Bobby Louis Rushing
June 2, 1936 – November 7, 2020
Bobby Louis Rushing entered this world on June 2, 1936, welcomed by his proud parents, Bonnie and Mildred Rushing of Leake County, who both preceded him in joining the Heavenly Father. His family also included his two siblings: his sister, Bonnie Christine Rushing Burt; and his brother, Fulton Sylvester Rushing, who both reside in Jackson. They were all very close.
Bobby enjoyed living in the Pilgrim Rest community in Leake County. In 1941 at the early age of six, he joined Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. B.D. Rushing, a relative. He was a scholar of a student within the Leake County schools. He attended Pilgrim Rest Elementary School and Leake County Agricultural High School.
After graduating from high school, Bobby began his plight in life to conquer the world and enrolled at Jackson State University (JSU) where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 1956 in Elementary Education. During his four years of attending college in the state capital, he became the proud father of Audrey Laquita Jackson (deceased). With a passion for learning and a desire to obtain additional degrees and certifications, Bobby went on to attend several graduate universities: Tennessee State University (master’s degree in Elementary Education); Delta State University (master’s degree in Guidance & Counseling); Mississippi Valley State University (certification in Social Studies); and Mississippi College (certification in Administration & Supervision). Despite the multiple colleges and universities, he forever held true as a deep “Jacksonian Tiger.”
Upon graduating from JSU, Bobby was afforded the opportunity to obtain employment in his field of study in the Indianola Municipal Separate School District in Indianola. The Mississippi Delta felt like home, in part because of all the relatives and friends that were already residents of the Delta area.
Mr. Rushing worked a total of 42 years within the Indianola Separate School District; 13 years as a teacher at Carver Elementary School; 17 years as a counselor at Gentry High School; and 12 years as a principal at Merritt Middle School. During this time, he mentored, motivated and encouraged many to move forward, be successful, and be the best in whatever they wanted to become.
Mr. Rushing was very dedicated to the Mississippi community, participating in the following organizations: Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church Deacon Board; Jackson State University Association; Masons (Master Mason 1966); Sunflower County Retired Teachers Association; Indianola Interfaith Food Pantry; Sunflower County Bill Richardson Alliance Civic Group; Sunflower County Crime Stoppers; Boy Scout Master; Rasberry United Methodist Church Men’s Club; National Association of Educators; Mississippi Association of Educators; Sunflower County Teachers Association; and Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board (Sunflower County Commissioner – elected 2001 and served until 2012).
During his early years in the Mississippi Delta, Bobby was also fortunate to meet another young educator whom he would marry on August 14, 1957 -- Jessie Mae Williams Rushing of Magnolia, who preceded him in death after fifty-seven years of marriage. To this union three children were born: Daryl Delandro (Ina) Rushing; Relanda Faye Rushing; and Sheila Bonita Rushing-Jackson. He also celebrated and enjoyed the addition of grandchildren to his family: Delandro "Bird" Erving; Etta-Marie "Punkin" Latavia Jackson; Caston "CJ" Ian Jackson II; Alexander "Alex" Louis Jackson; Daryl "Lil Daryl" Delandro Rushing Jr.; Templeton "Papa" Davis; and Iolantha Ani Rushing. Welcoming great-grandchildren was an even greater reward for him: Audriana, Amarion, Alijah, and Daryl Rushing, III. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will cherish the wonderful memories of Bobby Louis Rushing. He also leaves a host of godchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and family who all held a special place in his heart.
Due to the coronavirus, a Celebration of Life graveside service will be available for immediate family only. Public visitation will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Byas Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.