December 04, 2013 Edition

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Alma Liles Duncan Marion M. Erwin Braxton Lee Fender
Elizabeth Johana LeaRussa Sue Bounds Malin Billy Joe Miller
Ronald E. Miller Rachel G. Polston Mary Helen Safrit
Fred Sandusky Sr. Allen Scott Helen Marie Ward


Alma Liles Duncan

Alma Liles Duncan, 70, of Hoxie, died Nov. 27, 2013, at Lawrence Hall Nursing Center.

Born Feb. 2, 1943, in Light, she was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County and was of the Pentecostal belief.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bobby Duncan; her parents, Sam and Hazel Huffman Liles; three brothers, David Liles, Harley Liles and Jay Liles; and a sister, Effie Bruce Choat.

Survivors include a stepdaughter, Fredia Nobles, Alicia; five stepsons, Junior Butler, Alton, Mo., Ricky Duncan and Danny Duncan, both of Walnut Ridge, and Jimmy Duncan and James Duncan, both of Hoxie; a sister, Lena McElyea, Walnut Ridge; three brothers, Hubert Liles, Annieville, Sammy Liles, Hoxie, and Ernest Liles and wife Mary, Walnut Ridge; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was Sunday at 2 p.m. at Lorado Cemetery with Darrell Walker and David Morris officiating. House-Gregg Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Junior Butler, Dale Nobles Jr., Jacob Trinidad, Jimmy Liles Jr., Jessie Hooper and Danny Duncan.

An online guestbook is available at

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Marion M. Erwin

Marion M. Erwin, 95, of Pontotoc, Miss., died, Nov. 18, 2013, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Miss.

Born September 14, 1918, in Black Rock, he was the son of Marion W. and Nadine Kelley Erwin, and the grandson of M.J. Kelley, early 20th century mayor of Hoxie. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Tupelo Lions Club.

Following his retirement as a consulting engineer and owner of Pontotoc Field Service, he devoted much of his time in service to the Lions Club. He drove the sight vans donated by Bryan Foods to the Mississippi Lions, traveling throughout the state to schools, industries and malls to do vision screening. During his tenure, over 257,000 people were checked in 82 Mississippi counties.

He served as club president, zone chairman, district governor, president of the Lions Sight Foundation, president of the Activities Corporation and president of the Mid-South Sight Service Foundation. He was a longtime member of the International Pin traders.

He was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, and was inducted into the Mississippi Lions Hall of Fame. Additional recognition of his service to Lionism included the International Presidents Award, the President's Leadership Award, the Masters Key, and several International Presidential Certificates of Appreciation.

The Board of Directors of Lions International conferred him with Life Membership in 2012. He was also a Life Member of the Mid-South Lions Sight Service. He first joined the Lions Club as a charter member of the Hoxie Lions Club in 1947 and remained a Lion for 66 years.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Juanita Erwin, in 1969; his second wife, Alleen Erwin, in 1996; and two sisters, Alma Starr and Hazel Massey.

Survivors include two daughters, Marion Erwin and Mylinda Nelson and husband, all of Blytheville.

A celebration of his life was held Friday, Nov. 22, at the First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc. Burial was in Salem, Mo.

Memorials may be designated to the First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 308, Pontotoc, MS 38863 or to the Tupelo Lions Club, P.O. Box 512, Tupelo, MS 38802.

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Braxton Lee Fender

Braxton Lee Fender, four, died Nov. 26, 2013, at his home.

Born Oct. 5, 2009, in Paragould, he was the son of Greg and Alexis Fender.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Chevy Key; and his grandfathers, Greg Fender and Roland Spear.

Survivors, in addition to his parents, include two brothers, Bentley Fender and Landyn Key; grandparents, Tonya Fender and Todd and Belinda Edrington; and great-grandparents, Lawrence Trammell, John Fender, Mike and Patti Crawford and Bill and Revonda Edrington.

Funeral is Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Center Hill Chapel of Phillips Funeral Home in Paragould with David Scudder officiating. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery.

Visitation is Thursday from noon until 2 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be uncles, Aaron Daughtry, Ryan Fisher, Rhett Southard and friend Ryan Curatolo.

An online guestbook is available at

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Elizabeth Johana LeaRussa

Elizabeth Johana "Betty" LeaRussa, 84, of Batesville, died Nov. 25, 2013.

Born May 24, 1929, in Chicago, she was the daughter of Joseph G. Sereikas and Alice E. Martinkus. She was a registered nurse for almost 40 years, working in hospital nurseries with high-risk newborns. She was a Catholic and a member of St. Mary's parish in Batesville.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph LeaRussa, on Dec. 1, 1985, whom she married Aug. 7, 1954.

