Captain Woody Rushing
This annual event is held by The Rushing Family Trust in memory of the late C.W. “Woody” Rushing to benefit charity.
Captain C.W. Rushing started his career in the towing industry in the 1930s. He officially retired in the late 70s, although he continued to be involved in the industry for the rest of his life. His legacy includes three generations of the Rushing name involved in the towing industry, including his son, Captain Michael W. Rushing and his grandson, Todd M. Rushing, maritime safety and security consultant.
C.W. “Woody” Rushing passed away on December 5, 1998 from cancer. Near his death, he expressed a desire to do something to help others who are in need, having a soft place in his heart for disadvantaged women and children.
In 1999, the First Annual C.W. “Woody” Rushing Golf Tournament took place, becoming a huge success, and $10,000 was donated to Southeast Missouri Hospice in recognition of their kindness and quality assistance during C.W. Rushing’s time of need.
In 2000, the golf tournament was able to donate $11,000 to charity. This amount was divided equally between St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis and the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
In 2013, the trust was officially renamed The Rushing Family Trust, in memory of Captain Woody and his wife, Evelyn.
One of Woody Rushing’s favorite sayings, and the one he used to guide his life, was “The day you die, everything you have will belong to someone else, but what you are, is yours forever!” He lived his life accordingly.
One of the greatest of the modern river captains to come from the Cape Girardeau area was C. W. “Woody” Rushing. Born into a family of Mississippi sharecroppers, Woody Rushing followed a migration pattern to Arkansas and then southeast Missouri.
Following his graduation from Dielstadt High School, he took a job as a deckhand on a construction boat and worked his way up to pilot. In 1946 he “came ashore” and worked for Missouri Barge Lines, which was positioned on the river near the International Shoe Factory on North Main. A short distance from there on North Main was a small family restaurant, which Woody really liked. He was especially fond of the owner’s daughter Evelyn, who became his wife and lifelong partner.
In 1979 Woody and his son Mike created Rushing Marine Corporation, at one time owning and operating three towboats. One of them was named the Evelyn Rushing, in honor of his wife.
Woody was a skilled pilot and became the “resident river expert” in Cape Girardeau. By the time of his death in 1998, he had over sixty years of river experience, observing first-hand the impact of the technological revolution on the river. Radio communication in his view had the greatest impact. He used it to save lives, improve scheduling, and to call Evelyn when he approached Cape Girardeau. No matter when Woody called, Evelyn would drive to the overlook at Cape Rock and be there to wave when Woody passed by. Theirs was a rich and meaningful marriage.
Woody’s favorite saying was “The day you die, everything you have will belong to someone else, but what you are is yours forever.” He lived his life accordingly. He was a truly great man and a great river man.
Near his death, Captain. C.W. Rushing expressed a desire to do something to help others who are in need, having a soft place in his heart for disadvantaged women and children. With that in mind, his family established the C.W. Rushing Charitable Trust. Since 1999, the Charitable Trust has hosted an annual golf tournament with the proceeds benefiting many charitable organizations, such as the Cape Girardeau Safe House for Women, St.Jude Children’s Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In 2013, the trust was offically renamed The Rushing Family Trust, in memory of Captain Woody and his wife, Evelyn.
Evelyn Lorraine (Bullock) Rushing, 86, of Cape Girardeau went to be with her Lord, Thursday, September 29, 2005, at the Chateau Girardeau.
She was born February 14, 1919, in Bonne Terre, MO., daughter of Arthur Cellis and Elba Rhoda (Pratt) Bullock.
Evelyn was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church of Cape Girardeau. She joined the church in 1932 and served as a Sunday School teacher for a number of years. She was a loyal member of the King’s Daughters Sunday School class for many years, and was a devoted member of the congregation for over 70 years.
Evelyn graduated from Central High School in Cape Girardeau in 1936. As a youth she served as a member of the drum and bugle corps. In adulthood, for a number of years she worked as a volunteer at the Southeast Missouri Hospital Snack Bar.
The Rushing family operated towboats on the river, and a painting of a towboat bearing her name can be seen on the flood wall at the Cape Girardeau river front. This towboat proudly carried her name up and down the rivers for many years.
Loving survivors include her son, Michael W. Rushing of Jackson and his wife Donna; one granddaughter, Carmen (and Mike) Cox of Cape Girardeau; one grandson, Todd (and Julie) Rushing of Jackson; two great grandsons, Colby Wayne Rushing and Gunnar Logan Cox; and one step great grandson, Matthew Cox.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Jim; one sister, Marteen; and her beloved husband C. W. (Woody) Rushing who passed away in 1998.