Mosby was blessing to community

Published 12:08 am Sunday, August 29, 2010

Walking up the steps of Jefferson Street Methodist Church Friday, I was a little surprised that I didn’t see more people climbing the steps with me.

The funeral was at 3 p.m., and I was probably 20 minutes early for the service.

For a brief moment, I though, “Maybe I read the obituary wrong.”

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When the doors opened up, however, I realized just how much I underestimated this community’s love for the man whose earthly life was being remembered.

In a world in which many of us find ourselves always running and rushing around, often struggling to meet time commitments, scores of Bill Rush Mosby’s family, coworkers and friends had made it a point of being early.

That’s a rare thing in Natchez, where some of the local meeting planners will tell you, “It’s Natchez; everyone will be 10 minutes late.”

This was different. It was important.

Packed pews were filled with solemn people from all walks of life, young and old, rich and poor.

Each person’s memories of Bill Rush were probably slightly different, depending on their relationship.

To many he was one of their coworkers at a Silas Simmons a local accounting firm. For others, he served various roles, husband, father, grandfather and friend.

For me, Bill Rush was just one of those guys who will forever epitomize what a Natchez gentleman should be.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I met Bill Rush. It may have been at a Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce function, years ago. He was an active member and former treasurer of the chamber.

Reading through his list of civic accomplishments illustrates just how community minded he was.

As his friend Bryant Reed eulogized Bill Rush, it occurred to me just how genuinely good of a man he was.

Funerals are almost always filled with wonderful memorializing words about the dearly departed.

But rarely are all of the words so incredibly true as were spoken Friday about Bill Rush.

Most of us have pretty visible flaws — we misbehave, we get in bad moods and we say things we shouldn’t. In general, we’re humans and we often let our flawed, sinful nature show.

Bill Rush was human, too, but he was an exceptional example of being a good, positive person. Perhaps that positivity came from his hope and belief as a Christian that something better is just around the corner.

I can never recall him without a smile on his face. Those close to him say he faced his battle with illness with the same positive manner.

As many people in the community know, when he spoke, you listened out of respect for the wisdom he possessed.

He was a true friend to Natchez and its people.

In his message, the Rev. Edwin M. Temple asked, “What’s the measure of a man?”

Looking around the church’s sanctuary provided the answer, he said. Each person filling the pews and standing in the back of the church were each measures of how important Bill Rush Mosby’s life had been to each of them.

And, to add to the importance of that, those dozens upon dozens of people not only took the time to pause and show appreciation for his life’s work and its impact on them, but they came early.

That’s true respect for a genuinely great man who sorely will be missed by this community.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or