JANNA BLAKE GIRERD WELLS, age 45, of Benton, passed away Monday, December 31, 2018. She was born October 14, 1973 in Stuttgart, Arkansas. Janna was an Insurance Liaison and a member of New Life Landmark Missionary Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Dennis Girerd. She is survived by her husband, Paul Wells of Benton; son, Cody Brown of Benton; two daughters, Morgan Brown of Texas and Riley Wells of Benton; mother, Dr. Deborah Quade; uncles, Perry Pike of North Carolina and Richard Mullinax of North Carolina; aunt, Elaine Bisswanger (Durrell) of Dewitt and cousins, Jason Lockhart and Hunter Bisswanger. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 3 at Ashby Funeral Home. Memorial services will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, January 4 at Ashby Funeral Home. Bro. Scotty Nalley and Shawn Crane will be officiating.
BILLY DAN SHEETS SR., 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep in Pinellas Park, Florida on January 1, 2019. Billy was born in Lamar, Colorado on June 29, 1929, the son of Dave Sheets and Lona Dobbs. His father died and he and his mother returned to Saline County, Arkansas later marrying Albert Houpt where he spent his childhood. He graduated from Glen Rose High School in 1948 and joined the United States Army. He proudly served in the Army from 1948 until 1956. In 1951 Billy married Marilyn Cargile of Atlanta, Georgia with whom he had three children. He thereafter married Leta Mae Holmes in 1966 until her death in 1999. He and Marilyn later married again and were together from 2002 until his death. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, daughter, Marsha McNamee (Dennis), son, Billy Sheets, Jr. (Eva) and daughter, Peggy Fields (Carroll – aka Buzzy). His stepson Perry Holmes (Paula) and his stepson, Joel Roberts (Misty). Grandchildren include Amanda Shannon, Sean McNamee (Michelle), Laura Jackson (Jimmie), Andrea McDermott (Eric), Nicholas Fields (Yhotzmine), and Kristen Fields as well as 16 great-grandchildren all of Florida, three brothers Albert Houpt, Jim Houpt, Douglas Houpt and sister, Louise Sanchez all of Arkansas. After leaving the Army, he began working for the Federal Prison System in 1967 and retired in 1981. He was a lifelong member of the organization of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for 51 years. He served as the Exalted Ruler of the Florence, Arizona Lodge from 1985 until 1986. Visitation Services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Monday January 7, 2019 at Ashby Funeral Home in Benton, Arkansas. Graveside services will be held at Graham Cemetery located on Graham Road at State Road 67 in Saline County, Arkansas on Tuesday January 8, 2019 beginning at 1:00. A celebration of life will follow at the St. Petersburg Elks Lodge, Florida on Sunday, January 13, 2019. (Time of these services are to be determined) In lieu of flowers, please make your donations to the St. Petersburg, FL Elks Lodge, #1224.
