Donald Lamar "Yogi" Rumsey, 77 of Smiths Station, AL passed away Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at St. Francis Hospital. Funeral services will be held 1:00 P.M. Monday June 30, 2014 at Golden Acres Baptist Church with Rev. Ray Cummings officiating, according to Striffler-Hamby, Phenix City, AL. Interment with military honors will follow at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday from 3:00pm until 5:00pm at the funeral home.
Mr. Rumsey was born April 2, 1937 in Phenix City, Alabama. He is the son of the late Elmer S. Rumsey and Mildred Cook Rumsey. Everyone called him Yogi since he was 10 or 11 years. From the time he was a young child he could be found hanging out at the old recreation center at the Riverview Apts. He began his sports career playing ball for Harry Perkins. Harry inspired him to go and devote not only a good part of his life to sports but to kids as well. A member of the 1955 class at Chavala High School, was captain of Chavala's first football team and scored the team's first touch down. Later he entered the army and was persuaded by the commander to tryout for the United States Army Team which was the Stuttgart Jayhawks. He was a starter and played in every game. He was never far away from Phenix City or the Phenix City Boys Club, which was his home away from home. He was offered a job as a baseball trainer, which gave him the opportunity to work with Mel Stottlemeyre, Bobby Cox and Billy Conners. His baseball career began with the Pacific Coast League AAA working as a trainer with the Portland Beavers from 1961-1963. He went on to the Salt Lake City Bees in 1964 followed by the Tacoma Cubs in 1965. During his off seasons he worked with Burham Van Services and later played ball for Burnham Van in the Industrial League. In 1967, Yogi was home for good. He went to work for Equifax Retail Credit. In the 70's his love for coaching and Golden Acres Baptist Church inspired him to take a group of boys who were inexperienced ball players. The boys went on to become runner up state champions their first year and became tremendous ball players with an amazing following of fans. The fans and players always knew when he was upset because he would throw his hat high in the air. He joined the Alabama National Guard in 1971 and after 17 years with Equifax Retail Credit he began yet another career as a full time Recruiter with the Alabama National Guard in 1984. This was a very rewarding career for him, opening up doors for him to work with young people in high schools. He retired from the National Guard in 1996 as a Sergeant First Class. In October of 2000, Yogi worked at the Office of Homeland Security/Emergency Management in Phenix City which he was a great asset to the OHSEM team. He served on the Lee County Juvenile Justice Committee, mentoring children with difficult problems and putting them on the right track so that they have a chance to grow into responsible adults.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Eula Fay Newsome Rumsey of Smiths Station, AL, daughters, Susan East of Phenix City, AL, Rebekah Rumsey Hardy of Columbus, GA, two granddaughters, Bliss Bullard, Victoria Hardy both of Columbus, GA, sisters, Dianne Cannon, Judy Jordan, Kathy Jordan, Betty Knox, brothers, Charles Rumsey, Albert Rumsey, Kenneth Rumsey, Elmer Rumsey, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
We know Yogi is on a river bank, casting out to the deep water, luring in that 10lb bass and fighting him all the way to the bank and letting him go to be caught another day.
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