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Obituary for James Erwin Rachel

James Erwin  Rachel
James Erwin Rachel, 93, of Russellville, went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 13, 2015, at the Arkansas Hospice River Valley Home in Russellville. He was born December 5, 1921, to James Ira and Annice Witt Rachel in the Mill Creek community west of Russellville.
After the death of his father, he joined the C.C.C. and served at the Shiloh Camp in Russellville and in Lake View, Iowa. He was drafted into the Army during World War II in 1942, and received basic training in Mississippi and Texas. He was stationed in Fresno, California where he became a drill instructor and worked at the firing range where he met many movie stars and let them fire on the range. Later, he was reassigned to Buckley Field in Denver, Colorado.
He re-enlisted into the Air Force and served two years in Panama City, Florida, as a transport for military dignitaries, Air Force payroll and mail. He was honorably discharged on May 24, 1948.
He married Hettie Welcher on August 26, 1950, and was a 50 year member of the First Church of the Nazarene where they raised their children. He enjoyed fellowship with the City Mall coffee drinkers, NASCAR, and gun collecting. He loved spending time with family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, James Edward “Sonny” Rachel; 2 brothers, William Rachel and Perry “Buddy” Rachel; and a sister-in-law, Bonnie Rachel.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Hettie Welcher Rachel; and their children, Paul Rachel of Dover, Patti Rachel Craig, David Rachel and wife Lorie, and Carole Rachel Muncy, all of Russellville; daughter-in-law, Becky Rachel of Russellville; sister-in-law, Jane Rachel Howard of Russellville; brother, Aubrey Rachel of Michigan; 3 sisters, Bettye Rachel of London, Helen Bowden of Washington, and Iris Brown of Russellville; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 16, at the First Church of the Nazarene with Kent Beaty, former pastor and longtime family friend, officiating. Burial with military honors by VFW Rogers-Rye Post #2283 is in Booher Cemetery under the direction of Lemley Funeral Service of Atkins. Visitation is from 6:00-8:00 PM Friday at Shinn Funeral Chapel in Russellville.
Online obituary and condolences are available at
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