Rodney (Rusty) Lewis Wamsley, Jr. of Opp, Ala., passed away on Saturday, March 2 just before 6 p.m. at the age of 71. He passed peacefully in his home after a long bout with cancer, soon after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.
He will be cremated, and a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, at First Baptist Church in Opp, Ala., with Randy Breedlove officiating. A meal and informal celebration will follow. Anyone who feels moved to remember him with words, song, or prayer is encouraged to do so at that time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to First Baptist Church of Opp, or the American Cancer Society.
Survivors include his wife, Jane; daughter, Tiffany; son, Rustin; and three grandchildren, Marissa, Caitlin, and Egan. He is also survived by his brothers, Jeff, David, and Roy; and step-mother, Betty Jo Wamsley.
Rusty was born on Aug. 24, 1941 in Point Pleasant, to the late Rodney Lewis Wamsley Sr. and Erma Wamsley. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Oshel on Feb. 2, 1963. He was a well known baseball player at Point Pleasant High, a graduate of the class of ‘59, and is a member of the PPHS HOF. He played varsity baseball at Marshall University, where he graduated in 1963 with a business degree. That year, he led the nation in doubles, and his batting average of .471 still holds the record as being the highest ever at Marshall University. He was invited to come to spring training for the Philadelphia Phillies but wanted to provide a more stable future for his wife and future family, thus turning down the offer in favor of a retail management position in the clothing department at Lazarus (since purchased by Macy’s) in Columbus, Ohio. He soon migrated to outside sales, where he forged a career of successful relationships with many companies including the Pet Rock, Fox Paw ice scraper, Roman Religious, Village Candle, and Demdaco.