Joseph Thomas Rauls

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Orleans, La.

Joseph Thomas Rauls, 70, of New Orleans, La., formerly of the Buckeye community near Leachville, died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008, in New Orleans. Born in Hornersville in 1937 to Thomas Jefferson Rauls and Sybil Lenore Bone Rauls, his boyhood was spent helping with chores on the family farm. He grew up with a love of reading, hunting the great Mississippi flyway with his brothers and friends and playing basketball. He was a graduate of Leachville High School and Arkansas State College in Jonesboro. In New Orleans he worked with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare before earning a law degree from Tulane University School of Law where he served on the Moot Court and was a member of the Order of the Coif. He joined the law office of Exxon in New Orleans and was later assigned to Esso Europe, London. After two years, he returned to the New Orleans office for 11 years. After five years with Exxon's International Exploration Section in Houston, he retired to New Orleans in 2000. Life-long passions were his family, his daughters' athletic activities, duck hunting, reading, nature and conservation, birding, cooking marmalade and curries for friends and genealogy. A quest for knowledge led him to study at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the University of London. He had an ongoing interest in the family cotton farm operation spearheaded by his brother, W.F. "Bud" Rauls. He was of Norman/Scotch-Irish stock descended on his mother's side from Humphrey de Bohun, who arrived in England in 1066 with the forces of William the Conqueror. The de Bohuns continued to play a part in succeeding reigns and occupy tombs in Salisbury Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral.

His father's Scotch-Irish ancestors arrived in Nansemon County, Va., in the 1700s, making their way across the blue Ridge Mountains and Tennessee to the Mississippi River and into Missouri and Arkansas where the family farms today for over 100 years.

Mr. Rauls enjoyed activities of a number of men's organization in New Orleans and Texas and held close a number of cherished friends whose lunchtime and duck hunting camaraderie he treasured.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia Cook Rauls, of the home; his daughters and son-in-law, Sarah Rauls Hillery and husband, Sergei Joseph Hillery, Jr., and Caroline Leigh Rauls; brothers, William Floyd "Bud" Rauls and wife, Nanci, of Leachville, James Henry "Jim" Rauls and wife, Evelyn of Columbia, S.C.; brother-in-law Charles DeVere Cook and wife, Ann, of Waco, Texas; a niece, Melinda Rauls Busby and husband, Gary, of Livingston, Ala.; nephews, William Floyd Rauls, Jr. and James Jeffery Rauls; Aunts, Catherine Dowdy Rauls of Jonesboro, and Jane Rauls Washington of Houston, Texas.

The funeral was held at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Rayne Memorial Methodist, 3900 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans with Rev. Carol Winn Crawford officiating.

Graveside services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Box Elder Cemetery near Leachville, an ancient cemetery a few hundred yards from his boyhood home. Ronnie Kennett will officiate the graveside service under the direction of Howard Funeral Service of Leachville. The family will receive visitors from 1-2 p.m. Thursday at Howard Funeral Chapel in Leachville.

The family has asked anyone wishing to leave a lasting memorial consider the Rayne Memorial Methodist Church, 3900 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115.

Friends may sing the online guest register at