JEAN ANN MOLES, 74, of Benton, died January 2, 2019, in the Saline Health System Hospice Unit. Predeceasing her were her parents, John W. and Matta Jean McDonald; paternal grandparents, Arch and Hallie Denman McDonald; maternal grandparents, Clarence and Grace Taylor Ratcliff. She is survived by her husband, J. Louis Moles, Jr., and three “critters” (Abe, Hu, and Little Bit) of the home; and her sister, Sue Ellen Montgomery (Ron) of Siloam Springs. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she enjoyed watching grow into adulthood as long as she didn’t have to change their diapers. Jean Ann was born in Gentry while her father was elsewhere engaged with the Battle of the Bulge. Following WWII, the family settled in Huntsville. She graduated from Huntsville High School in 1962, University of Arkansas Fayetteville (B.A.) in 1966, and LSU (Masters in Library Science) in 1970. All her life, she had a love for books and reading, leading to a work history from librarian/associate professor at the Peabody School Library of the UAF College of Education to 30 years service at the UAMS Medical Library in Little Rock. Following her retirement from UAMS in 2004, she joined the Saline County Master Gardeners achieving SCMG Rookie of the Year in 2006, SCMG Master Gardener of the Year in 2010, and along the way three terms as SCMG president. She was on the board of the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show serving as secretary. She spent countless hours tending “her” corners in downtown Benton and digging plants to save them from approaching construction activities. And the educational training. And then the tours, domestic and foreign. Jean Ann loved every minute of it. A perfect retirement. Throughout her life, Jean Ann had strong mentors and friends, some of whom got her involved in the creation of the Arkansas chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) and later creation of the Little Rock Rape Crisis Center. She was justifiably proud of being one of the “founding mothers” of these two organizations. At the request of Jean Ann, the body will be cremated and the ashes scattered at appropriate locations in Arkansas. There will be no service. If you knew Jean Ann and wish to honor her, you can mentor someone; you can befriend someone; you can become involved. She was a ray of sunshine. Next time you meet someone else who knew Jean Ann, share a couple of “Jean Ann stories”. You will separate with smiles on your faces. Online guestbook at www.ashbyfuneralhome.com
DORMAN PRESTON SPEER, age 86, of Benton, was called home by his Lord & Savior Sunday, January 6, 2019. He was born September 17, 1932 in Lonsdale, Arkansas. Preston served in U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He worked 27 years for Little Rock Road Machinery as a Heavy Equipment Mechanic and then 10 years for the Little Rock Fire Department as a Master Mechanic. Preston was a member of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church. He was a Mason, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite, Shriner, Past Master of the Adoniram Lodge #288 and Past Patron of numerous Eastern Star Chapters. He was preceded in death by his parents, Felix Thomas Speer and Leatha Styles Speer and his wife, Carolyn Virginia Pool Speer. Preston is survived by his daughter, Brenda McCullough (Bill) of Benton; son, Douglas Speer (Melinda) of Benton; three grandchildren, Shelly Mann (Nathan) of Little Rock, Paul McCullough (Mary Anne) of Benton and Pam Clayborn (Garth) of Conway; six great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins & friends. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 8 at Ashby Funeral Home. Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 9 at Ashby Funeral home with burial at Ten Mile Cemetery. Dr. Robbie Horne will be officiating. Memorials may be made to the Ten Mile Cemetery Fund.
BEVERLY DONNELLY, 92, of Hot Springs Village, passed away peacefully in the early morning on New Year’s Day. She was born on June 6, 1926 near St. Paul MN. Beverly was preceded in her death by her husband of 53 years, David R. Donnelly. Beverly and David both worked for Super Value Food Corporation in Minneapolis, MN for over 30 years. They retired to Hot Springs Village in 1983. Beverly was an active member of Christ Lutheran Church, an officer of the Woman’s Golf Association, and active in many community events. Following David’s death, Beverly resided at The Good Samaritan Campus Assisted Living Facility at Greenwood Manor for 10 years, and later at the Mt. Carmel Memory Unit in Hot Springs Village for her last 5 years. The family extends their sincere gratitude to the exceptional caregivers at both facilities, especially appreciating Jackie Fayman for her daily caregiving support and companionship with Beverly. Survivors include Beverly’s brother Howard, 94, of Minneapolis MN, and her 22 nephews and nieces. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL would be appropriate. For online condolences visit www.cedarvalefuneralhome.com please. A Memorial Service is planned at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at CedarVale Funeral Home on Minorca Rd. in Hot Springs Village, immediately followed by internment at CedarVale Cemetery.
RAYMOND LEE OSBORN, 72, of Mabelvale, Arkansas passed away on December 31, 2018. He was born to Ernest and Anna Osborn on January 16, 1946 in Porterville, California. He worked for many years for the Arkansas Gazette. He is survived by his brothers, David Osborn (Connis) of Somerset, Texas and Richard Osborn (Doris) of Bryant, Arkansas; along with several nieces, nephews, and friends. A private memorial service will be held later.
