December 16, 2009 Edition

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Luke Conrad Blackwell Dani Leigh Gibbs Brayden Austin Giesman


Ezell ~ Golden McCormick ~ Ingram Olvey ~ Rorex


Mary Blackshear Mary Brawley Teddy Gene Caldwell
Paul Callahan Bobby Gene Ezell Homer Ray Horsman
Jeff C. Lawson Melvin Madsen Jacob Andrew Miller
Helen Elzine Ozley Stella Irene Pauley James Pickney
Velma Ruth Robert Louie Spargo Henrietta Stone
Hazel Margaret Swatsenbarg


Luke Conrad Blackwell

Derek and Ashley Blackwell of Jonesboro have announced the birth of their first child, a son, born Dec. 3, 2009, at St. Bernards Birth Care Center in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed six pounds, 14.6 ounces, and has been named Luke Conrad Blackwell.

Grandparents are Gary and Rhonda Little of Walnut Ridge and Dale and Sherlyn Blackwell of Jonesboro.

Great-grandparents are Brooks Little of Walnut Ridge, Ann Conrad of Sacrament, Ky., Russell and Lucille Blackwell of Jonesboro and Troy and Lola Mae Burney of Mt. Grove, Mo.

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Dani Leigh Gibbs

Blain and Amanda Gibbs of Bono have announced the birth of a daughter, born on Dec. 2, 2009, at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro. The baby weighed seven pounds, two ounces, and has been named Dani Leigh Gibbs.

Grandparents are Dennis and Rosanna Brown of Pocahontas, Danny Gibbs of Hoxie and Betty Gibbs of Fayetteville.

Christine Gibbs of Hoxie is the great-grandmother.

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Brayden Austin Giesman

David and Megan Giesman of Trumann have announced the birth of a son, born Dec. 4, 2009, at St. Bernards Hospital Birthcare Center in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed seven pounds, seven ounces, and has been named Brayden Austin.

He has two siblings, Andrew, 4, and Ally, 2, and two half-brothers, Tucker, 7, and DJ, 5.

Grandparents are Roy Paul and Kelly Davidson of Walnut Ridge and George and Pat Giesman of Trumann.

Grant-grandparents are Cloyce and Barbra Davidson of Walnut Ridge, Clarence and Mary Sprinkle of Evening Shade and Helen Sharmon of Fort Smith.

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Ezell ~ Golden

Natalie Golden became the bride of Justin Ezell on Nov. 17, 2009, during a 4 p.m. ceremony at the Breezes Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.

Baron Simmonoh officiated the informal, double-ring ceremony.

Parents of the couple are Randy and Sally Golden and Sherry Ezell, all of Walnut Ridge, and the late Herman Ezell.

The bride is the granddaughter of Edward Golden of Walnut Ridge and the late Edna Golden and the late Noble and Wilma Moss, who lived in West Plains, Mo. She is a graduate of Walnut Ridge High School and Arkansas State University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology. She is employed with Ritter Communications.

The groom is the grandson of the late Weldon and Orene Strickland and the late Sylvester and Effie Ezell. He is a graduate of Hoxie High School. He is employed with Farm Service.

Following a honeymoon in Jamaica, the couple are at home at 824 Southwest Second Street in Walnut Ridge.

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McCormick ~ Ingram

Heather Brooke Ingram became the bride of Loren Ervin "Trey" McCormick III on Nov. 14, 2009, at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Annieville.

Parents of the couple are Bill and Shelia Ingram of Imboden and Loren Ervin "Chip" McCormick II of Manila.

The bride was given in marriage by her father.

Brandy Rogers of Heber Springs, sister of the bride, served as matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Lanell Goza and Savannah Goza, both of Jonesboro.

The best man was Weston Moore of Manila. Stephen Halfacre of Louisiana and Josh Brannca of Little Rock served as groomsmen.

Evan Wallace and Ashten Wallace of Manila served as ring bearer and flower girl, respectively.

Ushers were Dylan and Tanner Rogers of Heber Springs.

Cindy Boyd provided nuptial music. Kaitlyn Staggs of Lake City presided at the bride's book.

Following a three-day wedding trip to Memphis, the couple are at home in Jonesboro.

