December 18, 2013 Edition

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Larry Wayne Mills Jr. Noah Von Pace


Laura Lucille Baird Thomas E. Batterton Lynn Benson
Sam Harvey Boyce Sr. Homer Lee Harper Sue Moody
Eric Lynn Prondzinski Logan Blair Smith Boyce Adrian Smithee
Neva Gene Villarreal Bobby C. Watson


Larry Wayne Mills Jr.

Larry Mills and Amanda Johnson of Hoxie have announced the birth of a son, born on Nov. 5, 2013, at St. Bernards Birthcare Center in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed eight pounds and has been named Larry Wayne Mills Jr. He has three siblings, Brennon, Jaden and Sabrina.

Grandparents are Johnny and Tonya Gardner of Jonesboro and Tina Simpson of Ravenden.

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Noah Von Pace

Andy and Caitlyn Pace of Walnut Ridge have announced the birth of their first child, a son, born on Nov. 22, 2013, at St. Bernards Birthcare Center in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed eight pounds, seven ounces, and has been named Noah Von Pace.

Grandparents are Raymond and Michelle Pace of Batesville and Thomas and Tracy Medley of Imboden.

Great-grandparents are Walter and Sharon Yarbrough of Hot Springs and Sara Morrow of Somerville, Tenn.

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Laura Lucille Baird

Laura Lucille Baird, 81, formerly of Clover Bend, died Dec. 11, 2013, at Lawrence Hall.

Born Oct. 2, 1932, in Bradford, she was the daughter of Edwin Thomas and Bertha McBee. She was a homemaker and a member of the Church of Christ.

She was preceded in death by a son, David Baird; her father, Edwin Thomas McBee; her mother, Bertha Harrison; and a grandson, Heath Baird.

Survivors include two daughters, Deborah Rice and husband Robert, Walnut Ridge, and Mary Baker, DeKalb, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Joanie Baird, Arcadia, Mo.; three sisters, Madge Pratt, Anderson, Ind., Madeline McCoy, Kalamazoo, Mich., and Martha Faye Howell and husband Boyd; two brothers, Rudy McBee and Thomas McBee and wife Debbie, all of Okmulgee, Okla.; two half-brothers, Johnnie McBee, DeKalb, Texas, and Willie McBee, Osceola; seven grandchildren, Andrea Jones, Robert Rice II, Heather Baird, Jason Rice, Sarah Baker, Lee Watson and B.J. Watson; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was Saturday at 11 a.m. at Clover Bend Cemetery with Robert Davis officiating. House-Gregg Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Robert Rice II, Jason Rice, Ryan Jones, Allen McEntire, Mike Olson and Keith Cain. Honorary pallbearers were Robert Rice and Johnnie McBee.

An online guestbook is available at

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Thomas E. Batterton

Thomas Edward Batterton, 68, of Choudrant, La., died Dec. 14, 2013, at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, La., after battling cancer.

Born Aug. 28, 1945, in Hoxie, he married Sandra Luanne Popp in Plymouth, Mich., and moved to Choudrant, where they raised their children. He worked as a maintenance technician at Lincoln General Hospital for 30 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Opal Batterton; a brother, Bob Batterton; and a sister, Jeanne McClelland.

Survivors include his wife, Sandra Luanne Popp Batterton; eight children, Kathlene Boggs and husband Marion, Thomas Batterton and David Batterton and wife Katie, all of Choudrant, La., Kym Tavares and husband Michael, Shane Batterton and wife Dawn and Jeremy Batterton and wife Angie, all of West Monroe, La., Rebeccaa Kavanaugh and husband John, Coushatta, La., and Misty Cook and husband Shane, Walnut Ridge; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life was held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Christ Church in West Monroe, La. Burial was in Beulah United Methodist Cemetery at Calhoun, La.

Memorials may be made to Volunteer Christian Builders, P.O. Box 732, Grapevine, TX 76099 or St. Jude Children's Hospital.

An online guestbook is available at

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Lynn Benson

Homerlene "Lynn" Kerley Benson, 74, of Cordova, Tenn., formerly of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 10, 2013, at her home, following a brief illness.

Born Jan. 26, 1939, in Randolph County, she attended Pocahontas Public Schools. She owned a beauty salon in Walnut Ridge, before moving to the Memphis area 38 years ago. She served as corporate secretary for Security Alert Systems of Memphis. She was a Christian and attended the Hope Church in Memphis.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Sherry Baillio; her parents, Homer and Nola Ingram Kerley; and a grandson, Colte Benson.

Survivors include her husband of 57 years, Frank G. Benson Sr., whom she married Nov. 21, 1956; two sons, Frank Benson Jr., Holly Springs, Miss., and Jamie Benson and wife Stefanie, Williston, Tenn.; a sister, Bertha Russell, St. Louis; a brother, Benny Kerley, St. Louis; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Funeral was Saturday at 2 p.m. at Peebles West Funeral Chapel in Oakland, Tenn., with Milton Carroll officiating. Burial was in Fayette County Memorial Park in Oakland.

