February 22, 2012 Edition

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Payton Skylar Thomas


Burrow ~ Benson Kieffner ~ Wooldridge White ~ Ballard


Justin DeWayne Bell Alice Ruth Calhoun Billy V. Cook
Margaret Hamilton Katherine Charlene Hood Mary Pauline Jones
Kathryn Lady Ethel Lawston Lois Meeker
Hubert G. Phipps Marsha Rice Jane Grace Townsend
Ray Warner Freeda Lorene Watts Jimmie Arthur Willcoxson


Payton Skylar Thomas

Nathan and Krystal Thomas of Jonesboro have announced the birth of a daughter on Feb. 6, 2012 at St. Bernards Birthcare Center.

The baby weighed seven pounds and was named Payton Skylar Thomas.

She has two brothers Caleb, 13 and Jason, seven, and a sister Brilee, two.

Grandparents are Randy Smith of Coral Springs, Fla., Perry and Susan Smith and Kelly Thomas of Harrisburg, Brian and Tommi Teeter of Branson and Michael "Button" Wallin of Walnut Ridge.

Great-grandparents are Chuck and Sue Pyle of Hoxie and Gerald and Barbara Crawford of Harrisburg.

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Burrow ~ Benson

Melanie Young and Billy Ray Jones of Powhatan announce the approaching marriage of their daughter, Brittany Desiree Burrow, to Taylor Jeffrey Benson, son of Jeff and Cheryl Benson of Powhatan.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Young of Black Rock. She is a 2010 Black Rock High School graduate and is a sophomore at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Richard and Jackie Birt of Powhatan and the great-grandson of Hazel Doll of Powhatan. He is a 2004 of graduate Merrill F. West High School in California. He is an assistant manager at Sonic Drive-In in Walnut Ridge.

The couple will exchange vows on May 12 at 3 p.m. at the Crossroads Baptist Church in Portia. All family and friends are invited to attend.

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Kieffner ~ Wooldridge

Stephanie Kieffner and Jeremy Wooldridge, both of Paragould, have announced their engagement and forthcoming marriage.

The bride-elect is the daughter of Steve and Mitzy Kieffner of Paragould and the granddaughter of Billie Kieffner of Paragould and the late Alvis Kieffner and Armilda Tyson of Powhatan and the late Bill Tyson.

She is a 2006 graduate of Greene County Tech and graduated from Arkansas State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

She is employed as a registered nurse at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould.

The prospective groom is the son of Tim and Lisa Wooldridge of Paragould. He is the grandson of Wimp and Shirley Wooldridge and Toady Woodson, all of Paragould, and the late Ted Woodson.

He is a 2002 graduate of Crowley's Ridge Academy and a 2006 graduate of Arkansas State with a bachelor's in business administration. He completed his master's in social work at ASU in 2011. He is employed as a therapist at Families, Inc.

The wedding will be Saturday at the Opera House in Kennett, Mo.

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White ~ Ballard

Keith and Sharon White of Charlotte, N.C., have announced the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Christin White of Fayetteville, to Andrew Ballard of Fayetteville, son of Jerry and Blair Ballard and Tammy Sears, all of Walnut Ridge.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Barbara Brocato of Denver and the late Anthony Brocato and Charles White of Maumelle and the late Rose White.

She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and works in merchandising for Walmart in Bentonville.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Gary and Maggie Sears and Jerry and Myra Ballard, all of Walnut Ridge.

He has a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Arkansas and is a special education teacher at Ozark Guidance in Springdale.

The couple will exchange vows on May 26 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fayetteville.

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Justin DeWayne Bell

Justin DeWayne Bell, 26, of Saffell, died Feb. 16, 2012, in Rogers.

Born July 23, 1985, in Newport, he graduated from River Valley High School in 2004 and received a degree in surveying from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton in 2007. He was employed as a surveyor with the Arkansas Highway Department.

He was a good kid, big-hearted, would do anything for anybody, and always had a big smile. He said his dad was his best friend and his brand was B_. He loved his cows, his animals, his honeybees, the outdoors, tractors and hay season. Justin was a member of the Strawberry Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Charles Bratcher.

Survivors include his parents, Jimmy and Regina Bell of Saffell; paternal grandparents, A.L. Bell and Delores (Martz) Bell of Saffell; maternal grandmother, Janice Bratcher of Strawberry; uncle, Bobby Bratcher and wife, Denise, of San Antonio, Texas; aunts, Renee Hoover and husband, Robbie, of Cabot and Michelle Parks and husband, Frank, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; cousins, Dakota and Zakary Bratcher, Michael, Kara, Elyssia, and Sydney Hoover, and Logan Parks; and many friends and co-workers.

