May 01, 2013 Edition

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Greyson Evan Manning Kaleb Oliver Smith-Ruiz


Jones ~ Cagle Kobb ~ Roberts


Theodore "T.R." Clay Julia Isabel Cochran Opal Halstead
Charles Hickman Ron E. Klinke Sterling Lee
Ralph Lewis Walter Nash Miers Stephen Sawyer
Mary M. Tucker Eva Verkler


Greyson Evan Manning

John and Lisa Manning of Glenpool, Okla., have announced the birth of their second child, a son, born April 9, 2013, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

The baby weighed seven pounds, nine ounces, and has been named Greyson Evan Manning. He has one sister, Chloe Faith, six.

Grandparents are Rick and Pamela Manning and Charles and Mary Spargo, all of Walnut Ridge.

Great-grandparents are James and Bobbie Manning and Veda Ingram, all of Walnut Ridge and Ethel Willcoxson of Hoxie.

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Kaleb Oliver Smith-Ruiz

Alex Ruiz of Walnut Ridge and Cheyenne Gribbins of Paragould have announced the birth of a son, born April 23, 2013, at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed nine pounds, eight ounces, and has been named Kaleb Oliver Smith-Ruiz. He has one sister, Kyleigh Gribbins, 20 months.

Grandparents are James and Angela Hodge and Robert Willfond, all of Walnut Ridge.

Great-grandparents are Lilly Willfond of Walnut Ridge and Shirley Ruiz of Newt, Iowa.

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Jones ~ Cagle

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Jones of Hoxie have announced the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Kelsie Danielle Jones, to James Robert Cagle, son of Jim Cagle of Walnut Ridge and Teresa Green of Hoxie.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Glendon and Ruby Graham of Walnut Ridge and Bud Jones of Hoxie and the late Hazel Jones. She is the great-granddaughter of Mabel Ward of Delaplaine.

She is a 2005 graduate of Hoxie High School and received a bachelor of science in nursing from Arkansas State University in 2010. She is employed as a registered nurse at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Sharon Webb of Hoxie and the late Jack Webb and Dallas and Anna Cagle of Walnut Ridge. He is the great-grandson of Roxie Buchner of Pocahontas.

He is a 2006 graduate of Hoxie High School and is employed at Downum's in Hoxie and O'Reilly Auto Parts in Jonesboro. He is also member of the Walnut Ridge Fire Department.

The couple will exchange vows on June 1 at 7 p.m. at Manley Chapel, located on the campus of Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. A reception will follow the ceremony at the Van Atkins Building in Downtown Walnut Ridge.

All family and friends are invited to attend.

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Kobb ~ Roberts

Anthony and Susan Kopp of Powhatan have announced the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Cerina Kopp, to Nicholas Roberts, son of Suzanne and David Fowler of Williford.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Cathie Kittler of Yellville, Bob Kopp of Hoxie, Lester Lindsey of Pocahontas and Shellie Collins of New York. She attended Hoxie High School and plans to leave for the Air Force in June.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Phylis Lester of Ravenden, Les Mangum of Kentucky and James and Willa Clements of Walnut Ridge. He attended Williford High School and is a deckhand for Jantran Barge Co.

The couple will exchange vows on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Crowley's Ridge lodge at Walcott. All family and friends are invited.

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Theodore "T.R." Clay

Theodore "T.R." Clay, 95, of Pocahontas, father of Robert Clay of Hoxie and Pamela Hawkins of Walnut Ridge, died April 28, at Randolph Home. Funeral is Thursday at 2 p.m. at McNabb Funeral Home. Burial will be in Harmony Cemetery. An online guestbook is available at

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Julia Isabel Cochran

Julia Isabel Belk Cochran was born on Nov. 17, 1906, and died on April 27, 2013. She was married to Lloyd Lee Cochran in August of 1928, and to this union two children were born, Winfred Cochran (June) and Alice Cochran Gregory (Charles).