Survivors include three children, Linda Cooper, Mary York and John LeaRussa; and four grandchildren, Jeffrey, Michael, Melanie and Nathan.

Funeral was Friday at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Walnut Ridge with Father Mike Sinkler officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Bill Farris, Trey Farris, Lee Cooper, John LeaRussa, Jeff York and Michael York. Honorary pallbearers were Noel Bruce, Jeffrey York and Nathan LeaRussa.

An online guestbook is available at

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Sue Bounds Malin

Rebecca Sue Bounds Malin, 51, of Imboden, died Nov. 24, 2013.

Born Aug. 26, 1962, she was the daughter of the late Cleo and Charlene Bounds.

She was also preceded in death by a son, Allen Malin; a daughter, Amber Malin; and two brothers, Randall Bounds and Dennis Bounds.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Malin; a son, Jarod Malin, Searcy; and five brothers, Larry Bounds, Gary Bounds, Charles Bounds, Berrell Bounds and Tommy Bonds.

A memorial service was held Friday at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Imboden. Taylor-Cox Funeral Home of Pocahontas had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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Billy Joe Miller

Billy Joe Miller passed from this earth Nov. 15, 2013, with family at his side.

He was born May 13,1929, in Rowell, to Jasper and Vera Miller and grew up with five sisters; Pebble Wallace, Patsy Rawls, Jetta Stokes, Shirley Creasy, Dixie Allred, and a brother; Morris Miller.

He married the love of his life, Justine Ball, in January 1956. They were blessed with three children, Dr. Keith (Julie) Miller of Allan, Texas, Monicia Taylor of Walnut Ridge, and Melinda (Larry) Ward of Little Rock; five grandchildren April Ward, Ashley (Chase) Elliott, Cory Miller, Julia Taylor and Ethan Taylor; and two great-granddaughters Amelia Elliott and Marlee Taylor.

After graduating in 1948 from Rison High School, he joined the United States Air Force, where he spent the next four years as a radar technician. He returned to school on a G.I. bill becoming a professional engineer.

He began a 36-plus year career at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, retiring in 1985 as Directorate of Engineering and Technology. During his service as a civilian employee, he received a multitude of awards and honors including a letter of thanks from President Jimmy Carter. Unable to remain retired, he began working as a consultant and officially retired in 1992. He then began his many roles in NARFE, serving on a local, state and national level.

He was a faithful member of Southside Baptist Church, serving in many roles, including sound technician, deacon and adult Sunday school teacher. There he made many lifetime friends and he greatly appreciated their help and visits during his last years. In 2010, he was awarded Deacon Emeritus for his almost 50 years of service.

He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed every aspect of being outdoors, from gardening to hunting, but he loved fishing the most. He spent many hours crappie fishing with his best friend, Jim Stuart.

Of all his accomplishments, his family was his greatest joy. He loved being a father, from rocking his children until their feet drug the ground to attending their band and sporting events. His love and faithfulness never faltered, not for friend or stranger; his life was a living example of the Golden Rule.

Funeral was Wednesday, Nov. 20, a.m. at Fuller Hale-South Funeral Chapel in Pine Bluff, with Dr. JR DeBusk officiating. Interment followed in Memorial Park Cemetery.

An online guestbook is available at


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Ronald E. Miller

Ronald E. Miller, 83, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., died Sept. 28, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.

Born Dec. 18, 1929, in Akron, Ohio, he grew up in East Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee and served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

He was in the golf business for 40 years. In 1978, he started the Miller Golf Bag Company with corporate offices in Memphis with a factory in Walnut Ridge, which employed over 120 employees at its peak. He retired in 1994.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Laurie Miller; two daughters, Marlette Kunkle and husband Craig, Palm Beach Gardens, and Jan Thompson and husband Tommy, Woodland Hills, Calif.; a brother, Freddie Miller, Germantown, Tenn.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or the American Cancer Society, 235 S. County Rd., Palm Beach, FL 33480.

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Rachel G. Polston

Rachel G. Polston, age 68, of Benson, Ariz., St. David, Ariz., Saffell and Iloilo, Philippines, died at home, due to lymphoma, on Nov. 6, 2013, at 1:52 pm.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 32 years, Aaron P. Polston, and joins him in the loving embrace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

She is survived by her son, Micah Aaron Polston and his wife, Tina Rose, and granddaughters, Kaitlyn Simonne and Neriah Ariel. Rachel is also survived by one sister, Rogelia Y. Gayoba, and five stepchildren: Aaron David, Janet Hendricks, Locie Jones, Glenyis Polston and Mary Barry.

Rachel, or "Mama-Ching," was a devout Christian and Seventh-Day Adventist, having ties across all denominations, working to further GOD's love to others.