Out-of-county guests attending the wedding and reception, which was held at the church's Family Life Center, were: Randal, Brandy, Dylan and Tanner Rogers of Heber Springs; Ervin and Janette McCormick, Chip McCormick and Niki and Ty Tyler, all of Manila; Lanell and Savannah Goza and Bailey Chavez, all of Jonesboro; and Kaitlyn Staggs of Lake City.

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Olvey ~ Rorex

Brandon Scott Olvey and Enid Corrine Rorex were united in marriage at 2 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2009. The service was officiated by Rev. Victor H. Nixon at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

The bride is the daughter of Terry and Carolyn Rorex of Imboden and the granddaughter of Corrine Clayton of Pocahontas, the late Kenneth Clayton and the late Clifford Claud and Dorothy Rorex.

The groom is the son of Richard and Karen Olvey and the grandson of the late William Warren and Helen Jayne Scott and Jean Martin Olvey of Pocahontas and the late C.E. Olvey Jr.

The bride, given in marriage by her father, wore an ivory satin gown with a sweetheart neckline. The gown was embellished with beading on the bodice and along the hemline of the chapel-length train. She wore a fingertip-length veil edged with beading and carried a bouquet of hydrangea, roses, freesia and dahlias.

Lee Sun Leoncavallo of Maumelle served as matron of honor, Rachel Humphrey of Little Rock served as maid of honor and Heather Olvey of Little Rock served as a bridesmaid.

Samantha Olvey of Little Rock served as the flower girl.

Lance Olvey of Little Rock served as best man, and Jay Baskins and Perry Konis of Little Rock served as groomsmen.

Harper Rorex of Imboden served as the ring bearer.

Guests were seated by Rob Olvey of Pocahontas and Clifford Rorex of Imboden.

A reception was held following the wedding at Lafayette Square. The bride and groom enjoyed a honeymoon trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico and reside in Little Rock.

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Mary Blackshear

Mary Blackshear, 80, of Jonesboro, formerly of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 9, 2009, at Craighead Nursing Center.

Born June 10, 1929, at Clover Bend, she was the daughter of Ed and Mary McNally Gardner. She was a retired sales clerk for Sears and was a member of the First Assembly of God.

She was preceded in death by a great-grandson, Chandler Christopher Blackshear.

Survivors include a son, Alen Blackshear, Owasso, Okla.; a daughter, Martha Tolson and husband Barry, Jonesboro; three grandchildren, Suzanne Blackshear, Courtney Blackshear and Drew Tolson; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Friday at 2 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church in Walnut Ridge with Bros. Dale Hughart and Tim Campbell officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Courtney Blackshear, Drew Tolson, Mike Pinkston, Rob Brewer, Joe Lewis and Erin Henson.

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Mary Brawley

Mary Brawley, 67, of Paragould, mother of Richard Keith Brawley of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 12, 2009, at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center. Graveside service is today at 10 a.m. at Linwood Cemetery with Rev. Jason Noel officiating. Heath Funeral Home of Paragould has charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at

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Teddy Gene Caldwell

Teddy Gene Caldwell, 76, of Caseyville, Ill., died Dec. 10, 2009.

He was born in Walnut Ridge, where he lived until 2002.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, JoAnn James Caldwell; his parents, Bert and Arlena Campbell Caldwell; and three brothers, Delmar Caldwell, Bobby Caldwell and David Caldwell.

Survivors include his wife, Doris Rice Caldwell; two sons, Michael Caldwell and wife Jana, and Ricky Caldwell and wife Angie, all of Pocahontas; a sister, Betty Gray and husband Oscar, Jonesboro; two grandchildren, Nicholas Caldwell and Amanda Caldwell.

Graveside service is Thursday at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis under the direction of Baue Funeral Home of St. Charles, Mo.

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. at Fellowship Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

An online guestbook is available at

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Paul Callahan

William "Paul" Callahan, 83, of Pocahontas, died Dec. 11, 2009, at his home.

He lived most of his life in Black Rock and was a truck driver, cattleman and 32nd degree Master Mason. He served on the Black Rock School Board for 14 years and was a member of the Black Rock Lions Club. He was of the Pentecostal faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Shelby and Valie Sullivan Callahan.