She was a former resident of Lawrence County and graduated from Hoxie High School.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd; her son, Winfield; and her son-in-law, Charles.

She is survived by her daughter, Alice, of Piggott; and three grandchildren: Sarah Davis (Billy), David Gregory (Kelly), and Joe Gregory (Gena). She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and one daughter-in-law, June Cochran of Walnut Ridge.

She was a loyal member of the First United Methodist Church of Piggott. Isabel was a schoolteacher, librarian and an avid reader. She received a degree from Arkansas State University, and at the time of her death, was the oldest living graduate of the University. She loved to read, work with her husband in their shop and in the yard with her flowers.

Every morning she would wake up saying, "This is the day the Lord hath made - let us rejoice and be glad in it." She loved to watch her birds as they ate on her patio.

She was cared for by loyal caregivers: Debbie Mallard, Janice Lamp, Arvella Gordon, Shannon Richards, and Judy, Anna, and Audrey Nettles. They gave her loving care by reading to her, listening to her quote poetry, and watching her movies and the St. Louis Cardinals on T.V.

Funeral was Monday at 11 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Piggott with Rev. Andy Newbill officiating. Burial was in Piggott Cemetery under the direction of Hoggard & Sons Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were David Gregory, Joe Gregory, Billy Davis, Brian Gregory, Josh Gregory and Spencer Gregory, with Noah Gregory serving as honorary pallbearer.

An online guestbook is available at


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Opal Halstead

Opal Halstead, 95, formerly of Lauratown, died April 25, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz.

Born June 21, 1917, in the Richwoods community, she was the daughter of Stone and Dora Mae Graddy Hammon.

She was preceded in death by her former husband, John Clay Halstead; a son, Michael; a daughter, Betty Hassell; three sisters, Ruby Ratliff, Kay Beaty and Wanda Hammon; two brothers, David Hammon and Joe Hammon; and a granddaughter, Karen Halstead.

Survivors include a daughter, Johnnie Darlene Halstead; sons, Bill Halstead, Dale Halstead and wife Celia, Steve Halstead and wife Kara, and "adopted son" Nick Lepore, all of Tucson; a sister, Kathy Dalton, Maynard; six grandchildren, Rebecca Smith, Virginia Hassell, Linda Dixon, Anne Schow, Holly Halstead and Aimee Halstead; six great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral is Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Tucson. Burial will be in Holy Hope Cemetery.

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Charles Hickman

Charles Hickman, 84, formerly of Black Rock, died April 20, 2013, in Perryville, Mo.

A memorial service will be announced later by House-Gregg Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Ron E. Klinke

Ron E. Klinke, 75, of Walnut Ridge, died April 26, 2013, at his home.

Born Oct. 2, 1937, in Chicago, he was an electrician and attended the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Walnut Ridge. He had lived in Chicago before moving to Walnut Ridge 33 years ago.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Marie Calzeretta Klinke.

Survivors include his wife, Kay Klinke; two daughters, Debra Russell, Jonesboro, and Sherry Ksiazek and husband John, Walnut Ridge; four grandchildren, Kattie Wilson, Cassandra Tagge, Ronald Tagge and Candi Kziazek; and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral Mass was Monday at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Walnut Ridge. Burial was in Randolph Memorial Gardens under the direction of House-Gregg Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Kattie Wilson, Cassandra Tagge, Ronald Tagge, Candi Ksiazek, Delbert Drake and Shawn Drake.

An online guestbook is available at

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Sterling Lee

Sterling "Wayne" Lee, 31, of Annieville, died April 27, 2013.

Born July 27, 1981, in Los Angeles, he was an ironworker and a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Lee; and his grandparents, Sterling and Betty Lee.

