Russell “Rusty” Nall Erwin, 65, of the Waco area, took Jesus’ hand and entered the gates of Heaven on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Funeral service will be at 1:00 pm, Saturday, May 8th, at the First United Methodist Church on Cobbs Drive. A reception with the family will follow. Interment will be 3:00 pm, Saturday, May 8th, at the Robinson Cemetery. The family will receive visitors from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, May 7th, at Grace Gardens Funeral Home. Masks and social distancing will be at the discretion of the attendees.
Rusty was born April 19, 1956 to Howard and Jean (Seawright) Erwin in Tyler, Texas. He attended school in Robinson where he excelled in high school baseball and football. He was named as one of the players of the decade (70’s) at his position of wide-receiver. He received a baseball scholarship from MCC, where he played and met many of his lifelong friends. He attended Texas Tech University, where he was a team player on the “No If’s” an intramural football team that won the All-University trophy.
On June 28, 1980, he married the love of his life, Donna Rene’ Towns, and they shared 40 ½ wonderful years together.
Because of Rusty’s love of sports, he entered the Teaching/Coaching profession. He started his coaching career in 1981 at Waco Midway coaching football and basketball. When Donna’s career moved them to Lubbock, Rusty was asked to start the girls’ softball program at Coronado High School, and this was the beginning of an extraordinarily successful coaching career. He was voted Texas Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was a lecturer at the Texas Girls’ Coaches Clinic as well as a member of the All-Star Selection Committee in 1996-1998. He also served as the Lubbock Region member for the Texas High School Girl’s Softball committee. He had the privilege of coaching at Coronado High School, China Spring High School, Lorena High School, Lampasas High School and A&M Consolidated High School. Each school was incredibly special to him, and he made a lasting impact on the lives he touched. In addition to being the head girls’ softball coach, Rusty also coached girls’ basketball and football. Some of his most cherished memories were coaching football when both of his boys played. He loved spending time with them!
After retiring from coaching and teaching in 2015, Rusty enjoyed playing lots of golf, fishing, cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders and traveling with Donna in their motorhome; but his greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family and spoiling his precious grandchildren. He was so incredibly proud of the men Brooks and Zach have become. This is a testament to the incredible way in which Rusty led his family.
Rusty never met a stranger nor did he ever forget a face. He had an incredible gift of bringing joy and laughter to everyone. He had the kindest heart and would help anyone in any way that he could. He had a strong faith in the Lord and would witness to anyone who sought his guidance. When diagnosed with cancer in 2019, the Bible verse that brought him great comfort was Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Rusty was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved sister Diane Bonner and his mother-in-law, Geraldine Towns.
Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Donna; his two sons Brooks Worth Erwin and Zachary Lloyd Erwin and his wife, Nicole Marie Erwin; his daughter, Katelyn Elizabeth Richardson; his precious grandchildren, James Russell Erwin and Claire Marie Erwin; his sister Sheri Springston (Bryan); and his brother, Rick Erwin (Cynthia); and his brother-in-law, Keith Bonner; his beloved dogs Miss Charlie and Maggie; several nieces and nephews; and many, many special friends and extended family.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Waco on Cobbs Drive, Fuzzy Friends Rescue of Waco, The American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
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