September 16, 2009 Edition

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Haylee Kay Brownr Benjamin Claude Lee Sophie Elizabeth Sloan


Wallin ~Wheeless


Lorton Borden Foster Lee Gray Ella Laverne Hyde
Thelma Johnston. Mary Maxine Lyles Light Toye Looney
Travis Lloyd Mast Jesse McKinney Janie Melton
Pollie Roberts Albert Lee Sharp Charles Lee Speirs
James Otis Thompson
J.O. Ward


Haylee Kay Brownr

Nick Brown and Amber Collins of Walnut Ridge have announced the birth of a daughter on Aug. 3, 2009, at St. Bernards Birthcare Center in Jonesboro. The baby weighed six pounds, 11.9 ounces and has been named Haylee Kay Brown.

She has an older sister, Cameron, who is two.

Grandparents are Bobby and Melissa Collins of Walnut Ridge, Samantha Berry of Harrison and Raymond Brown of Jonesboro.

She is the great-granddaughter of Dallas and Anna Cagle and Flois Collins, all of Walnut Ridge, and Scarlett Richardson and Ray Brown, both of Gosnell.

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Benjamin Claude Lee

Bradley Aaron Lee and Stephanie Marie Lee of Cape Girardeau, Mo., have announced the birth of a son on Sept. 8, 2009, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau. The baby weighed eight pounds, seven ounces and has been named Benjamin Claude Lee.

He has two older sisters.

Grandparents are Jerry and Judy Edwards of St. Mary, Mo., and Claude and Cindy Lee of Cape Girardeau.

He is the great-grandson of the late Charles and Lovis Horsman Stewart, who lived in the Black Rock and Walnut Ridge area.

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Sophie Elizabeth Sloan

Lance and Amy Sloan of Paragould have announced the birth of a daughter on Sept. 9, 2009, at Baptist Health Hospital in Little Rock. The baby weighed four pounds, nine ounces and has been named Sophie Elizabeth Sloan.

She has four older siblings, Rachel, Madeline, Caroline and Ian.

Grandparents are Tom and Mary Eveleyn Sloan of Walnut Ridge and Dianne Snelgrove of Jonesboro

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Wallin ~ Wheeless

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Wallin of Walnut Ridge announce the forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Denee, to Shaun Wheeless, son of Rickey Wheeless of Lynn and Claudia Wheeless of Walnut Ridge.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Jim and Nellie Hawn and the late Fred and Beulah Wallin. She is a 1999 graduate of Walnut Ridge High School. Denee received a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Arkansas State University and a master's degree in education from the University of Arkansas.

The prospective groom is the grandson of the late Claude and Bertha Tribble and the late Dalton and Ollie Wheeless. Shaun is a 1998 graduate of Walnut Ridge High School.

The couple will exchange vows on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Walnut Ridge. All family and friends are invited to the wedding. A reception will follow at the Walnut Ridge Country Club. No local invitations are being sent, but all family and friends are invited

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Lorton Borden Foster

Lorton Borden Foster, 86, of Imboden, died Sept. 11, 2009, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

The son of Oscar and Mary Lorton Foster, he was a World War II Army veteran, a retired farmer and was of the Church of Christ belief.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise Carver Foster; and an infant brother.

Survivors include a daughter, Sherry Chamblee, Imboden; two sons, Eddie Foster, Mountain Home, and David Foster, Jonesboro; four sisters, Genise, Washington, Margaret, North Carolina, Martha, Indiana and Vera Faye, Texas; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Monday at 11 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Don House and Nevin Gnagey officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Pallbearers were Kory Dillport, Seth Chamblee, Steve Wade, Shawn Foster and Billy Roper.

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Lee Gray

Lee Gray, 53, of Paragould, died Sept. 9, 2009, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Born Sept. 1, 1956, he was a truck driver for Air Liquide and was of the Baptist faith. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lavern and Velma Shelton Gray; a brother, Michael Gray; a sister-in-law, Carol Pollock; and his father-in-law, Ed Rushing.

Survivors include his wife, Cathy Gray; a son, Brad Gray, Light; a daughter, Brandi Slayton and husband Richard, Light; two sisters, Barbara Walker and husband Dob, Light, and Karen Clifford and husband Jerry, Paragould; three brothers, Dorian Gray and wife Linda, and Paul Gray and wife Barb, all of Paragould, and Randy Gray and wife Connie, Light; his mother-in-law, Frances Rushing, Black Rock; and a granddaughter, Cadence Swindle.

Funeral was Saturday at 11 a.m. at Heath Colonial Chapel in Paragould with Revs. Melvin Shelton and Aaron Winfrey officiating. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Pruett Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Light.

An online guestbook is available at

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Ella Laverne Hyde

Ella Laverne Hyde, 74, of Paragould, died Sept. 11, 2009, at Belle Meade Nursing Home.

Born March 5, 1935, she was a retired machine operator at Monroe and a homemaker. She was a member of Center Hill Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle Hyde; her parents, James and Irene Ledbetter Gatewood; a brother and a sister.