LEAH LYNNE FOWLKS, 54, of Lonsdale, passed away on December 30, 2018 in Hot Springs., Arkansas. She was born on September 22, 1964 in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Joyce Evelyn Fowlks and the late Walter Lee Fowlks. Besides her father, she was preceded in death by two brothers; Toby Fowlks, Frankie Fowlks, and one daughter; Christina Fowlks. Leah was a loving mother, sister, daughter and loyal friend. She was happiest outside in nature, fishing and camping with her family and friends. Leah is survived by her mother; Joyce Evelyn Fowlks, one daughter; Raejan Russell, one sister; Raebona Fowlks, her longtime boyfriend; Robert Russell, stepson: Josh Russell, other relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held 4:00 P.M., Friday, January 4, 2019 at the Owensville Baptist Church, 22000 Highway 5, Lonsdale, Arkansas 72087.
JAMES THOMAS HARDIN, age 71, of Hot Springs, formerly of Benton, passed away Friday, January 4, 2019. He was born May 13, 1947 in Dermott, Arkansas to the late Beb and Melver Collins Hardin. James was a kind-hearted man who never met a stranger and was an extremely hard and dedicated worker. His memory will be cherished, and his legacy will continue through his family and friends who loved him dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jimmy; niece, Brandy; and nephew, Raymond. James is survived by his brothers, Gerald and wife Margaret, of Benton, and Jerry, of Hot Springs; his sister, Suzanne and her husband Randy, of Hobbs, New Mexico; sisters-in-law, Arbelle and Linda; three nephews, Eugene, Russell, and Brian; one niece, Teresa; three great nephews, Bradley, Alex, and Chase; five great nieces, Lauren, Taylor, Jennifer, Brittany, and Briann; two great-great nephews, Ethan and Liam; along with many other family members and friends. A Funeral Service will be Wednesday, January 9, 2019 in the chapel of Roller-Ballard Funeral Home 306 S. Main St. beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation at 9:30 a.m. until service time. Interment will follow in Smith- New Rosemont Cemetery in Benton.
NOBLE D. ROLLANS, 68, of Bryant, Arkansas passed away January 1, 2019. He was born October 11, 1950 in Little Rock to the late Oliver and Rose Marie (Broderick) Rollans. Noble was a hard-working man who worked for the City of Bryant Street Department, Bryant School District, and Saline Memorial Hospital in the maintenance department. He enjoyed watching Western movies and making clay figurines. In his younger years, he liked to go fishing in the Blue Holes and taking road trips to the country with his family. Noble was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: James Edward Rollans and David McArthur Rollans; and a sister, Diane Rollans. He leaves to cherish his memory two sons: Adam Doyle Rollans and wife Kayla of Alexander, Arkansas and Stephen Edward Rollans of Benton, Arkansas; grandchildren: Adrienne Rollans, Natalie Rollans, Allen Rollans, Emily Rollans, and Lillianna Rollans; brother, Archie Rollans and wife Charlotte of Alexander, Arkansas; sister, Jeri Rollans of Benton, Arkansas; wife, Kami Rollans of Bauxite, Arkansas; special niece, Carla Rollans of Alexander, Arkansas and several nieces and nephews, family members and friends who love Noble and will miss him always. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
REV. WILLIAM “DARREL” BONE, 85, of Bryant passed away January 2, 2019. Rev. Bone was born on January 29, 1933 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the only child of Rev. W.T. and Ruth Bone. Darrel was a graduate of Hendrix College and received his call to preach in 1955. His active ministry in the Methodist Church spanned fifty years serving churches in Central Arkansas which included Bryant, Little Rock, Texarkana, Prescott, and Glennwood. Darrel is survived by his wife of sixty-one years, Zetha Camp Bone; one son, Harold Bone and his wife Perry; one daughter, Ruth Ellen Epperson and her husband Steven; along with seven grandchildren: Lucas, Skylar, and Allison Epperson and Austin, Joshua, Charlie and James Bone. Memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, January 10, at First United Methodist Church in Bryant, Arkansas. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service. Private burial was held at Smith-Rosemont Cemetery. