Rufus J. Bivens

Rufus J. Bivens, of Benton, passed away on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at his home. He was born and reared in Tellico Plains. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Benton, and was not afraid to ask anyone if they knew Jesus Christ. He loved life, his family, his country and people. He was retired from the U.S. Forest Service, where he received numerous awards for his services and Bradley County Road Department. He had lots of interests that included going to flea markets, gardening, collecting and a beekeeper.

He was 81 years old.

Preceded in death by: his parents, Fred and Lila Bivens; brother, Alden Bivens; sisters, Daisey Dockery, Minnie Ledford, Vonnie Bivens, Dollie Bivens; daughters-in-law, Jenny Keown Bivens, Cheryl Murphy Bivens.

Survivors include: his wife of 60 years, Wanda McCarter Bivens;

Children, Mitchell (Regina) Bivens, of Cleveland, Randall (Karen) Bivens, of Ringgold, Ga., Cheryl (Charlie) Rider, of Cleveland, Donna (Richard) Sudderth, of Nashville;

Ten grandchildren;

Eight great-grandchildren, and two on their way;

Brother, Luther (Margaret) Bivens, of Tellico Plains; sister, Ollie (Cliff) Gerry, of Vonore;

Several nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

The family received friends from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, and will also receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at Higgins Funeral Home in Benton. The funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at the funeral home, with Preacher Randall Bivens and the Rev. Steve Linginfelter officiating. Interment will follow in Benton Memorial Gardens in Benton. A white dove release ceremony will conclude the services.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Bivens Family guestbook at

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Higgins Funeral Home of Benton.