She graduated Philippine Union College of Nursing with a BSN in 1968, served as a missionary nurse in Afghanistan and Pakistan, worked at hospitals and home healthcare in the Philippines, California, Arkansas and Arizona. Only months before her death, she renewed her missionary calling by teaching English as a Second Language in China.

Rachel was a youngest daughter and sister, devoted wife, cherished mother, proud grandmother, compassionate healthcare provider, revered friend, charitable giver and most importantly, humble champion for Christ. She touched many lives, and will be sorely missed by family & friends.

There will be a memorial service held to celebrate and honor Rachel's life on April 12, 2014 at 3 p.m. at Mt. Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, 444 Hwy. 25, Saffell, AR 72572. Contact Glenyis E. Polston for additional details (803-783-5331)

In lieu of flowers or gifts, Rachel requested that donations be made "in memory/honor of Aaron P. & Rachel G. Polston" to Amazing Facts, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, CA 95678.


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Mary Helen Safrit

Mary Helen Stratton Safrit, 68, of Salisbury, N.C., died Nov. 28, 2013, at her home.

Born Dec. 20, 1944, in Ravenden, she was the daughter of the late Mabel Starling Stratton and Eugene Stratton of Lawrence County. She graduated from high school in Imboden and was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Wanda Hufstedler and Patsy Byrd.

Survivors include her husband, Steve Safrit, whom she married Nov. 22, 1974; two sons, Steven Safrit Jr. and wife Barbara, Salisbury, N.C., and Larry S. Barker and wife Jackie, Alabama; two daughters, Kimberly Huckabee, Smithville, and Brandi Hill and husband Jimmie, Hope Mills, N.C.; two brothers, Ellis Stratton and wife Sybil, Paragould, and Dale Stratton and wife Brenda, Walnut Ridge; and four sisters, Bonnie Stephens and husband Oliver, Black Rock, Anna Verkler, Cherokee Village, Rita Emerson, Harrisburg, and Sherry Witt and husband Steve, Alabama.

The family will hold a private service.

An informal service will be held today at 4 p.m. at the home of Kimberly Barker Huckabee at 1026 Nelsonville Rd., Calamine.

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Fred Herman Sandusky Sr.

Fred Herman Sandusky Sr., 84, of Lawrence County, died Nov. 30, 2013, at his home.

Born Nov. 5, 1929, in Manila, he was the son of Herman Flenoy and Ruby Felty Sandusky. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and was retired from General Motors in St. Louis. He was a charter member of the St. Louis Greater Model-T Club and attended the Methodist church in Lynn.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Fred H. Sandusky Jr. and Fred H. Sandusky III; and a brother, James Sandusky.

Survivors include his wife, Eugenia Clynell Sandusky; five daughters, Pamela A. Clark, Smithville, Brenda G. Anderson, Tina M. McKnight and Christina B. Miller, all of Strawberry, and Nicole P. Richardson, Batesville; a sister, Helen D. Wilcox, Parma, Mo.; nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was Sunday at Dry Creek Cemetery with Vance Penn officiating. House-Gregg Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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Allen Scott

Allen Scott, 47, of Hoxie, died Nov. 28, 2013, in Jonesboro.

Born May 27, 1966, in Walnut Ridge, he was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County. He had worked at Hytrol in Jonesboro for several years and was presently employed as a network administrator for BSCN. He was a member of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Black Rock.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

Survivors include two daughters, Amber Scott, of the home, and Robin Scott, Paragould; his parents, Dewey and Shirley Scott, Hoxie; and a brother, Brent Scott, Hoxie.

Funeral was Monday at 10 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with John Durham and Tom Lamb officiating. Burial was in Lorado Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Tommy Lamb, Greg Lamb, Mark Lamb, Rick Stowers, Harold L. Stowers and Wayne Black.

An online guestbook is available at

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Helen Marie Ward

Helen Marie Ward, 97, of Powhatan, died Dec. 2, 2013, at Lawrence Hall Nursing Center.

Born Feb. 9, 1916, in Cooter, Mo., she was the daughter of Edwin Arthur and Celbra Cook Baldridge. She was a homemaker and a member of the Powhatan Church of Christ and served for many years on the Powhatan City Council.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Edgar Ward, whom she married Dec. 30, 1933.

Survivors include a brother, Alfred Baldridge; three sisters, Hazel Matthews, Ruby Ivy and Wilma Webb, all of Yuba City, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral is today at 2 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Steve Prestidge officiating. Burial will be in Powhatan Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Gary Light, Robert Shelton, Jason Cameron, Bill Justus, Charles Baldridge and Cody Ferrell.

An online guestbook is available at

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