Funeral was Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Strawberry Church of Christ with Jerry Clements and Curt Howard officiating. Burial was in Union Cemetery under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home of Batesville.

Pallbearers were Robert Hendrickson, Jody Doyle, Kenny Digman, Michael Hoover, Roger Ward, Scott Ward, Shawn Sinele and Chris Sinele. Honoray pallbearers were Zakary Bratcher, Travis Sutton, Lynn Martz, the Arkansas State Highway Surveyors Division, the River Valley High School Class of 2004 and the Saffell Volunteer Fire Department.

Memorials may be made to the Children's Homes, Inc., 5515 Old Walcott Road, Paragould, AR 72450.

An online guestbook is available at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.


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Alice Ruth Calhoun

Alice Ruth Calhoun, 78, of Hoxie, died Feb. 14, 2012, at her home.

Born June 22, 1933, in Judsonia, she was the daughter of Roy and Callie Meharg Pankey. She lived most of her life in California before moving to Hoxie 21 years ago. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Hoxie.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Wayne Calhoun, in 1994; a sister, Ethel Rose Davis; and a grandson, Jason Harold.

Survivors include two daughters, Pat Tribble, Hoxie, and Donna Harold and husband Lloyd, Marysville, Calif.; a son, Rick Calhoun and wife Terry, Bald Knob; a brother, Howard Pankey and wife Carolyn, Imboden; a sister, Peggy Wolfe, Searcy; five grandchildren, Chris Calhoun, Candace Dawson, Johnny Kendrick, Kari Cobb and Shelly Leonard; 16 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Howard Pankey officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Pallbearers were Chris Calhoun, Clayton Cobb, Jake Cobb, Joshua Dawson, Deshawn Pankey and Tyler Cobb.

An online guestbook is available at www.housegreggfh.com.

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Billy V. Cook

Billy Verlon "Bill" Cook, 82, of Trumann, died Feb. 13, 2012, at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro.

Born Sept. 1, 1929, in Hoxie, he was the son of John Franklin "Bill" and Ethel Mae Hendrickson Cook. He lived most of his life in Trumann and was the owner and operator of Trumann Hardware from 1977 to 2005. He was formerly with the Firestone store in Trumann.

He was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Trumann, and a Bible teacher for God's New Life MRTC in Marked Tree. He was an Eagle Scout in troop #58.

He played on the football, basketball and baseball teams in high school and was a member of All Star Team of the First NEA basketball tournament. He played college football at Magnolia A & M, and later for the Army.

He was a member of Trumann Athletic Booster Club, president of the Community House Foundation while it was being restored, the Lions Club and the Jaycees. He was a 50-year member and chaplain of American Legion. He served on the Trumann City Council and received the Outstanding Citizen Award. He was instrumental in the building of the American Legion Memorial Park; the Walk of Honor and Boy Scout Hut and restored Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. He was a former member of the Trumann Housing Authority.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty B. Cook; a daughter, Roben Cathleen Cook; a son, Kerry Verlon Cook; and two brothers, Jerry Cook and Robert Cook.

Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth Leanne Mitchell, Trumann; a son, Timothy Vaughn Cook, Proctor; four sisters, Betty Lou Walker, Walnut Ridge, Peggy Sue Hastings, Oxford, Miss., and Mary Ann Craig and Patricia Neece, both of Pocahontas; four brothers, Tom Cook, Bradford, Johnny Cook, Trumann, Charlie Cook, Walnut Ridge, and Larry Cook, Hoxie; seven grandchildren, Monica Ray Cook, Amber Cook, Jodie Cook, Dustin Cook, Misty Sample, Jordan Heavener and Kirsten Mitchell; and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Trumann with Dr. Tad Rogers officiating. Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery in Jonesboro under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home of Trumann.

Pallbearers were Danny Bivens, Dale Taber, Bobby Huskey, Harley Timbs, Doug Timbs, Jason L. Cook and Eric Cook. Honorary pallbearers were Dustin Cook, Frankie "Peanut" Ray, Jordan Heavener, Wayne Mitchell, Eddie Penna, Tobe Slinkard, Eric Dyer, Gerald Smith and the deacons of Trumann First Baptist Church.

An online guestbook is available at www.thompsonfuneralhome.net.

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Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton, 89, of Cave City, mother of Susan Jeffery of Strawberry, died Feb. 14, 2012, in Cave City. Entombment was in Kirby's Tucker Memorial Mausoleum under the direction of Kirby Funeral Home of Mountain Home. Memorials may be made to the Alley-White American Legion Post #52 Auxiliary. An online guestbook is available at www.kirbyandfamily.com.