Survivors include three children, Ethan Lee, Kiera Lee and Preslee Lee, and their mother, Kandice Wagoner, all of Imboden; a brother, Harley Lee and wife Sheena, Imboden; a sister, Crystal Davis, Sneedville, Tenn.; and nieces and nephews, Dakota, Kiowa, Alyssa, Hannah, Justin and Dylan.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Annieville with Bro. Jerry Clements officiating. House-Gregg Funeral Home of Walnut Ridge had charge of local arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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Ralph Lewis

Ralph Lewis, 79, of Hoxie, died April 25, 2013, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla.

Born June 21, 1933, in Hoxie, he was the son of Ralph E. and Lillie Mae Tubbs Lewis. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and was of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Parker Lewis, on Feb. 23, 2002, whom he married March 2, 1953; his father, Ralph E. Lewis; and a great-grandson, Chandler Blackshear.

Survivors include five children, Ralph K. Lewis Jr., and Joseph F. Lewis and wife Corina, all of Eaton, Cynthia M. Blackshear, Tulsa, Deborah M. Neldon and husband C.D., Lynn, and Robert L. Lewis and wife Dianna, Hoxie; his mother, Lillie Lewis, Walnut Ridge; two sisters, Melvina Dodd and husband Joe, Knobel, and Betty Inman and husband Arthur, Hoxie; eight grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Funeral is today at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Baptist Church with Bro. Don Winfrey officiating. Burial will be in Old Lebanon Cemetery under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Walter Nash Miers

Walter Nash Miers, 77, of Pocahontas, died April 26, 2013, at Five Rivers Medical Center.

Born July 4, 1935, in Hamlin, Texas, he was the son of Nash Desota and Bessie Louise Miers. He was of the Baptist faith and was of the member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Annieville.

He grew up in West Texas and graduated from Texas A&M in 1957 with a degree in dairy science. He began farming cotton in 1961, and in 1970 began teaching elementary school in Rotan, Texas. He moved to Arkansas in 1991 after teaching school for 20 years.

He was preceded in death by his wife Jimia Lee Hammit; and a sister, Betty Blanche Mauldin.

Survivors include a daughter, RoseAnn Thomason and husband Darrin; and three grandchildren, Garrett Nash Thomason, Clayton Mark Thomason and Zoe Grace Thomason.

Funeral was Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church with Jerry Clements officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Grove Cemetery under the direction of McNabb Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Stephen Sawyer

Stephen "The Piano Man" Sawyer, 58, of Walnut Ridge, died April 28, 2013, at Hometown Nursing Center in Trumann.

Born June 28, 1954, in St. Louis, he worked as an off-shore chef, a marine merchant on tug boats and a paint contractor in the construction business.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Therbow Baxter Sawyer and Joyce Evonn Gibson; and a brother.

Survivors include a son, Joshua Sawyer; a daughter, Sarah Sturgis and husband Duayne; and three grandchildren, Christopher Tre, Jayden Elijah and Darin Lamar.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m., at Cox Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge.

An online guestbook is available at

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Mary M. Tucker

Our beloved mother, grandmother (Grammy/Gramcracker/GranMary), sister, aunt and friend, Mary Beth Malone Tucker, was carried home by God's angels April 21, 2013, after a valiant 10-month battle with renal cell carcinoma.

Mary was born Jan. 12, 1939, in Lauratown to Alfred and Evelyn Malone, the second oldest of six children. She grew up picking cotton in Clover Bend, where she attended school at what is now a national historic site. Upon graduating from high school as valedictorian of her class, she attended Harding University and later moved to Memphis.

She went to work at Memphis Bank & Trust as secretary to the president, where she met the love of her life, Leo W. (Bill) Tucker Jr. They married and soon had 3 children, Alice, Kelley and Billy. In 1967, the first of their adventures began with their move from Memphis to Billings, Mont. They would ultimately live in Lewistown, Mont.; Tucson, Ariz.; Kaneohe, Hawaii; Ponape (Pacific Islands); Opelousas, La.; Absarokee, Mont.; Wenatchee, Wash.; Kona, Hawaii; Albuquerque, N.M.; Boise, Idaho, and finally, Bozeman, Mont.

