In memory of
Rush W. Siler
Rush W. Siler Rush W. Siler, 99, died peacefully in his sleep early April 26, 2016 in Lexington, TN after a short illness. He was a resident of Regency Retirement Village in Jackson. Except for his service in the Pacific Theater in the Army Air Corp during World War II, Mr. Siler was a lifelong resident of this state. A Memphis educator, he taught at East High School and then became the first and long-serving principal of White Station High School, from 1951-1971. A known innovator, he introduced foreign languages, including Russian, to the school curriculum and oversaw the building of the school gymnasium, the first coliseum-type athletic space in the city. Completed in 1966, it was then considered a local architectural marvel. Following his long service at White Station, Mr. Siler became Director of Secondary Education for Memphis City Schools from 1971 to 1976. He began his teaching career in Hornsby, where he taught every subject in the small community school, serving grades one through 10. From there, he became the math teacher and principal at Whiteville High School. Married in 1948 to fellow educator, Eva Elizabeth Mowery, the couple moved to Memphis because of her teaching position at that time at Memphis State Training School. Mr. Siler was born in Silerton, his extended family's hometown, one of seven children. He graduated from Union University in Jackson, followed by a Masters in Education from George Peabody College for Teachers, now part of Vanderbilt University. He was lifelong outdoorsman and lover of the Tennessee countryside. He spent his free time hunting, gardening, and "watching crops grow". Upon his retirement in 1976, he and his wife moved to Silerton, where he owned land. He became an avid gardener, annually planting a one-acre kitchen garden. Community affiliations included the Kiwanis Club, the East Memphis and Bolivar Rotary Clubs, where he served both as president and the Board of Directors of Merchants and Planters Bank in Bolivar. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Bolivar. Mr. Siler was a renowned educator, known for his stern but fair treatment of both students and staff. His integrity was exemplary. His caring nature was interwoven with his strong ability to lead. Mr. Siler is survived by his loving children, Vance W. Siler (Dolores) of Rye, NY; and Betsy Jane Bolden (Jerome) of Lexington. He was the beloved "Pops" to grandchildren Tucker Siler (Julie), Scott Siler, Matthew Siler, and Keaton Murley; and to great-grandchildren Lucey Elizabeth, Timothy Rush, and Donovan Tucker Siler. Services will be held Sunday, May 1, at 3:00 PM at Shackelford Funeral Directors of Bolivar with visitation beginning at 1:00 PM. Memorials may be sent to Lexington Healthcare and Rehab.
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