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.SmithFamilyCares.com. Hazel “Laverne” Baker-Cole, 85, of Bryant, Arkansas went to be with the Lord on January 4, 2019. She was born December 25, 1933 in Mt. Nebo, Arkansas to the late Gordon “Rowdy” and Hazel “Big Mama” Richardson. Laverne was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Bryant. She was the former owner of Hornet Café and retired from Birchtree Communities. Laverne recently started quilting with her ninety-four year old aunt. Her favorite hobby was playing bridge with her friends every Friday night. Laverne loved spending time with her family. She was their biggest fan and attended all their sporting events. Preceding Laverne in death are her parents; and son, Hal Baker. She leaves to cherish her memory her children: Jack Baker of Benton, Arkansas, Mark Baker and his wife Lesa of Salem, Arkansas, and Katie Baker-Cox and her husband Roger of Bryant, Arkansas; grandchildren: Michael Baker, Eric Baker, Misty Hamilton and her husband Rebel, Brad Baker and his wife Amy, Tyler Cox, and Ryan Cox; eight great-grandchildren; three sisters: Nancy Williams of Lakeland, Florida, Linda Brod of Bryant, Arkansas, and Vera Ferguson and husband Curtis of Benton, Arkansas; and a host of family and friends who love Laverne and will miss her dearly. Reception visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 PM, Tuesday, January 8, at Smith-Benton Funeral Home, 322 N. Market Street, Benton, Arkansas. Funeral service, officiated by Rev. Phillip Miller and Rev. John Owens, will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, January 9, at First Baptist Church of Bryant, 6715 Hwy 5 N, Bryant, Arkansas. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
LARRY ALLAN MATTINGLY, 74, of Benton, Arkansas went to join the Lord January 4, 2019. He was born July 17, 1944 in Henderson, Kentucky to the late Dorris and Lillian (Caton) Mattingly. Larry was a member of Benton First Church of the Nazarene. His passion was music. He was a proud member of the band “The Villains” where he played lead guitar and sang vocals. Larry also enjoyed reading, target shooting, and golf. He was a grill master and made nothing but excellence. Larry worked as a police officer with the Muncie City Police Department and was also a deputy sheriff with the Delaware County Sheriff Department. Larry leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife of forty-six years, Pamela Mattingly of Benton, Arkansas; children: Roxanne Volkman and husband Scott of Evansville, Indiana, Kristy Hood and husband Dewayne of Traskwood, Arkansas, Shelly Orcutt and fiancé Shad Odell of Navarre, Florida, and Todd Mattingly of Hot Springs, Arkansas; grandchildren: Justin Mertz, Robbie Volkman, Ryan Pollich, Ashley Orcutt, Brandi Volkman, Zayn Odell, Samuel Mattingly, Makayla Hood, and Collin Pollich; great-grandchildren: Lexi Volkman and Zoey Volkman; as well as a host of family members and friends who loved Larry and will miss him dearly. Funeral service, officiated by Rev. Brady Lane, will be held Monday, January 7, at 12:00, at Benton First Church of the Nazarene, 1203 W. Sevier Street, Benton, Arkansas. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service. Memorials may be made to Benton First Church of the Nazarene Church, Saline Memorial Hospice, or Parkinson’s Foundation. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
RALPH BLACK, age 93, went to be with his Lord and Savior January 4, 2019 at Saline Memorial Hospice House in Bryant. He was born on January 13, 1925 to Typhus Andrew and Ethy Jane Black of Montgomery County, Arkansas, where he grew up. Ralph was a graduate of Norman High School and upon early graduation came to Little Rock to study to become a certified welder. He was an army veteran of World War II taking part in the Normandy Invasion, landing on Omaha Beach in June of 1944, then serving the remainder of the war in France. Ralph served his country in Europe from 1942 to 1946. After returning to the states, he married his high school sweetheart and moved to Benton. He worked for the Reynolds Metal Corporation for 38 years as a welder. During this time, he also was a Poultry Farmer, selling Black’s Eggs brand to neighborhood groceries and restaurants in Benton and Bryant. He was a long-time member of Bryant First Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dora Floriece Black; a son, Larry Andrew Black; brothers: Ray Black and Olen Black; and brother-in-law, Joe Morris. Survivors