Survivors include his wife, Kathryn Spades Callahan; a daughter, Mary Baughman, West Fork; two sons, Bill Callahan and Jeff Callahan, both of Pocahontas; 11 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Monday at 1 p.m. at New Life Full Gospel Church in Black Rock with Wayne Bryant officiating. Burial was in Sullivan Cemetery at Calamine under the direction of House-Gregg Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Jody Callahan, Mark Baughman, John Callahan, Kevin Baughman, Jacob Callahan, Zack Rogers, Chris Matthews and Todd Matthews. Honorary pallbearers were Durward Holder, Charles Davidson, Octavius Adamson, Jerry Gilliam, Tommy Campbell, Billy Counce and Larry Jordan.

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Bobby Gene Ezell

Bobby Gene Ezell, 78, of Imboden, died Dec. 13, 2009, at his home.

Born Feb. 21, 1931, he was the son of Acey and Florence Chambers Ezell. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Imboden Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Edith Pettyjohn, Dorothy Purser and Estelle Starling; and a brother, Carl Ezell.

Survivors include his wife, Edna L. Ezell, whom he married Dec. 21, 1951; two daughters, Sharon Asari, Iowa City, Iowa, and Karen Fenton, Oakland, Tenn.; two sons, Jeff Ezell, Imboden, and Clay Ezell, St. Louis; two sisters, Ruth Dunivan, St. John, Mo., and Lois Starling, Victoria, Texas; two brothers, Bill Ezell, St. Louis, and Roy Ezell, Mexico, Mo.; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral is today at 2 p.m. at the Imboden Church of Christ with Wayne Herring officiating. Burial will be in Hope Cemetery at Imboden under the direction of House-Gregg Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Luke Ezell, Cary Fenton, Alex Ezell, Jason Ezell, Sean Carson and Chad Carson. Honorary pallbearers will be Michael Timmons and Joel Kelly.

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Homer Ray Horsman

Homer Ray Horsman, 83, of Florence, Ala., died Dec. 8, 2009, at Florence Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Born Dec. 26, 1925, in Water Valley, he was the son of Homer Limuel and Mildred Blansett Horsman. He graduated from Sloan-Hendrix High School in 1944.

Upon graduation he immediately left for the Navy and served in the Pacific aboard the USS Baham until the end of the war. He then enrolled in Harding College at Searcy and graduated in 1950 with a degree in chemistry.

He later moved to Shoals, Ala., where he worked for 37 years as a chemist with TVA until his retirement in 1988.

He was a member of the Mars Hill Church of Christ, where he served as a deacon and an elder.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Blanche Irene Rickman Horsman, whom he married in 1951; three daughters, Marilyn Sullivan and husband Dalton, Pocahontas, Paula Mason and husband Mike, Sherwood, and Millie Dauck and husband Stan, Bernie, Mo.; a son, Don Horsman, Greenville, Texas; two brothers, Robert Horsman and wife Lucille, Weir, Kan., and Donald Horsman and wife Betty, Perryville; two sisters, Marie Matthews and husband Todd, Winfield, Kan., and Barbara Archer, Imboden; and six grandchildren, Anna Mason, Cy Mason, Hannah Dauck, Titus Dauck, Barclay Sullivan and Clayton Sullivan.

Funeral was Thursday at 3 p.m. at Greenview Funeral Home in Florence, Ala. A graveside service was held Saturday at Old Union Cemetery in Randolph County under the direction of Greenview Funeral Home.

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Jeff C. Lawson

Jeff C. Lawson, 73, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 7, 2009, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Jan. 9, 1936, in Sedgwick, he was a factory machinery mechanic and was of the Baptist belief.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Davis Lawson, whom he married April 18, 1994; his parents, Columbus and Mary Lamb Lawson; and a sister, Lovanda Weist.

Survivors include five children, Debbie Robinson, Texas, Tina Koloff, Nevada, Mike Lawson, California, Jackie Webb, Mississippi, and Tami Lawson-Churchill, Alaska; a brother, Richard Lawson, Walnut Ridge; two sisters, Peggy Jones and Virginia Greenslate, both of Mississippi; 11 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 2 p.m. in Bryan Chapel with Bros. Royce Schanda and Marion Stringer officiating. Burial was in Manning #2 Cemetery, near Hoxie, under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Marley Robinson, J.R. Rice, Kyle Hathcoat, Gene Lawson, Gary Bagwell and Duane Greenslate. Honorary pallbearer was Rick Hathcoat.