Mary was an unbelievably loyal and devoted wife and mother. Her undying devotion to her husband caused her many years of hardship, but her love for her family somehow carried her through. She adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren beyond words.

Mary loved music, the arts, coffee, good food, gardening, bargain shopping and experiencing other cultures via travel and road trips. She was also an avid sports fan who followed her favorite players faithfully.

She was intensely intelligent, opinionated and stubborn, had a keen sense of humor and loved laughing. She relished the independence and solitude of the home and life she worked so hard to create, but absolutely lived for the moments shared with family.

Mary worked most of her life in the banking industry, then upon moving to Bozeman, worked at Montana State University, where she retired after 10 years of dedicated service.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sister Betty (Gene) DeJarnette.

She is survived by her children: Alice (Stephen) Abellanida of Roy, Utah, Kelley (Gauthier) Parker of Bozeman, and Bill (Becky) Tucker of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; her grandchildren: Dylon and Dustin Abellanida, Beth Gauthier (Brian) Schultz, Aubrey Gauthier (Chris) Arneson, Alivia Parker, and Gracie and Danica Tucker; and three great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Cedric, and Evelyn Schultz.

She is also survived by her brothers and sisters: Joe (Mary) Malone of Davie, Fla., Vonna (Larry) Nicholson, Carol (Ed) House, and Bobby Malone all of Arkansas, as well as numerous nephews, nieces, and extended family and friends, particularly Kristian Wathne, whom she loved as one of her own. She was especially blessed and loved by her neighbors, Linda Palmer, Bulah Goode, Lois Bebe and Smith Rydell.

Mom, we will miss you dearly. You were the center of all that was good and true in our family, and though our hearts are broken, they will still beat daily with love for you, until that same love carries us back to you in eternity. May you rest in the comfort, peace and joy you so deserve.

Graveside services will be held at 11 am, Friday, May 17 at Fort Harrison Veterans Cemetery in Helena, Mont., with a memorial service and reception to follow from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. at Kirkwood Baptist Church. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.

An online guestbook is available at


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Eva Verkler

Eva Inez Davis Verkler, 91, of Black Rock, died Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

She was born Nov. 25, 1921, in the Fairview community near Imboden and was the daughter of Albert and Ina Janes Davis. She was a homemaker and a member of the United Methodist Church in Black Rock. In later years she worshipped at the Koinonia Christian Fellowship in Imboden. She was very devoted to her Christian faith.

She was united in marriage to Glen Verkler on Dec. 28, 1939. They remained faithfully and lovingly married for almost 68 years until his death in 2007.

Eva and Glen lived in Kansas City, Kan., for about 15 years before returning to Black Rock in 1964. She was an active volunteer in Youth for Christ, a member of circles and women's groups wherever she attended church.

She was a devoted homemaker and a wonderful cook who welcomed family and friends to her home whenever they arrived. Nobody was ever turned away and nobody left hungry. She was a 4-H leader in Black Rock when her children were growing up. Later she discovered an interest in art, including oil painting and ceramics.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Susie Savage; and five brothers, Herschel, Harry, Walt, Ray and Larry.

Survivors include a brother, Neal Davis and his wife Katherine of Kansas City, Kan.; two sons, Ron Verkler and his wife Liz of Kansas City, Mo., and Mark Verkler and his wife Marie of Wylie, Texas; two daughters, Jan Meier of Wylie, Texas, and Rhonda Turbyeville and her husband Scott of Portia; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends. She was a beloved mother, a cherished grandmother, a dear aunt and a devoted friend who will be missed forever.

Funeral was Monday at 3 p.m. at Koinonia Christian Fellowship in Imboden with pastor Joe Loghry officiating. Burial was in Oak Forest Cemetery at Black Rock. Bryan Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at


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