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Katherine Charlene Hood

Katherine Charlene Hood, 64, of Hoxie, died Feb. 16, 2012.

Born Nov. 25, 1947, in Black Rock, she was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County and was of the Baptist belief.

She was preceded in death by a son, Christopher Hood; her parents, Charles and Mary Camper Bratcher; and a brother, Bobby Wright.

Survivors include two sons, Wade Hood, Texas, and Kelly Hood, Malvern; two brothers, Charles Bratcher Jr., of the home, and John Bratcher, Georgia; three sisters, Debbie Brown, Alabama, Deanna Hartman, Texas, and Mary Couch, Florida; and six grandchildren.

No services are scheduled. The body was cremated. House-Gregg Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at www.housegreggfh.com.

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Mary Pauline Jones

Mary Pauline Jones, 72, of Smithville, died Feb. 20, 2012, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Born Nov. 11, 1939, at O'Kean, she was a homemaker and was of the Baptist faith. She had formerly worked at Taylor's Greenhouse.

She was preceded in death by a son, Johnny Dewayne Jones; her parents, Dean and Marie Ragsdale Cullum; two sisters, Geraldine Gentry and Willene Jones; and a brother, Bill Cullum.

Survivors include her husband, Johnny Jones, whom she married Nov. 15, 1960; two sons, Orville Dean Jones, Black Rock, and Jerry Lamar Jones, Brookland; three daughters, Carol Ann Sturman, Taylor, S.C., Rebecca Deanna Skimahorn, Supply, and Kimberly Sue Collier, Walnut Ridge; four brothers, Jack Cullum and Jody Woodard, both of Walnut Ridge, Jerry Cullum, Griffin, Ind., and Gene Cullum, Booneville, Miss.; two sisters, Murlene Lowery, California, and Pearline Reb, Corning; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Graveside service is Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at New Hope Cemetery with Bro. Billy Mack Jones officiating. Bryan Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers will be Billy Cullum, Robert Cullum, Freddie Cullum, Charlie Cullum, Pete Woodard and Bobby Joe Woodard. Honorary pallbearers will be Harvey Cullum, Eric Woodard, Jonathan Cullum, Tyler Cullum, Jeremy Cullum, Jody Dean Woodard and Timmy Poletti.

Visitation is tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home in Hoxie.

An online guestbook is available at www.bryanfh.com.

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Kathryn Lady

Kathryn Richardson Lady of Hot Springs, formerly of Hoxie, passed away Sunday, February 19, 2012, at the age of 81.

She was born April, 18, 1930, to Joseph Bryan Richardson and Eunice Rush Richardson in Hoxie. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Harold Lloyd Lady Jr., and a daughter, Robin Honl.

She is survived by her sister, Joyce Green of Walnut Ridge; and brothers, Joe and Terry Richardson, both of Hoxie. She is also survived by her daughter, Cecile (Jamie) Jones of Little Rock; and son, Harold Lloyd Lady III (Susan) of Walnut Ridge; as well as grandchildren, Hali Jones, Laura Lady Woods (Ron), Kathryn (Kakki) Jones, Emily Tucker (Travis), Hank Lady (Janet), Katie Jamison (Michael) and Peyton Honl. She also had four great grandchildren, Madison Jones, Lyla Woods, Marlee Lady and Lane Tucker.

Her world revolved around her family, and she was adored and dearly loved as Mother, Mother-in-law and especially as Grandmother and Greatgram.

Kathryn taught second grade for 28 years in Hoxie, where she and her sister Joyce touched many lives during their teaching careers. Kathryn's contributions will always be remembered as positive and beneficial, and she will remain a model for all her students and family. She was a member of the Hoxie United Methodist Church.

The family would like to express deep appreciation to Monica Brown, care-giver and friend, who greatly enhanced her quality of life the past several months.

Kathryn will be laid to rest next to Harold at Lawrence Memorial Cemetery in a graveside service today at 10 a.m. under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home. The service will be officiated by Rev. Bonda Moyer, pastor at Hoxie United Methodist Church.

An online guestbook is available at www.bryanfh.com.


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Ethel Lawston

Ethel Mae Lawston, 77, of Sun City, Ariz., formerly of Lawrence County, died Feb. 14, 2012, at Ingram Family Home in Sun City.

Funeral services are private for the family.

Higginbotham Funeral Service had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at www.higginbothamfuneralservice.com.

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Lois Meeker

Lois Meeker, 79, died Feb. 15, 2012, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Born March 2, 1932, in Walnut Ridge, she was the daughter of Charlie and Annie Ruel Heard. A lifelong resident of Lawrence County, she was a homemaker and a member of the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ in Hoxie.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Meeker; two daughters, Georgia Gullett and Diane Mize; and two sons, Ronnie Meeker and Floyd Dean Meeker.