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Melvin Madsen

Melvin Madsen, 80, of Imboden, died Dec. 6, 2009, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Oct. 7, 1929, in Sedalia, Mo., he was the son of William and Nellie Erickson Madsen. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving in Korea, and a factory foreman. He was of the Baptist belief.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Polly Tinker Madsen, on Feb. 13, 1998, whom he married July 3, 1948.

Survivors include three sons, Robert Madsen, Pahrump, Nev., Michael Madsen, Imboden, and Timothy Madsen, Old Forge, N.Y.; a daughter, Karen Madsen, Pahrump, Nev.; a sister, Delois Flanigan, South Bend, Ind.; five grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. in Bryan Chapel. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

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Jacob Andrew "Jake" Miller

Jacob Andrew "Jake" Miller, 23, of Beebe, grandson of Norma Jean Boles of Strawberry, died Dec. 10, 2009, as a result of a car accident. Burial was Saturday in Harmony Cemetery under the direction of Powell Funeral Home of Searcy. An online guestbook is available at

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Helen Elzine Ozley

Helen Elzine Ozley, 76, of Rushville, Ill., died Dec. 10, 2009.

Born Aug. 20, 1933, in Lawrence County, she was the daughter of Morris and Ruth Hilburn Richey.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Mildred Shawver.

Survivors include her husband, James Henry Ozley; two sons, Rick Gulbrantson and wife Fiona, Hot Springs, and Rod Gulbrantson and companion Jeanette, Rockford, Ill.; two daughters, Michele Fitzjarrald and husband Phil, Rushville, Ill., and Lyn Ozley, Rockford, Ill.; a sister, Onida Ellison, Eaton; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral is Wednesday at 11 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home in Lynn with Luther Jones officiating. Burial will be in Old Lebanon Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Dag Richey, Jim Penn, Charles Ellison, Kyle Pratt, Jason Gaines and Loyd Richey.

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Stella Irene Pauley

Stella Irene Pauley, 91, of Paragould, died Dec. 8, 2009, at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.

Born Oct. 29, 1918, she was the daughter of William Calvin and Minnie Myrtle Plumlee Robertson.

She and her husband pastored several churches over a 40-year period of time, including in Lawrence County. They also farmed for several years in Greene County.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. Henry Clay Pauley, on Dec. 11, 1990, whom she married April 3, 1944; four brothers, Willie Robertson, Rex Robertson, Marvin Robertson and an infant brother; and a sister, Gladys Faye Robertson.

Survivors include three brothers, Harlin Robertson, Orville, Calif., Tonie Robertson, Riverbank, Calif., and Conie Robertson, Junction City, Calif.; and a sister, Stacie Pickering, Orville, Calif.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at Heath Funeral Home in Paragould with Revs. Aaron Winfrey and Donald Winfrey officiating. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Mt. Zion Cemetery.

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James Pickney

James Pickney, 43, of Black Rock, died Dec. 14, 2009, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Born Aug. 30, 1966, in Walnut Ridge, he was a carpenter and was of the Pagan belief.

He was preceded in death by his stepfather, Jim Ingram.

Survivors include his wife, Penny Halstead Pickney, Pocahontas; a son, Dallas Pickney, Jonesboro; a daughter, Jasmine Pickney, Jonesboro; his father, James Pickney, Black Rock; his mother, Linda Ingram, Pocahontas; a stepbrother, Jimmy Ingram, Pocahontas; three half-sisters, Maelynne Parker, Walnut Ridge, Shanna Ingram, Pocahontas, and Janet Pickney, Black Rock.

Arrangements will be announced by Bryan Funeral Home.

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Velma Ruth Robert

Velma Ruth Robert, 86, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 10, 2009, after a diagnosis of liver cancer just over a month ago.

Born March 23, 1923, in Beech Grove, she was the youngest of five children born to the late William Thomas Campbell and Louisa Hooten Campbell.

Although Velma's father passed away when she was only 18 months old, her mother instilled them with great work ethics and Christian principles, working through the 1920s and 1930s with ingenuity and modesty.

