a large family, that was quite an accomplishment. She was an excellent cook! And family meals were an event that provided wonderful memories as well as wonderful food. She was her happiest when she was entertaining her family, both her immediate family and extended family. Reunions of the Rhodes and of the Rushing family were often held at her and James’s home. As a result, they were both close to their siblings and their nieces and nephews. They loved them all.
After James died in 2021, Selma spent part of her time at Beehive homes in Forest, and part of her time at her own home, cared for by Lisa Brantley who was a blessing to her and to her family until a fall made it necessary for her to become a resident at Lackey Convalescent Home. We cannot say enough good things about the care she received at Lackey Convalescent. Her family is so grateful to all of the nurses and caregivers there, and for the love and kindness they showed to our Mother. Also, special thanks to Ann Lyle and Cathy McLendon .
She missed James terribly, and, I’m sure, it was a wonderful reunion for them when she entered the heavenly gates.
Selma was preceded in death by her parents, Ben and Cola Rhodes, brothers, Hays, Reid, and Walter Rhodes, a great-grandson Mason Rushing,and the love of her life, her husband of 70 years, James Rushing. She is survived by her children, Dianne Rushing Walker, and her husband Gene, Wally Rushing, and his wife Angie, Richard Rushing, and his wife Paula. She leaves her 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 Candice, Mark Rushing and wife Anna, Jeff Rushing and wife Greer, Seth Rushing and wife Caroline, Mary Anna Rushing and Sara Kate Rushing. She also is survived by 21 great-grandchildren. Selma precedes in death her siblings, Cecil Rhodes of Brookhaven, MS, Lee Pendergrass of Decatur, Alabama, Zula Shackelford of Philadelphia, MS, and her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Jobyna Rushing of Ridgeland, MS.
The funeral service will be held at 2pm Friday, August 22, 2022, at the Forest Baptist Church. Her grandsons will serve as pallbearers. We miss you, Mama.
Ott & Lee Funeral Home of Forest is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Selma Rushing.