include one son, Eddie and wife Brenda of Benton; one daughter, Anita and husband Jack Mauldin of Ector, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Elaine Black of Mt. Ida; a sister, Fauntella Morris of Little Rock; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Black of High Springs, Florida; grandchildren: Brian (Leslie) Black of Benton, Brent (Jennifer) Black of Arkadelphia, Kristi Payne of Hickory Creek, Texas and Katie (Shawn) Allen of Cookeville, Tennessee; great-grandchildren: Taylor, Brandon, and Will Black, Libbie and Savannah Garrett, Hayden and Mason Payne and Henry Allen; and step-grandsons: Jackie (Cher) Mauldin, James (Robin) Mauldin, and Brad Mauldin. The family wishes to express their love and appreciation to Mt Carmel for the excellent care given over the 5 years he was a resident and to Saline Memorial Hospice House where he spent his final days. Special appreciation and love go out to his personal care givers: Sherry, Tina, Pat, Meagan, Kim, Karen, and Brookelyn. They made his life comfortable and enjoyable. Funeral Services will be held at Bryant First Baptist Church, Hwy 5, Tuesday, January 8 at 11:00 AM with visitation before services from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. Interment will be at Gaston cemetery in Mt Ida with family only. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Bryant First Baptist Church, P.O Box 267, Bryant, AR 72089 or Saline Memorial Hospice House, 1 Medical Park Dr. Benton, AR 72015. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
JOE EMANUEL GOASA, 74, of Little Rock, Arkansas, went to be with his Lord on January 5, 2019. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by both parents, J.B. and Lena Goasa of Greenwood, Mississippi and two sons, Steven and Joe Goasa II. He is survived by his wife, Linda Goasa; daughter, Jessica Leonard (Ryan) of Benton, Arkansas; three grandchildren, Brittany and Ryan Goasa and Liam Leonard, his best friend; one sister, Jane Bell (David); brother, Charles Goasa; two sisters-in-law, Ann Sivley and Peggy Lane (Steve); one special nephew, Robert Bell, and his two furry companions, Caesar and Red. Joe was a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, during the Vietnam War and many oversea tours of duty. He exceeded in his service to his country by becoming swim instructor, scuba diving instructor and later became an NCO in the United States Marine Corps. A time of visitation is scheduled from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at Smith Benton Funeral Home, 322 N. Market Street, Benton, Arkansas 72015. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Pulaski County Humane Society. Worthy Freeman Sykes was born June 19, 1939 in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Dorothy Bales and Harry Freeman Sykes. He left this world and joined his parents and siblings, Angie Johnson, Jean Hope, Pat Revere and Bob and Jim Sykes in Heaven. While we are sad to lose him and will miss him terribly, we are so happy that he will no longer suffer the pain and crippling effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis he has endured for many years. He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Barbara Fortune Sykes; daughter Stephanie Pritchard and grandchildren Mason and Madi Pritchard all of Benton and sister Dr. Jo Chesser of Little Rock. Also surviving are his beloved sisters in law Jeanne Sykes of Benton and Sandy Sykes of Nashville, Arkansas and brothers in law Larry Fortune and Dennis Fortune of Stuttgart and many nieces and nephews and friends for 52 years of Barbara and Worthy’s 53 years, the entire DeLoach family. Worthy graduated from Cutter Morning Star High School in Hot Springs and went on to obtain a BS in Accounting from Ouachita Baptist University. He then served in the U.S. Army stationed in Gemany for two (2) years until returning home to help care for his mother who was terminally ill. He obtained an accounting position at Ark. Rice Growers in Stuttgart and moved his parents there. It was there that he met and married Barbara Fortune Sykes. A year later they moved to Little Rock where they resided for 45 years. During this time Worthy became a CPA and worked as Controller for several small businesses, retiring from Goldman Recycling Company in 2001. He and Barbara moved to Benton in 2010 where he was able to spend more time being a loving ‘POPPY’ to Mason and Madi.