Survivors include four sons, Charles "Butch" Meeker, Junior Meeker and Billy Meeker, all of Hoxie, and Ray Meeker, Salem, Mo.; a daughter, Kathy Young, Hoxie; two sisters, Charlene Nelson, Granite City, Ill., and Onia Wilburn, Walnut Ridge; a sister-in-law, Thelma Heard, Hoxie; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Sunday at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Ray Meeker and Rebecca Lapiro officiating. Burial was in Whittaker Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Josh Meeker, Junior Lee Meeker, Odell Meeker, James Meeker, Justin Meeker, T.J. Nash and Jamie Mize. Honorary pallbearer was Eric Songers.

An online guestbook is available at www.housegreggfh.com.

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Hubert G. Phipps

Hubert G. Phipps, 74, of Jonesboro, died Feb. 17, 2012, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House.

Born May 16, 1937, in Lawrence County, he was a U.S. Army veteran and worked in sales for 25 years. After retiring, he played on the Trumann Senior Softball Team for several years. He was of the Assembly of God faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Anna Belle Phipps; a sister, Maxine Davis; and a brother, Tom Phipps Jr.

Survivors include his wife, Janette Phipps; a son, Rex Phipps and wife Jenny, Ozark, Mo.; two sisters, Virginia Neece, Walnut Ridge, and Bonnie Caples, Jonesboro; and two granddaughters, Paige Phipps and Maggie Phipps.

Private burial was under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home of Jonesboro.

Memorials may be made to the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House, 400 East St., Jonesboro, AR 72401.

An online guestbook is available at www.emersonfuneralhome.com.

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Marsha Rice

Marsha Marie Rice, 45, of Bono, died Feb. 17, 2012, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born March 7, 1966, in Rockford, Ill., she was a nurse's aid for the Arkansas Area Agency on Aging and was of the Baptist belief.

She was preceded in death by a brother, David Rice.

Survivors include her parents, Claude Jr. and Dixie Lakey Rice, Walnut Ridge; a brother, Jeffrey Rice, Rockford; a sister, Michielle Rice, Powhatan; and her partner, Danny Johnson, Bono.

Private graveside service was Monday at Old Military Cemetery in Sedgwick with Bro. Robbie Hager officiating. Bryan Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at www.bryanfh.com.

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Jane Grace Wilson Townsend

Jane Grace Wilson Townsend, 77, Jackson, Tenn., died Feb. 15, 2012. Survivors include a son, Walter Corley Townsend III and wife Jennifer of Little Rock. Jennifer is the daughter of Don and Kay Matthews of Walnut Ridge. A memorial service was held Saturday at All Saints Church in Jackson. Memorials may be made to the All Saints Anglican Church.

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Ray Warner

Alfred Ray Warner, 95, of Hoxie, died Feb. 21, 2012, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Born Aug. 21, 1916, in Hoxie, he was the son of Andrew and Ora Tyler Warner. He was a farm machinery mechanic and a member of United Free Will Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by 10 siblings; and a grandson, Mark Warner.

Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Lucy Binkley Warner; a daughter, Shirley Heard and husband Bob, Hoxie; a son, Jerry Warner and wife Cindy, Walnut Ridge; three grandchildren, Rob Heard, Scott Heard and Dana Moore; four great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Arrangements will be announced by Bryan Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at www.bryanfh.com.

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Freeda Lorene Watts

Freeda Lorene Teel Watts, 84, of Stanwood, Wash., died Feb. 10, 2012, in Stanwood.

Born Feb. 17, 1927, in Walnut Ridge, she was the daughter of William H. and Dollie Bell Teel. She worked at the University of Washington in Seattle for 18 years.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Jack Watts; a daughter, Sue Collins and husband Ed; a son, Ron Reisner and wife Ann; a brother, William Teel, Walnut Ridge; and two grandchildren, Kenneth and Amanda.

A family graveside service was held Saturday at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue, Wash., under the direction of Sunset Hills Funeral Home. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

An online guestbook is available at www.sunsethillsfuneralhome.com.

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Jimmie Arthur Willcoxson

Jimmie Arthur Willcoxson, 72, of Paragould, died Feb. 19, 2012, at Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab.

Born Oct. 4, 1939, at Walcott, he was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Tommy Earnest "Cowboy" and Lizzie Opal Willcoxson; and a brother, Mack Wilson Willcoxson.

Survivors include his caretaker, Jim Diggs; several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Funeral was Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Mitchell Funeral Home with Sam Stewart officiating. Burial was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.

An online guestbook is available at www.mitchelfuneralhomes.com.

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