Ailene Rushing Thames
April 21, 1931 - November 12, 2014
Ailene (Rushing) Thames, 83, went to be with the Lord Wednesday, November
12, 2014 in Fort Worth. She was born April 21, 1931 in Rocksprings, Texas, to
Dan Hocker and Mary McMichen Hocker.
Ailene worked hard and loved to read and learn. At age twenty, she was a
single mother of a three year-old son. After working in a movie theater in
Monahans, Texas, she started beauty school in Abilene, Texas. At twenty-three,
she married Bob Rushing and opened her first salon in Monahans … then a
larger one … and a third yet larger one. It was the 1950’s, and she was “color-
blind,” hiring beauticians regardless of race.
She was recruited to Odessa to manage a beauty school … then a larger one …
then built her own with a partner. She was a firm, but caring businesswoman.
Students who lived too far away to commute were welcomed to live in the
Rushing home while attending school. Her hundreds of students through the
years still thank her for teaching them that cosmetology is not just a job … it is
about making women feel good about themselves.
As her first son started college, she earned a GED and began her college
education. In the early 70’s, she sold her beauty school and began teaching
vocational cosmetology in junior colleges, while studying for her degree in
English. Continually being recruited to manage other vocational cosmetology
programs, she moved often, losing college credits each time. She finished her
English degree with two hundred credit hours, almost all “A’s.”
She taught high school English, and worked toward her Master’s Degree in
Counseling Psychology. She continued counseling until her retirement.
Wherever she lived, she was active in the Presbyterian Church. Her path led to
her husband of thirty-five years, Jimmie D. Thames, a Presbyterian minister.
She was often honored for her dedication to God and church family.
When Jimmie retired, they lived in Pangburn, Rogers, and Bentonville,
Arkansas. They had recently moved to Mirabella Assisted Living Fort Worth,
Ailene was preceded in death by her parents, Dan Hocker and Mary McMichen
She is survived by her loving husband, Jimmie D. Thames of Fort Worth, Texas;
daughters Elizabeth Allcon and husband Cliff of Benbrook, Texas,
Lana Riley and husband Al, of Rogers, Arkansas;
sons Larry Rushing and wife Lorraine of Helotes, Texas,
Alan Thames and wife Judy, of Indianapolis, Indiana,
Richard Thames of Springdale, Arkansas,
Jeff Thames and wife Angela, of Springdale, Arkansas;
granddaughters Jennifer Mulero of New Braunfels, Texas,
Anna Noel and husband Adam of Terre Haute, Indiana,
Callie Thames of Greenwood, Indiana,
Sarah Kern and husband Bryan of Columbus, Ohio,
Laura and Hannah Allcon of Benbrook, Texas;
grandsons Jonathan Thames and wife Jessica of Maumelle, Arkansas,
Andrew Thames of Conway, Arkansas,
John Saladino and wife Erika of Newport Beach, California,
Paul Saladino and wife Amanda of Houston, Texas,
Christopher Saladino of Cedar Park, Texas;
Nicholas Riley and wife Taylor of Giddings, Texas
great-granddaughters Ella Claire Thames of Little Rock, Arkansas, Ava Faith
Mulero of New Braunfels, Texas, Syvannah and Delilah Riley of Giddings,
Memorial services will be held in Rogers, Arkansas, April 18, 2015, at 11 AM at Stockdale-
Moody Funeral Services Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ailene’s memory may be made to …
University of the Ozarks
Ailene Thames Memorial
ATTN: Lori McBee
415 N College
Clarksville, AR 72830