It is with profound sadness the family of DAVID PAUL MILLER announces his passing on December 25, 2018 at the Regional One Burn Center in Memphis, Tennessee. David succumbed to injuries sustained in a freak fire accident in his home in his home November 18, 2018. He fought a brave fight for five weeks. David was born on April 27, 1955 to Joseph E. Miller and Margaret E. Miller Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas. David worked in the construction trade his entire life. He had an infectious smile that always brought joy. He was preceded in death by his parents and the one true love of his life, his wife, Betty Sue Miller. Also preceding him were his two grandmothers, Marie Miller and Pearl Watson; his brother, Allen Smith; stepfather, Jimmy Smith; stepdaughter, Debbie; granddaughter, Carolyn Sue; nephew, Dre Brucks and his much loved furry “son,” Doc. David is survived by his loving family. Sisters, Joni Hogue (Stephen), Patsy Kindred (Mike); brothers, Joe Eddie Miller (Doreen), and Jimmy Miller. Also survived by nieces, Wendy Goolsby (William), and Misty Brucks (Sam); nephews, Jason Miller and J.R. Miller, and many other aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Per David’s wishes, no service will be held. He wanted to donate his organs to help others. Following cremation he will be placed with his wife. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent in David’s name to Regional One Burn Center 890 Madison Ave. Memphis, Tennessee, 38103, and also to the Humane Society of Saline County 7600 Bauxite Highway, Bauxite, Arkansas, 72011 or obtain a fire extinguisher for your home so that a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again. Condolences may be sent to Joni Hogue 12822 Chambers Road, Bauxite, Arkansas, 72011. David, enjoy fishing with your beloved Sue. We love you dearly and will miss you forever. Till we meet again.
ROBERT ERNEST WHETSTONE, 66, of Benton, passed away on December 31, 2018. He was born on October 29, 1952 in Lewisville, Arkansas to the late Mural and Clara (Price) Whetstone. Robert is survived by his wife, Renee (Jimerson) Whetstone; one daughter, Cheryl Parks and her husband, Jeff; two sons, Beau Whetstone and his wife, Lynsi, Sean Whetstone and his wife, Lydia; five grandchildren, Gabriel Parks, Alexander Parks, Lillian Parks, Isabelle Whetstone, Noah Whetstone; one sister, Kathy Horn and her husband, Michael; and other relatives and friends. A memorial service will be held at Impact Church, 5500 Landers Road, Sherwood, Arkansas 72117 at a later date. Cremation arrangements by Roller-Alcoa Funeral Home (501) 315-0700.
ANNETTE B. STANTON JULY 21, 1939 – JANUARY 5, 2019, 79, of Bryant, Ark. was born on July 21, 1939, in Brinkley, Ark. to Clara Berry Kinkaid and Richard Berry. She graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Annette was a devout member of Antioch Baptist Church. The family’s matriarch, she provided for her family through her career at the Arkansas Highway Department where she retired in 1999 as well as H&R Block. She will be remembered as a giving woman known especially for her welcoming smile and crafting. Her love for others is preserved in the many beaded Christmas ornaments, crochets and crafts that she made for all those she cared deeply for. Annette loved her family and enjoyed watching it grow through marriage and children. She is survived by her three children, Gayla Hodges (Steve), Barry Stanton (Tonyia), Diane Smithson (Dennis); six grandchildren, Heather Faulkner (Glyn), Aaron Hodges (Lauren), Rachel Morrow (Ryan), Rebecca Moll (Bailey), Shelby Stanton (John Greer), Sydney Stanton (Matthew Mooman); and five great-grandchildren, Brad Faulkner (Madeline), Jordon Faulkner, Zachary Faulkner, Braylee Greer and William Morrow; as well as a host of family and friends.
