Remembering Jill Denise Tatum

Jill Denise Tatum

Funeral services for Mrs. Jill Denise Tatum, age 76 of Ruston, LA will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, March 3, 2023 at Calvary Baptist Church in Ruston with Rev. Bill Reid officiating. Burial will follow in the Kilpatrick Memorial Garden Cemetery in Ruston under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston.

Jill was born September 13, 1946 in Norman, OK to Mary Calvin Chidester and Ernest Leon Smith, and she passed away February 28, 2023 in Ruston. Many of her childhood days were spent in Ruston and in Shreveport, LA. Jill was a 1964 graduate of Byrd High School where, among other things, she excelled at playing the clarinet in the high school band. She began her college studies at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Louisiana Lafayette with a degree in elementary education. Jill taught in serval locations including Lafayette, LA, Covington, LA, Hammond, LA, Jonesboro, LA and Ruston. She retired from teaching with more than 30 years of experience. After her retirement, Jill spent several years serving as a volunteer with Life Choices of North Central Louisiana. Most recently, she was actively serving as a volunteer for the Northern Louisiana Medical Center Auxiliary program until her death. Jill was an avid reader in her spare time and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends playing card games. She was a born-again believer and quickly proclaimed her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and her Savior. Jill was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church. She spread love and joy to all she knew. Jill will be greatly missed, but she is singing with the saints in Heaven. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Ron Smith and Lee Smith.

Jill is survived by her husband of 56 years Bill Tatum of Ruston; daughters Karen Denise Tatum and husband Kirk Davidson of Smithfield, NC and Marcy Tatum and husband Mike Houston of Ruston; beloved grandchildren: Colin Davidson and wife Alexandria, Ian Davidson, Kristi and husband Jeremy Ehardt, Gillian Davidson, Zane Houston, Gabe Houston and Emma Houston; many great-grandchildren; brother Dan Smith and wife Edna; sisters-in-law Patty Smith and Joan Smith; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Serving as pallbearers will be Zane Houston, Gabe Houston, Colin Davidson, Ian Davidson, Jerry Houston and Andy Clark.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to either Life Choices ( or to New Life Transition Ministries, care of Calvary Baptist Church 5200 Hwy 167, Ruston, LA 71270.

Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 AM, Friday, March 3, 2023 at the church. To leave an online memorial message for the family, please visit