Survivors include two daughters, Sharon Gray, Paragould, and Nancy Ezell, Drasco; a son, Michael Thompson, Paragould; four sisters, Alice Landsdale and Pauline Newman, both of Michigan, and Norma Counce and Jo Ann Petero, both of Hoxie; four brothers, Robert Gatewood, Paragould, James Gatewood, Little Rock, Jimmy Gatewood, Missouri, and Clark Gatewood, Hoxie; six grandchildren, Dariell Ezell, Vanessa Rogers, Crystal Stayton, Jesse Fry, Wesley Thompson, Nicki Cupp and Matt Pitcher; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Heath Colonial Chapel in Paragould. Burial was in Mountain Home Cemetery.

An online guestbook is available at

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Thelma Leigh Honeywell-Johnston.

Thelma Leigh Honeywell-Johnston, 94, of Walnut Ridge, died Sept. 11, 2009, at The Regional Medical Center in Memphis.

Born Dec. 4, 1914, in Atlanta, she was a pilot trainer for the U.S. Government for 30 years and was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Walnut Ridge.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Hugh Forrester, J.L. Forrester and Samuel Benson Forrester; and a sister, Louise Frances.

Survivors include a daughter, Pamela Lawson, formerly of Walnut Ridge; two sisters, Margie Wagster, Walnut Ridge, and Joni Rudifaile, British Columbia, Canada; and grandson, Todd Lawson.

Funeral is Friday at 2 p.m. in Higginbotham Chapel with minister Morris Phillips officiating. Burial will be in Manning Cemetery #1, at Sedgwick, under the direction of Higginbotham Funeral Service.

Visitation is Friday, from 1 p.m. until time of the service.

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Mary Maxine Lyles Light

Mary Maxine Lyles Light, 79, of Hoxie, died Sept. 9, 2009, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Born Aug. 25, 1930, in Greene County, she was the daughter of Walter and Sallie Walker Lyles. She lived in Hoxie most of her life and was a homemaker. She was of the Baptist belief.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Foy "Flop" Lyles and J.L. Lyles; two sisters, Iola Lyles and Viola Lyles; two half-brothers, Earnest Lyles and Paul Lyles; and two half-sisters, Hazel Rose and Lela Haynes.

Survivors include two daughters, Susan Cook, Corning, and Jacqie Rorex, Greenwood, Ind.; a son, Walter L. Kersey, Knobel; two sisters, Sallie Huskey and Donnie Nevels, both of Hoxie; and four brothers, Dean Lyles, Walcott, Bill Lyles, Winnebago, Ill., Jim Lyles, Rockford, Ill., and Harvey Lyles, Paragould.

Funeral was Saturday at 11 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Don House officiating. Burial was in Old Military Cemetery at Sedgwick.

Pallbearers were Casey Rorex, Logan Powell, Joe Huskey, Jason Huskey, Dale Lyles and Richard Lyles.

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Toye Looney

Toye Looney, 97, of Paragould, died Sept. 9, 2009, at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould.

Born April 16, 1912, she was a factory worker at Amrock for 23 years and was a member of the Church of God in Walnut Ridge.

She was married to her first husband, Carson Oldham, and was later married to Carl Looney.

Survivors include a great-nephew, Robert Whitlow and wife Brenda, Paragould.

Funeral was Friday at 2 p.m. in Higginbotham Chapel with Rev. Dale Hughart officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of Higginbotham Funeral Service.

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Travis Lloyd Mast

Travis Lloyd Mast, 19, of Strawberry, died Sept. 11, 2009, at Mountain Home.

Born Aug. 30, 1990, in Brownsville, Tenn., he was a carpenter and woodworker. He was a graduate of the Strawberry Mennonite School and was a member of the Strawberry Mennonite Church.

He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Grace Mast; and his grandfather, Levi Mast.

Survivors include his parents, Phillip and Debra Mast; six brothers, Tyler Mast, Trenton Mast, Tilon Mast, Theron Mast, Thayden Mast and Trevor Mast, all of Strawberry; two sisters, Rose Mast and Holly Mast, both of Strawberry; and his grandparents, Lloyd and Esther Troyer, Sterling, Alaska and Emma Mast, Strawberry.

Funeral was Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Harmony Free Will Baptist Church at Saffell. Burial was in Jesup Cemetery under the direction of Qualls Funeral Home of Cave City.

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Jesse McKinney

Jesse McKinney, 76, formerly of Walnut Ridge, died Sept. 8, 2009, at St. Francis Hospital in Bartlett, Tenn.

Born Sept. 22, 1932, in Lawrence County, he was a graduate of Walnut Ridge High School. He attended Arkansas State University and graduated from Jonesboro Business College. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and later served in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of sergeant.

He was employed as a disbursing agent for Arkansas State University and was retired from Chevron-Texaco. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and the Elks Lodge.

Survivors include his wife of 11 years, Martha McKinney; two stepsons, Jeffrey and Len; three sisters, June Kelm, White Oak, Texas, Joan Sellers, Fayetteville, and Elizabeth Garner, Jonesboro; and two brothers, Doyle McKinney, Walnut Ridge, and James McKinney, Jonesboro.