JOHN HENRY MERRELL, 87, of Alexander, Arkansas, passed away on January 6, 2019. He was born on November 12,1931 in Staten Island, New York to parents Thomas and Anna Merrell. He graduated from Curtis High School and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He was a Captain, employed by Texaco. John was so special to everyone lucky enough to have known him and will be truly missed. His nickname was “Jack” for the sole reason that he was a true “jack of all trades”- he could build and fix just about anything you could think of, including boats and furniture. He was an incredibly smart man with little words, but a full heart. John loved traveling by sea to different places all over the world with his wife, spending time with his family, and building model railroads both inside and outside his home. Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 54 years: Elaine Merrell, his beautiful daughter: Elaine McCaleb and her husband, Brad, and 6 grandchildren whom he loved dearly: Benjamin, and his wife Cynthia, Joshua, and his wife, Christa, Christopher, Rachel, Noah and Sarah, as well as 2 great grandchildren, Isaiah and Finley. He was also preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas Merrell, who are all celebrating his arrival in Heaven. As a tribute to honor John’s wonderful life, the family asks that donations be made in his name to Shriner’s Hospital or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
OSCAR ODELL “BILL” JONES, 86, of Bryant, Arkansas departed this life to be with his Lord on Thursday, January 3, 2019. He spent twenty one years in the United States Army, served two tours in Korea and then another two in Vietnam, retiring from the 5thSpecial Forces. During his Army career, Bill was an instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia and a court translator in Germany. He had over one thousand jumps and earned his wings from different countries. He studied in Paris to be a hypnotist and later a magician to entertain the troops. Bill also sang in a barber shop quartet. After retiring from ten years in civil service, he moved to Bryant, Arkansas, keeping busy with his many hobbies. One of his favorite hobbies was wood carving, notably ducks with intricate, precise feathers. Bill became interested in restoring old jukeboxes and brought them back to life beautifully restored. Eventually, his many talents were noted by a visitor to his shop. The visitor was so impressed by all of Bill’s talents, that he suggested to a writer at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that there should be a story written about him. When the article was published, he was titled the “Jukebox Hero”. Bill was preced in death by his parents, Homer and Virgina Jones. He is survived by his loving wife of forty years, Mary Ann Jones; children, Cynthia Bartlett, Robert Jones, Rhonda (Rich) Brostrom, Jerrie Stokes and Karen (David) Garson; grandchildren; great grandchildren; as well as a host of nieces and nephews. Graveside services to be held on January 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery, 1501 West Maryland Avenue, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Wayne Killian to officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Little Rock Compassion Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400.
