He was 74.
Born in 1938, in Rome, Ga., Rush began his career in 1954. After graduating from the Cin-cinnati College of Mortuary Science, he married and moved to Cleveland in 1964 and began working for Ralph Buckner Funeral Home.
Rush and his wife, Judith Ann Brock Rush, began raising a family, who also became instrumental in the funeral business.
Rush managed Ralph Buckner Funeral Home after it was bought by another company, then Ralph Buckner Jr. and Rush bought the business and became partners, naming the business Buckner Rush Funeral Homes.
Ralph Buckner Jr. sold his share of the business to Rush in 1978 and it was wholly owned by the Rush family.
Greg Rush, the oldest son of Jim and Judith, managed the business after it was sold to Prime Succession in 1993.
In 2003, the Rush family bought the business once again, making it a family-owned business.
The Rushes had three other children: Marc, Kim and Kathi Rush Douglas.
Rush has served on numerous Tennessee Funeral Directors Association boards and was 1993-94 president.
Rush was also associated with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in the 1970s. He continued to serve the community.
He was honored in November 2012, by his family, friends and the community for his dedication to making change in Cleveland and Bradley County.
“My dad has been a great teacher over the years, not just in the proper way to conduct funeral services but how to treat people,” Greg said during an interview at a luncheon held in Jim Rush’s honor.
“Watching him walk that fine line between just going through the motions with helping people and being overemotional with them has been incredible. It’s a very difficult line to walk, and he has done it as well as anybody.
“I have watched him over the years be strong for a family and help them through their difficult time, and then in private watching him get emotional talking about that particular family,” Greg said. “He has taught me to never put myself above people. Humility will serve you better, and will allow you to serve people better.”
The funeral arrangements will be announced by Jim Rush Funeral Homes.