Pallbearers were Steve Baillio, Lee Waddell, Mike Waddell, Leon Culver, Chris Moser and Marty Young.

Memorials may be made to Hope Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, TN 38018 or to the charity of the donor's choice.

An online guestbook is available at

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Sam Harvey Boyce Sr.

Sam Harvey Boyce Sr., 81, of Newport, father of prosecuting attorney Henry Boyce of Newport, died Dec. 13, 2013. Funeral is today at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Newport. Entombment will be in Gracelawn Cemetery at Tuckerman under the direction of Jackson's Newport Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Newport Regional Food Pantry, P.O. Box 489, Newport, AR 72112. An online guestbook is available at

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Homer Lee Harper

Homer Lee "Big Red" Harper, 69, of Sedgwick, died Dec. 11, 2013, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born Oct. 28, 1944, in Manila, he was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County. He was a truck driver, having owned his own business, and a member of the Hoxie Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by three sons, Ethan Harper, Zach Harper and Adam Homer Harper; and his father, Richard Harper.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Peggy Perkins Harper; three sons, Steve Harper, Sedgwick, Chris Harper and wife Sarah, Walnut Ridge, and Zebulin Harper, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; a daughter-in-law, Susan Harper, Sedgwick; his mother, Alta Vineyard, Festus, Mo.; a sister, Carol Sue Willcockson, Jonesboro; five half-siblings, Joyce Harper, Christine Harper, Danny Harper, David Harper and Robbie Harper; two stepsisters, Lisa Vineyard Pashia and Debbie Vineyard Kassen, both of Missouri; six grandchildren, Taylor Conner Harper, Matt Harper, Eli Harper, Jason Harper, Luke Harper and Hannah Harper; and a great-grandson.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hoxie Church of Christ under the direction of House-Gregg Funeral Home.

Visitation is Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of the service.

An online guestbook is available at

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Sue Moody

Billie "Sue" Moody, 67, of Jonesboro, died Dec. 13, 2013, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Sept. 14, 1946, in Hoxie, she was the daughter of Almus and Margret Davis.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two infant sisters, Laura Jane and Betty Ann.

Survivors include her husband of 37 years, Ronnie Moody; two daughters, Angela Hunter and Ida Farr, both of Salem, Ohio; two sons, Anthony Moody and wife Amanda, and Ronnie Moody Jr.; two brothers, Michael Davis and wife Becky, Cherokee Village, and John Davis; a sister, Debbie Davidson and husband Harold; 10 grandchildren, Chad Pierce, Matthew Pierce, Anthony Hotchkiss, Ashley King, David Farr, Elizabeth Farr, Wilson Richey, Maranda Richey, Kiley Moody and Sailor Moody; and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Old Enterprise General Baptist Church with Bro. Bobby Wade officiating. Burial was in Old Enterprise Cemetery under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Wilson Richey, Ben Davidson, Brian Davidson, Jason Wade, Anthony Moody and Barry Fielder.

An online guestbook is available at

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Eric Lynn Prondzinski

Eric Lynn Prondzinski, 37, of Pocahontas, died Dec. 13, 2013, at Randolph County Nursing Home.

Born Aug. 30, 1976, in Stevens Point, Wis., he was a riverboat mate for Ingram Barge Co. and was of the Free Will Baptist Faith.

Survivors include two daughters, McKayla Sorg and Claire Prondzinski, both of Pocahontas; the mother of his children, Andrea Jones, Pocahontas; his mother, Audrey Prondzinski, Pocahontas; a brother, Lee Prondzinski and wife Laura, Jonesboro; and two sisters, April Anderson and husband Jeff and Kristie Rodgers, all of Pocahontas.

Funeral is today at 11 a.m. at Sutton Free Will Baptist Church in Pocahontas with Randy Scott officiating. Burial will be in Old Military Cemetery at Sedgwick under the direction of Cox-Fears Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be David Ballard, Nicholas Martin, Kenny Martin, Mike Emmons, Lance Sullinger and Thomas Bailey. Honorary pallbearers will be Bryan Watson and Chris B. Winebaugh.

Memorials may be made to the family at First National Bank in Pocahontas or Walnut Ridge.

An online guestbook is available at

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Logan Blair Smith

Logan Blair Smith, 24, of Walnut Ridge, died Dec. 15, 2013, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Jan. 15, 1989, in Jonesboro, he was a lifelong resident of Lawrence County and a 2007 graduate of Hoxie High School. He worked in masonry and was of the Baptist belief.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Donald Hunt and Robert G. Burns; and an uncle, Danny Vaughn.

Survivors include his parents, Mark and Paige Vanbrook, Walnut Ridge; his adopted father, Garrett Smith, Walnut Ridge; two brothers, Matthew Vanbrook and Justus Vanbrook, both of the home; two stepbrothers, Andrew Vanbrook, Walnut Ridge, and Christopher Vanbrook, Little Rock; grandmothers, Brenda Hunt, Walnut Ridge, and Mildred Burns, Sikeston, Mo.; great-grandparents, O.M. and Sybil Burnham, Swifton; aunts, Diane Vaughn, Walnut Ridge, and Brande Davis, Hoxie; and uncle, Adam Hunt, Walnut Ridge.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church with Derek Collins officiating. House-Gregg Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

Visitation is one hour prior to the service.

