Rufus Thomas Buie, age 80, of Rison, Arkansas, departed this life on June 7th, 2021 following a lengthy illness. He was born February 9, 1941, in Little Rock, Arkansas to Rufus Thomas and Ruth Marks Buie.
Following 4 years of high school football in Rison, Arkansas he was named a captain of the 1958-59 Wildcats his senior year. He graduated from Henderson State Teachers College (now Henderson State University) with a Bachelors of Secondary Education and a commission of 2nd Lt. through the ROTC program. He entered the Army as a Lieutenant in the Adjutant General’s Corps at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana in May 1964 and became an instructor of officers.
In October 1964 he married his sweetheart Carole S. Doty at Central Baptist Church in Pine Bluff. Following his father’s sudden death, he was released from active duty and finished out his military obligation by serving 5 years in the Army Reserves.
Along with his brother, Billy George, and his mother, Ruth, Rufus owned and managed the Buie Funeral Homes in Star City, Sheridan and Rison for a total of 38 years. The business was sold in 2002. Rufus served 20 years as County Coroner, 28 years on the Rison City Council, about 35 years as Treasurer of the Rison Industrial Development Corp., 50 years on the Rison United Methodist Church Official Board, about 35 years as Chairman of the Board, a charter member of the Cleveland County Historical Society, and about 30 years as President. He was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Rufus was known for his love of Rison and Cleveland County and spent much of his adult life researching the history of the region and the genealogy of many of the county’s families. Through his studies he was able to locate and preserve several items of local historical value and expand the historical record for future researchers. He also enjoyed military history with a particular emphasis on the Antebellum South and the American Civil War.
Throughout all of his life, Rufus was exceptionally close with his first cousins and family was very important to him.
He is survived by his wife Carole S. Doty and sons, Rufus T. “Tee” Buie, III (Christina Boyd) from Almyra, Arkansas, and Brent Marks Buie (Cara Beth Walker Buie) from Ruston, Louisiana. He is also survived by his brother Billy George Buie and his wife Mary Harvill Buie of Rison and his nephew Matt Buie (Jennifer Owens Buie) of Little Rock and nieces Lydia Norton (Gene Norton) of Rison and Sarah Buie of Rison.
Visitation will be held at Rison United Methodist Church at 1:00 pm Wednesday, June 9th, with funeral services following at 2:00 pm. A graveside service will be held for the family. Memorial contributions can be made to Rison United Methodist Church.
Arrangements by Buie Funeral Home of Rison (870) 325-6216.
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