Rebecca Austin Durham, age 90 of Orlinda, passed away on June 17, 2019 at NHC Healthcare in Springfield. Funeral services will be conducted Monday, June 24, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Milldale Chapel with Dr. David Jicka and Karl Covington officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Hill Cemetery with Randy Whitley, Kenny Whitley, Peter Gallagher, Joel Arnold, T.C. Groves, Jimmy Hale, and Sammy Cook serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Scharklett, Pete Denning, and James Albert Holmes. The family will receive friends at the Milldale Chapel Monday from 10 AM until the hour of service.
Rebecca was born February 17, 1929 in Orlinda to the late Eugene and Rachel Powell Reid. She graduated top in her class of 1946 at Orlinda High School. She married her childhood sweetheart, Earl Austin, Jr. in 1946. Earl and Rebecca farmed but also owned a grocery store in the Pleasant Hill Community which Rebecca ran while Earl farmed. They were blessed with a son, Tony Wayne Austin in 1947.
Later Rebecca went to work for the state of Tennessee, working her way up to assistant to the Director of Personnel. She retired from the state in 1990. While working for the state, she attended UT Nashville. She graduated with a BS in Business Management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1980, receiving her degree at the ceremony held at Stokley Athletic Center.
After the passing of Earl, Jr. Rebecca married Obie Durham. Mr. Durham owned his own trucking business and Rebecca began to travel with him. Not being someone who just sat on the sidelines, Rebecca got her CDL License and began to help Obie with the driving.
Rebecca was the director of the Orlinda Senior Center. She was pro active in writing grants and securing funds which eventually led to the building of the Byrum-Porter Senior Center. She retired from there and was honored this past year at the 25th Anniversary of the center for all the work she had done. During these years she was elected and served as a member of the Orlinda City Council.
Rebecca was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and Orlinda Baptist Church. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husbands, Earl Austin, Jr. and Obie Durham; a sister, Pauline Whitley; and an infant granddaughter.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Tony and Marilyn Austin of Orlinda; grandson, Joe Earl “Joey” Austin of Orlinda; granddaughter and husband, Rebecca E. “Beth” and Daniel Moore of Cross Plains; great granddaughter, Aria Jane Moore of Cross Plains; step daughters and husbands, Amy and Ricky Stark of Orlinda, Kathy and Kim North of the Philippines, and Paula and Mike Wooten of Portland; sisters, Jean Whitley of Russellville, KY, Roberta Arnold of Portland, Patsy Covington of Springfield, and Joan Gallagher of Cedar Hill; several step grandchildren and great grandchildren; and her beloved four footed baby, Honey.
The family request, if so desired, for memorial contributions to be made to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery Fund or the Byrum-Porter Senior Center. All donations can be sent c/o Robertson County Funeral Home.
Milldale Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
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