BOONEVILLE – Rufus Earl Millsaps, 86, died Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Booneville. He was born Aug. 26, 1927, in Pittsboro to Rufus Edgar Millsaps and Trudie Mae Rasberry Millsaps.
He enlisted Aug. 14, 1945, in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged with the rank of seaman first class. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as marksman instructor and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant first class tech. He was awarded the Purple Heart and other citations.
He entered Civil Service in 1955, working for the Department of Defense at Brookley AFB in Mobile, Ala. He retired in 1982 as Supervisory Security Specialist at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, Ga. He served his nation in these capacities for 34 years, 11 months and 10 days.
He was ordained a deacon in December 1963 by Riverside Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., and subsequently served in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi as a deacon at each church where he was a member. He was a Christian and a member of First Baptist Church of Booneville where he was a member of the Isaac Sunday school class and The Joymakers group. He was a member of the William Gray Chapter of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Col. W.P. Rogers Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He loved and served his Lord, his family, his neighbors and his country.
Services with military honors will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at Booneville Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Bill Duncan and the Rev. Jason Dukes officiating. Burial will be in Booneville Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ila Pearl Ray Millsaps, whom he married Nov. 8, 1952; a daughter, Rebecca West (David) of Booneville; three grandchildren, Ray Bob Millsaps, Elizabeth Ann West and Stephanie Williford (Joey), all of Booneville; three great-grandchildren, Abigail, Joseph and Isabel Williford, all of Booneville; two sisters-in-law, Ann Davis Millsaps of Mantee and Annie Ruth Millsaps of Greenwood; two stepbrothers, Rev. Jackie Cooke (Susan) and Glenn Cooke (Charlotte); and two stepsisters, Barbara Moseley (Bill) and Erma Arnold.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Earl Ray Millsaps; three brothers, his twin, Richard Zearl Millsaps, and Gene Austin Millsaps and Thomas Edgar Millsaps; and his stepfather, Edward Forrest Cooke.
Pallbearers are Blake Johnson, Preston Sullivan, Dr. James Stanley Long, Philip Sullivan, Roy Gray, Richard Sullivan and Jerry Ivy.
Honorary pallbearers are the men of the Isaac Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908 or The Baptist Children’s Village, P.O. Box 27, Clinton, MS 39060.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until service time Thursday.