James Gary Rushing

Published 2:19 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

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After years of walking with God in spirit and truth, James Gary Rushing now walks with God literally in Heaven joining other family and loved ones. Gary left this earthly existence on Sept. 13, 2021.

He was born on March 24, 1947, to Dorothy and “Jimmy” Rushing, as the second of three children. Gary resided in Bogalusa his entire life except for college life and some military time, actually getting only four blocks away from his original house.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Lynell Lewis Rushing and his father, James Monroe Rushing. They were the owners of Rushing’s Food Store. He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Sharon Kay Rushing (Terry) Magee and Sandra Ellen Rushing (Chuck) Schiefley. Sandra also had a deceased son, Todd (Martha) Schubert, and a living daughter, Julie Grenuck of Florida. Sharon had a daughter, Terri (Chris) Nicholas, and son, Mason, now residing in Arkansas.

Gary has been married to the former Joan Pounds for 48 years. They had two children, Kristy DuBois of Columbia, Miss., and Tadd (Liz) Rushing of Bogalusa. They share the joy of four grandchildren, Caleb and Noah DuBois and McKenna and Kinsley Rushing.

Having graduated from Bogalusa High School in 1965, Gary spent the next two years at Pearl River Jr. College, where he received an Associate of Arts in Business Administration. While there, he played in the marching, concert, and stage bands.

At this time, Gary worked with his dad at his grocery and meat market. During this time, the war in Vietnam was in full swing. With the draft in existence, few were excused. Six years were spent serving the country in the Army Reserve.

It was at his dad’s store that Gary met the love of his life, Joan, who encouraged and supported him to go back to school. Without her help this would have been impossible. Gary had known his calling of helping others and Joan provided the spark.

After several years of study, work, and planning, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree were obtained from Southeastern Louisiana University. Thirty years were spent teaching in the Bogalusa Schools System and being a guidance counselor, his greatest calling that he always referred to as a ministry.

From birth to the end of life, Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church was where he worshipped as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. His dad, “Jimmy,” helped build this church.

Music was always a passion for Gary as he began playing the trumpet in fifth grade until his death and now plays in Heaven’s band with Gabriel. He received scholarships from two colleges and played with the Bogalusa Brass, Slidell Orchestra, Pearl River Community Band of Picayune, and numerous church musicals.

Being very patriotic, Gary joined the American Legion as an Army veteran and was later invited to become a member of the 40 & 8. These organizations provided many community services. One of these was the Honor Guard, which did 40-50 military funerals per year with Gary playing Taps. With this organization Gary headed up the Boy’s State program and the Flags for 1st Graders program — all teaching patriotism.

The Color Guard presented the “Colors” at six national conventions across the country, winning first place each time. Gary also played the trumpet for school functions, the Ponemah Wreath service, Veterans Day programs and wherever needed.

Services to celebrate Gary’s life were held at Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church on Friday, Sept. 17, with visitation from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and again on Saturday, Sept. 18, with visitation starting at 10 a.m. until the funeral service at 2 p.m. The Rev. Marcus Rosa will officiate the service and entombment will follow at Sanctuary of Peace Mausoleum in Ponemah Cemetery. Military graveside rites will be performed by Magic City American Legion Post #24.

It would be Gary’s wish that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Shriner’s Hospital, which he contributed to.

Prepare your soul to be coming this way.