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William Franklin Rush
May 28, 1937 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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William Franklin Rush was born on Friday, May 28, 1937, in Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas to the parentage of Louis Rush and Annie Bell Mitchell Rush. He attended school in the Union Chapel Community, Pittsburg Texas prior to transferring to the Pittsburg Public School System in the seventh grade. He was a 1954 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School in Pittsburg, Texas.
William accepted Christ at an early age and united with the Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Texas in the 1950’s, where he remained a faithful member until his death. During his membership, William volunteered as the groundskeeper for more than 30 years. He was appointed trustee in the 1950’s and also served as church clerk for thirty-seven years, resigning in early 2023. In October of 1958, William married Nancy Lee (Sue) Lewis Johnson of the Lone Pine Community, Gilmer, Texas. To this union three children were born.
William worked for Hoffman Potato House, Pilgrim’s Pride and Day and Zimmerman. He made history in 1972 as the first African American employed by the Eastern Division of the Arkansas-Louisiana Gas Company (ARKLA) since its formation in 1934. He retired from ARKLA in 1999, after twenty-seven and a half years of employment.
William was an integral participant in the inception of the Annual Frank & Harriet Mitchell Family Reunion. He proudly volunteered as the first reunion treasurer. William resigned in 2016 after serving for forty-four years. At the time of his demise, William was a member of the Northeast Texas Laymen’s Association. He was an active Laymen for more than fifteen years. During his membership, he served in the position of secretary. William is preceded in death by his parents, wife of forty-four years, brother and sister-in-law Lincoln (Bettie) Rush; brothers Charles Thomas, Robert Thomas and Hamp Thomas; brother-in-law, Eddie Waters; sister and brother-in-law Mildred (Hubert) Giles; Sisters-in-law Dorothy Rush, Faye Norman, and Francis Waters.
William leaves to cherish his memory and forever hold him in their hearts…Sons Rickey (Sevella) Abron of Sulphur Springs, TX, and Christopher (Lisa) Rush of Rowlett, TX; Daughters Alice Stephenson of DeSoto, TX and Pamela (Artiss) Smith of Lancaster, TX; Eleven grandchildren; Twenty great- grandchildren; Brother Louis Rush (Dallas, TX); Sisters-In-Law Narvie Thomas and Billie Carter (both of Gilmer, TX) and Francis Thomas and Jean Thomas (both of Pittsburg, TX); and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.