Honorary pallbearers will be the Hoxie Class of 2007, Billy Jones Jr., Ryan Burns, Benton Wilson, Jeremiah Settles and Travis Tinker.

An online guestbook is available at

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Boyce Adrian Smithee

Boyce Adrian Smithee, 77, of Minturn, died Dec. 17, 2013, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born Sept. 11, 1936, in Clover Bend, he was the son of Sid and Thelma Brand Smithee. He was a U.S. Army veteran and a truck driver.

He was preceded in death by his father, Sid Smithee; and two brothers, Garland Smithee and Leland Smithee.

Survivors include his wife, Jo Ann Smithee; three daughters, Gail Lundy and husband Hal, Hoxie, Kim Light and husband Larry, Alicia, and Carrie Light and husband Roger, Bono; his mother, Thelma Smithee, Hoxie; a brother, Cloyce Smithee, Hoxie; three sisters, Freda Wall, St. Augustine, Fla., Sue Fallis, Ratcliff, and Geraldine Rogers, Hoxie; and three grandchildren, Ashley Williams, Joshua Light and Courtney Light.

Gravside service is Friday at noon at Mt. Zion Cemetery at Walcott with Bro. David Harper officiating. Bryan Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers will be Michael Smith, Daniel Smith, Ronnie Light, Gary Light, Larry Jones and Terry Jones. Honorary pallbearers will be Brent Smith and Jared Williams.

Visitation is Thursday from 5-6 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Neva Gene Villarreal

Neva Gene Newman Villarreal, 78, of Rockford, Ill., died Dec. 12, 2013, at Alma Nelson Nursing Home in Rockford.

Born Sept. 29, 1935, at Egypt, she was the daughter of Johnie and Gladys Keith Newman.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gonzola Villarreal; two sisters, Margie Tabone and Janet Modlin; two brothers, Jerry Newman and Lindal Newman; and a granddaughter, Erin Boose.

Survivors include two daughters, Lisa Fermanich and husband Douglas, and Barbara Villarreal, both of Rockford; a son, Charles Wesley Villarreal and wife Rhonda, Rockford; a sister, Barbara Howard, Wichita, Kan.; a brother, Larry Newman, Bono; and six grandchildren.

Services will be held at a later date.

An online guestbook is available at

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Coach Bobby C. Watson

Bobby C. "Coach" Watson, 87, of Hoxie, went home to his Heavenly Father on Dec. 13, 2013, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Coach Watson was born on Oct. 1, 1926, in Osceola, to Carroll and Lorene Whiteside Watson. He graduated from Osceola High School.

After high school he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Philippines as a radio operator on PT boats. Following his service in the Navy, he attended Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University), where he was a letterman in basketball. He graduated from the University of Arkansas where he received his bachelor and master degrees in physical education and administration. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity there.

Coach Watson coached football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis and track and field. He coached at Western Grove, Harrison, Crawfordsville and Hoxie. He re-started the Hoxie High School football program in 1969 and re-started girls basketball. He managed the summer Walnut Ridge Little League baseball program for a number of years. He was a dedicated teacher and coach for more than 40 years, having dedicated his life to enriching the lives of all the students and athletes that he came in contact with throughout the years.

Coach Watson was a member of the Hoxie First United Methodist Church and taught Sunday school for over 60 years at both Crawfordsville Methodist Church and Hoxie First United Methodist Church. He enjoyed teaching the men's Sunday school class for many years.

He was an avid golfer and loved playing many different courses, having taught all his children to play the game. He enjoyed working in his yard and garden and taking his family to Spring River. He also enjoyed attending the baseball, basketball and football events at Arkansas State University. The NEA Tournament was also something that he attended for many years, having served on the Board.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Frank Watson.

Surviving him are his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann Smith Watson; one son, Bobby Mike Watson and wife Tami of Hoxie; three daughters, Robin Hamilton and husband Allen of Jonesboro, Judy Watson of Wilson, and Terri Watson of Marion; six grandchildren, Holli Hamilton Haynie (John) of Bella Vista, Bobby Joe Watson (Jami) of Jonesboro, Bradley Hamilton (Leah) of Jonesboro, Billy Mike Watson (Courtney) of Walnut Ridge, Trey Watson of Miami, Taz Watson of Marion; and one great-grandson, Case Hamilton Haynie of Bella Vista; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral was Monday at 11 a.m. at the Hoxie Methodist Church with Rev. Bob McMillon officiating. Burial was in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Pallbearers were Louis Aple, Joe Penn, Joe Fisher, Tim Taylor, John Weir and Jimmy Green. Honorary pallbearers were members of the men's Sunday school class at the Hoxie Methodist Church.

Memorials may be made to the Walnut Ridge Little League Program, P.O. Box 716, Walnut Ridge, AR 72479 or Hoxie First United Methodist Church, 318 SW Broad St, Hoxie, AR 72433.

An online guestbook is available at

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