A memorial service was held Thursday at Forest Hill Funeral Home in Memphis.

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Janie Melton

Janie Melton, 62, of Swifton, died Sept. 11, 2009, at Jonesboro.

Born Sept. 6, 1947, at Needham, she was a homemaker and worked as a housekeeper. She was a member of Abiding Faith Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charlie Lee and Ada Allie Newberry Gentry; a brother, Bill Gentry; and two sisters, Shelby Bishop and Naomi Coleman.

Survivors include her husband, Carl Ray Melton, whom she married June 6, 1977; a son, Charles Shown and wife Gwen, Minturn; four daughters, Connie Brock, Fayetteville, Debbie Parks and husband John, Searcy, Sharon Haines, Swifton, and Kristy Holt, Bay; four sisters, Rosetta Dean, Bono, and Myra Scercy, Shirley Hensley and Kathy Gould, all of Jonesboro; 13 grandchildren, Heather Arnold, Stefanie James, Megan Brock, Nikki King, Steven Duncan, Tyler Shown, Corey Shown, Miranda Shown, April Byard, Bobby Shown, Tasha Cole, Cody Cole and Michael Holt; and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Monday at 10 a.m. at Abiding Faith Pentecostal Church in Swifton. Burial was in Strangers Home Cemetery under the direction of Jackson's Newport Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Pollie Roberts

Pollie Roberts, 69, of Ravenden, died Sept. 13, 2009, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Dec. 28, 1939, in Walnut Ridge, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary Rushing.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by eight sisters, Annie Bell, Martha Miller, Dorothy Brown, Joyce Miller, Carmelita Bryant, Minnie Copeland, Betty Ezell and Ruby Edwards.

Survivors include her husband, Morgan Roberts, whom she married in September 1972, in Little Rock; three sisters, Dollie Eldors, Jacksonville, Wanda Mieburger, Evening Shade, and Mollie Roberts, Little Rock; and two brothers, John Charles Rushing, Pocahontas, and Larry Rushing, Black Rock.

The body was cremated. No services are planned. Higginbotham Funeral Services had charge of arrangements.

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Albert Lee Sharp

Albert Lee Sharp, 77, of Mountain Home, died Sept. 7, 2009, in Mountain Home.

Born April 10, 1932, in Saffell, he worked as a manager for the Arizona Department of Economic Security. He had lived in Cave City before moving to Mountain Home in 1999. He was a member of the Mountain Home Bible Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Frieda Wood Sharp, whom he married Oct. 17, 1951, in Walnut Ridge; his father, John Sharp; and a brother, Elbert Sharp.

Survivors include a son, Rick Sharp and wife Mary Pat, Phoenix; his mother, Louise Davis, Saffell; two brothers, Lavel Sharp, Memphis, and Dennis Ray Sharp, Saffell; a sister, Carolyn Huskey and husband Lavon, Saffell; and two grandchildren, Clinton Sharp and Marlee Sharp.

Funeral was Saturday at 11 a.m. at Crawford Church with Loy Wood officiating. Burial was in Crawford Cemetery at Everton under the direction of Kirby and Family Funeral Home of Mountain Home.

Family members served as pallbearers.

Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation.

An online guestbook is available at

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Charles Lee Speirs

Charles Lee Speirs, 66, of Calico Rock, father of Shawn Speirs of Walnut Ridge and Tina Arnold of Hoxie, died Aug. 30, 2009, in Calico Rock. Funeral was Sept. 2 at the Eddie's Family Funeral Home in Calico Rock. Burial was in Fox Cemetery.

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James Otis Thompson

James Otis Thompson, 92, of Batesville, died Sept. 12, 2009.

Born June 26, 1917, near Strawberry, he was the son of Leonard and Bertha Sides Thompson. He served in the Army and Air Force during World War II and the Korean War.

Survivors include four daughters, Jeanne Olafson, Vickie Smith and Julie Wankel, all of Illinois, and Chrystal Spencer, Georgia; a sister, Mae Belle Sisk, Cave City; 14 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was Monday at 11 a.m. at Ward Cemetery, near Strawberry, under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

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J.O. Ward

J.O. Ward, 82, of Hoxie, died Sept. 10, 2009. Born Sept. 9, 1927, in Saffell, he was the son of Walter and Anna Bell Callahan Ward. He was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge.

He was preceded in death by a son, Johnny Ward; a brother, William Ward; two half-sisters, Laura Birmingham and Louise Hoggard; a half-brother, Arthur Howard; and a great-granddaughter, Madeline VanOven.

Survivors include his wife, Lou Runyan Ward, whom he married Feb. 19, 1949; four daughters, Anna Rice, Jonesboro, Linda Church and Betty Ward, both of Walnut Ridge, and Tracy Wallace, Atoka, Tenn.; three sons, W.D. Ward, Hoxie, and James Ward and Michael Ward, both of Williford; 21 grandchildren; and 29 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 2 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Bro. Joel McMasters officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park.

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