She attended Big Brown School in the eighth grade, where she met future husband, Manford Robert. She graduated as salutatorian from Delaplaine High School in 1941. Six months later, on Nov. 1, she married Manford. After he returned from World War II, they eventually bought a dry goods store that was later turned into a very successful shoe store that stayed in business for almost 50 years in Walnut Ridge.

She was a humble, but intelligent lady, with a sound business mind. Never judging and always providing help when no one was expecting or looking. Velma put the needs of others before her own. She was a caretaker of loved ones and cats. She lived simply and gave her life to the service of others without hesitation or regret. She had that "keep on keepin' on" attitude, running the race with all her might.

She loved her family dearly, and modeled an exemplary life in how to treat others, how to hold joy in her spirit during difficult times, and how to love Jesus Christ. She was a loving and dedicated friend and neighbor, and a faithful member of Main Street Church of Christ in Walnut Ridge. For over 50 years, she was an active member of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Walnut Ridge.

The greatest legacy she has left is the drive she had for life, her willingness to never give up, and her perseverance to be Christ-like.

Survivors include a daughter, Sandra Robert, Cabot, a son, Lavelle Robert and wife Kaye, Fort Worth, Texas; a sister, Lillian Mock, Walnut Ridge; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Sunday at 2 p.m. at Main Street Church of Christ. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of House-Gregg Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Bill Davis, Bill Wilcoxson, J.D. Crews, C.L. Clark, Kevin Robert and Norman Neece.

Memorials may be made to the Children's Home in Paragould.

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Louie Spargo

Louie Spargo, 93, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 13, 2009, at Five Rivers Medical Center in Pocahontas.

Born Aug. 17, 1916, in Hoxie, he was the son of John Richard and Maudie Allen Spargo. He was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County and a farmer.

He was preceded in death by a brother, J.R. Spargo; three sisters, Cecil Spargo, Leona Holder and Lucille Robins; and two grandchildren.

Survivors include his children, Charles Spargo and wife Mary, Walnut Ridge, Glendon L. Spargo and wife Linda, Jonesboro, Barbara Ann Pierce and husband Jim, Little Rock, Linda K. Graham and Patty D. Brown and husband Larry, all of Rockford, Ill., Bonnie G. Butche and husband Bob, Duluth, Minn., Larry G. Spargo and wife Debbie, and Ricky D. Spargo and wife Debbie, all of Pocahontas; 20 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

Funeral is Friday at 11 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Don Winfrey and Glenn Smith officiating. Burial will be in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be Michael Cain, Eugene Fultner, William Bill Allen, Bob Heard, Ted Heard, Mitchell Little and Gary Little.

Visitation is Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

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Henrietta Stone

Henrietta Stone, 71, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 8, 2009, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice Home.

She was born Jan. 15, 1938, in Walnut Ridge.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Delmar Sr. and Stella Marshall Massey; three sisters, Sue Cline, Mary Wilson and Bonnie Fender; a brother, Pete Massey; and a grandson, Kim David Swartzlander.

Survivors include her husband, Johnie Stone; four daughters, Lisa Foley, Walnut Ridge, Janie Carlile and Cyndi Wood, both of Paragould, and Jennifer Graves, Marmaduke; two stepsons, Larry Stone, Tonganoxie, Kan., and Gary Stone, Athem, Ariz.; three stepdaughters, Linda Debow, Hoxie, Joan Stout, Walnut Ridge, and Brenda Birmingham, Portland, Ore.; a brother, Delmar Massey Jr., Walcott; 19 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 2 p.m. at McNabb Funeral Home in Pocahontas with Sam Stewart and Jerry Clements officiating. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery at Walcott.

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Hazel Margaret Swatsenbarg

Hazel Margaret Swatsenbarg, 71, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 8, 2009, at Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab.

Born April 13, 1938, in Hoxie, she was a homemaker and was of the Assembly of God belief.

She was preceded in death by two sons, Ronnie Brewer and James Allen Brewer; and her mother, Lois Watson.

Survivors include her husband, Lloyd Swatsenbarg, Tulsa, Okla.; a daughter, Eugenia Sanchez and husband Faustina, Rockford, Ill.; four sons, Douglas Brewer and wife Willetta, Randy Brewer and Bradley Brewer, all of Tulsa, Okla., and Sam Burton and wife Debbie, Walnut Ridge; 16 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

The body was cremated. House-Gregg Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

No services are planned.

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