July 19, 1939 - February 12, 2022
The Obituary An Odyssey of Rufus Carr, Sr. 1939-1960 Collie Ruth Allen relates: Rufus Carr was born on June 19,1939 in Colquitt, Georgia to the union of James (Gene) Carr and Nangie Lee Carr. He and his twin sister, Collie Ruth, were the last of four sets of twins. The newborn twins were joyfully welcomed into the Carr family by twin brothers David and Jonathan, brothers Elexander, James (Jake) and Lennon La Mar, and sisters Ann Lee, Betty and Jeanette (who was raised by James and Nangie Lee from the age of five). Two years later, brother Jethro was born and, shortly thereafter, brother Henry Lee was born. As soon as Rufus was old enough, he joined his parents and older siblings in sharecropping on a former plantation, although he found plenty of time to get into "boy trouble" with his older brothers, shooting marbles and all of the other things that young boys do. When his parents separated, Nangie Lee took the ten children and moved to Bainbridge, Georgia to be near her parents, William and Ruby Lee Anderson. La Mar stayed behind in Colquitt to help Papa Gene, who could neither read nor write "but could sho-nuff count money!" The Carr children went to school in Bainbridge, and Nangie Lee united with the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church. Miss Kemp, their Sunday School teacher, knew them so well that when one of their nephews visited, she said to him, "I don't know who you are, but you look like one of them Carr chillun!" Rufus and Collie Ruth were very close to each other, as twins sometimes are. From the first through the third grades, they were inseparable. Collie remembers their teacher was Miss Ruth Fountain, and Miss Brit was their teacher at Miller Junior High School. They were always in the same classroom with the same teacher. But at Colquitt's Bethel High School, things changed. For the first time, they were placed in different classes and, as Collie recalls, "Rufus was not happy about this!" Every day he would go to Collie's class to check on her. And one day he just walked out of class, telling his teacher "that he had to go and check on his twin sister to make sure she was ok and that no one was 'messin with' her." As a teenager, Rufus lived in Niagara Falls, New York with his mom's sister, Murray Anderson Hollis, and her husband, Johnnie Hollis. Rufus attended New Hope Baptist Church and went to Trott Vocational High School, excelling in automobile mechanics --- the genesis of things to come??? 1960-1982 The Children of Rufus Carr relate: On June 25, 1960, Rufus married Ethelene Pope and in 1962, the Carr family moved from Niagara Falls to San Francisco, California. Rufus was a devout Christian who loved the Lord. He was devoted to his family and enjoyed singing gospel quartet songs. Rufus, Ethelene and the six children united with San Francisco's historic Third Baptist Church, pastored by Reverend Frederick Douglass Haynes, Sr., who ordained Rufus as a deacon. "He kept us in church - - - Sunday School; B. T.U; church conventions; Camp MoWaHa --- you name it. If it was churchrelated, we were there." Sometimes it felt like we all but slept there! And we all recall, quite vividly, that our dad loved traveling to the Carr-Holmes Family Reunions. No matter how far it was, he was going to be there! Thank God we had a big mobile home. Our mom would say, "Rufus would drive two or three hours and then claim he was tired and I needed to take over." He never wanted to fly because there were eight of us and he said it made more sense to drive. In 1969 we moved to San Jose. Our dad was employed as a mechanic. He loved working on cars. He even had a big garage built in our back yard so that he could work on friends' and neighbors' cars as well. But this was not enough to keep him busy. He bought some chickens and put them in the back yard with a dog and yes, the dog killed the chickens and yes, dad gave the dog a whooping and yes, he went out and bought more chickens and this time, a hen, too! Although our dad is no longer with us on earth, he will always be in our hearts and memories. God knew best and called him to a greater and larger life. May our father rest in Abraham's bosom. Godfrey White, a professional colleague, relates: "I was assigned to do my dealership training in all phases of operations of a dealership at Tracy Buick in Oakland, California in early 1982. My most limited knowledge of the various systems of a dealership was in the service department. That department is very significant to the profitability of a dealership. Thank God for Rufus Carr, who was an outstanding Senior Mechanic at Tracy Buick. He was highly respected for his work and for his positive demeanor. When I needed Rufus to help me with service department information and issues, he would make himself available, even if it was on his lunch break. Thanks, Rufus, for contributing to my success in the service department phase of my training.” 1982-2022 Mary Ellen Wheatley Carr relates: "When God made husbands, as far as I can see, He made a special soulmate just for me." Rufus Carr, Sr. married Mary Ellen Wheatley on December 25, 1982. "It was Christmas Day, and my brother and his family had joined my mother and the rest of the family for Christmas dinner. Was my brother ever startled when I told him, between his carving the turkey and our passing the cranberry sauce, that he was going to marry Rufus and myself! He looked at Rufus, who gave him a confirming nod. First, he reviewed the license and looked at the ring. Then he told Rufus that they had to go to his chambers, in Oakland, across the Bay, and get his robe. While they were gone, I called our family photographer and my sister called Betty Crowder, a family friend, to sing. As for wedding gifts, they merely added Rufus' name to mine on the gifts under the Christmas tree instead of making a money tree!" Until his death, Rufus was the last living Deacon that Reverend F. D. Haynes, Sr. ordained. He had the distinction of serving on the Deacon Board of the Third Baptist Church also under the leadership of Rev. F. D. Haynes, Jr. and our present Pastor, Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown. Over the thirty-nine years of our marriage, until his health started to decline, Rufus continued to be involved in church activities, family visitations and reunions all over the country, and the furtherance of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge precepts and causes. Rufus was preceded in death by his father, James Carr; his mother, Nangie Lee Carr; son, Anthony Carr; son-in-law, Glenard Johnson; siblings Joseph Carr, Josephine Carr, Alexander Carr, Elexander Carr, Henry Lee Carr, Jonathan Perkins, Jeanette Goodman, Annie Lee Battle and James Carr. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Mary Ellen Wheatley Carr; brothers: David Perkins, Lennon La Mar Carr, Jethro Carr and James Eugene Carr; sisters: Collie Ruth Allen, Betty Jordan and Virginia Buggs; brother-in-law, Freddie Buggs; children: Darlene Carr, Karen Johnson, Rufus Carr, Jr., Joseph Carr and La Toya Carr; daughters-in-law, Jackie Carr, and Talana Carr; twenty-four grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lucille Wheatley Valentine; brother-in-law, Judge Horace Wheatley; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins; members of Third Baptist Church and Bayview Lodge #64 F&AM, Prince Hall Affiliation, as well as a host of friends. The legacy lives on. To God be the Glory!
The Obituary An Odyssey of Rufus Carr, Sr. 1939-1960 Collie Ruth Allen relates: Rufus Carr was born on June 19,1939 in Colquitt, Georgia to the union of James (Gene) Carr and Nangie Lee Carr. He and his twin sister, Collie Ruth, were the... View Obituary & Service Information
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