WILMA UMBERSON died Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Austin, Texas, surrounded by her loving family. She died from complications following an accident on New Year’s Eve. She was 82. Wilma Umberson, nee Cox, was born May 4, 1936, in Bebee. She was the fourth of seven children. She loved to tell stories about her childhood adventures, especially those with her wild and rambunctious brothers. They ate huckleberries in the woods, fished in the creeks and made up games. In her unpublished memoir, she described the woods as a paradise: “Mama let us play on the creek banks and all over those snake-infested woods but my brothers were savvy about snake killing and keeping the little kids from drowning.” Wilma began picking cotton at the age of 6, along with all the members of her share-cropping family. She once wrote: “That cotton patch did one thing for me; I set the very first goal for myself. I was getting out of there.” The seven children walked 2 miles to attend a one-room schoolhouse where Wilma completed her education. They had to cross a foot log over a fast-running creek to get to school and a dear teacher once pulled a 6-year-old Wilma from the creek after hearing the children yell for help. She loved school and was always a standout student, avid reader and talented artist. At almost 6-feet tall, she developed passions for basketball and track. Prior to competitions, she would go into the woods to change into her athletic shorts because her father was opposed to women wearing shorts. She left the countryside and moved to Little Rock three days after graduation. Upon her arrival to the big city, she became a secretary and rented a room in a boarding house. A young Bill Umberson also lived in the boarding house and their journey together began. They married April 13, 1956, almost 62 years ago. They had two children, Debra and Bill, and four grandchildren, Eliza, Aaron, Oscar and Cosima. Wilma always enjoyed cooking for her family. She worked as a medical secretary and as a medical librarian for the Arkansas State Hospital. The Umbersons lived in Benton for many years where they had close and valued friends. In 2009, Bill and Wilma moved from Arkansas to Austin, Texas, to be near their children and grandchildren. They always loved their Razorbacks and Longhorns games and Wilma surely missed seeing the Longhorns New Year’s Day Sugar Bowl victory. In true Austin fashion, you could always depend on Mrs. Umberson for a rousing discussion about politics. She loved the Obamas and her feelings about current politics are best not printed. After the 2016 election, she emailed about the women’s march: “I swear I would march myself if I could. So proud of all these women (and men) who marched.” Her political commentary will be greatly missed, as will her tall elegance, her soft southern voice, her humor and her deep empathy for others. In addition to her husband, children and grandchildren, Mrs. Umberson is survived by five brothers, Jake, Albert, John, Tom and Jim. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today, Jan. 5, at Pflugerville Community Church, located at 1214 Pfennig Ln. in Pflugerville, Texas.
PAM HAMM, age 62, of Benton, passed away Monday, January 7, 2019. She was born June 26, 1956 in Malvern to Morris Edward and Catherene (Finley) Nichols. Pam was a graduate of Poyen High School Class of 1974. She was a member of Glen Rose Missionary Baptist Church and loved her Church family and friends. She is preceded in death by her grandparents Dewey and Mabel Finley and Ernest and Lola Nichols. She is survived by her husband of ten years, Cloise Hamm, parents Morris and Catherene Nichols of Traskwood, daughter Ashley Cooper (Jason) of Traskwood, step-son Shaun Cloud of Malvern, sister Sondra Cloud (Norman) of Traskwood, daughter-in-law Tammy Cloud of Malvern, grandchildren Katie and Evan Cloud along with numerous cousins. Visitation will be Wednesday January 9, 6-8:00 pm at Regency Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be Thursday January 10, 2:00 pm at the Glen Rose Missionary Baptist Church with Brother Tony Williams officiating. Burial will be at Lindsey-Poyen Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jason Cooper, Russ Winchel, Steve Hawthorne, Randy Finney, Steve Cash, David Edwards and Gary Edwards. Special thanks to Nurses and Staff at Saline Memorial Hospital. Arrangements by Regency Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at regencyfuneralhome.com. A D HOLLOWAY JR passed away on January 6, 2019 Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth
JANE LETHA JOHNSON of Benton was born October 1, 1943 in Little Rock the late A.D. Johnson and Mildred Ray Johnson. She passed away on January 1, 2019. A graveside service will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Philadelphia Cemetery in Prattsville, AR.
ELEANOR ROGERS STEVENS of Benton was born on December 17, 1932 and passed away on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Eleanor was a resident of Bryant, Arkansas at the time of passing. Ms. Stevens was a graduate of Campbellsville College in Kentucky, was a retired teacher, a member of Light House Baptist Church in Benton where she played the piano, and always had a kind word for everyone. Services by Greenwell-Houghlin Funeral Home, Kentucky.