Russ Mobley

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Russ Mobley
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
from the 51st district
In office
Preceded byRicky Lee Cox
Succeeded byJohn "Bam" Carney
Personal details
Born(1933-11-18)November 18, 1933
Oneida, Clay County
Kentucky, USA.
DiedOctober 26, 2018(2018-10-26) (aged 84)
Lexington, Kentucky
Cause of deathParkinson's disease
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carole Ann McDaniel Mobley
ChildrenGregory Mobley

Jeffrey Mobley
Stephanie Mobley Woodie
Suzanne Mobley Bennett
Joel Mobley

Five grandchildren
ParentsElmer and Ollie Allen Mobley

Russell Glen Mobley (November 18, 1933 – October 26, 2018),[1] was a politician and educator based in his native Kentucky. He retired as an associate professor of theatre arts at the private Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky.

From 2001 to 2009, he was the Republican member of the Kentucky House of Representatives for District 51 (Taylor and Adair counties) in the south central portion of the state.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

A son of Elmer and Ollie Allen Mobley, Russ Mobley graduated from high school at the Oneida Baptist Institute in 1951. He obtained Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Kentucky at Lexington. He served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955.[2]


Mobley worked at Campbellsville University, located about eighty miles southwest of Lexington, and affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.[2] Mobley taught there from 1971 until his retirement in 2005, having directed more than one hundred student plays and musicals. Among his productions were the musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,[3] 1776, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Oliver! and Fiddler on the Roof.

In 1968, Mobley lost the general election for the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's 6th Congressional District, which included Lexington, to the Democrat John C. Watts. As Mobley lost the district, 58-42 percent, Republican ticket mates Richard M. Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew prevailed statewide and nationally. In 1981, he ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the District 16 seat in the Kentucky State Senate. In that primary election, he was defeated by the incumbent Doug Moseley, a United Methodist minister. Thereafter, he served as deputy commissioner of personnel and deputy commissioner of parks in the administration of Republican Governor Louie B. Nunn. He also served in the 1980s as the County Judge Executive pro tempore for Taylor County.[1]

In his last years of teaching, Mobley re-entered electoral politics. He was elected to the Kentucky House in 2000 and served four two-year terms until 2009. He was not a candidate in 2008 for a fifth term. The Republican nominee, John "Bam" Carney, also an educator, was elected to succeed Mobley and still holds the seat.

Mobley ran unopposed in the 2000 Republican primary as the two-term incumbent, Ricky Lee Cox, did not seek reelection. In the general election, Mobley defeated the Democrat Russell Montgomery by 1,305 votes. He won by an even larger margin in 2002, when he defeated the Democrat Henry "Butch" Wheatley by 2,417 votes. Mobley was reelected in 2004 and 2006 in his predominantly Republican district.

He served on the House Labor and Industry, Transportation, and Education committees. One of Mobley's legislative priorities was the widening of Kentucky State Highways 210 and 55, an $18.7 million project announced by then Governor Ernie Fletcher. The widening project in Taylor County was part of the larger Heartland Parkway, which will ultimately connect the existing Cumberland and the Blue Grass parkways.

Personal life[edit]

Mobley and his surviving widow, the former Carole Ann McDaniel (born 1938), a retired pharmacist, have five children: twins born in 1958, Jeffrey Mobley, an attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, and Gregory Mobley, an Andover Newton Visiting Professor of Old Testament at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; Stephanie Mobley Woodie, an associate professor of Health & Human Performance at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky; Suzanne Bennett, a retired educator who last taught in the Green County School District in Kentucky; and Joel Mobley (b. 1966), an associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. Gregory Mobley is the coauthor of The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots.

Russ Mobley died on October 26, 2018 at the age of eighty-four of Parkinson's disease.[4]

Civic life[edit]

Mobley was a member of Rotary International. He was a longtime member of the Campbellsville Baptist Church.

Legacy and honors[edit]

In 2011, the Campbellsville University theater, in the Alumni Building, was named in Mobley's honor. CU President Michael V. Carter, at the dedication ceremonies, said that Mobley "leaves a great legacy in this place."[3]

Mobley's memorial service was held in the center which bears his name.


  1. ^ a b "Russell Mobley obituary". Central Kentucky News-Journal. November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Russell Glen Mobley-obituary
  3. ^ a b Joan C. McKinney, "Russ Mobley leaves 'indelible mark' on Campbellsville University," The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University (Vol. 9, No. 2 (June 2011), p. 22.
  4. ^ Local leader Mobley dies at 84
Political offices
Preceded by
Ricky Lee Cox
Kentucky State Representative for District 51 (Campbellsville)

Russell G. "Russ" Mobley

Succeeded by
John "Bam" Carney