August 20, 2014 Edition

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Ava Grace Rayburn


Dennis Ray Ball Imogene S. Counts Cathryn Grace Gale
Marie George Johnny Jefferson Gray Hurshel Holt
Donna Diane Horton Joseph M. Sparks Jr.


Ava Grace Rayburn

Todd and Stephanie Rayburn of Greenbrier have announced the birth of their first child, a daughter, born on Aug. 13, 2014, at Conway Regional Hospital in Conway.

The baby weighed six pounds, nine ounces, and has been named Ava Grace Rayburn.

Grandparents are Ross and Sherry Rainwater of Walnut Ridge and Mike and Tanya Rayburn of Cabot.

Great-grandparents are Darrell and Ricca Brady and Bob Rainwater of Walnut Ridge, and Bob and Margarrett Rayburn of Searcy.

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Dennis Ray Ball

Dennis Ray Ball, 56, of Hoxie, died Aug. 12, 2014, at his home.

Born July 31, 1958, in Walnut Ridge, he had lived in Lawrence County for 35 years and was retired from ASU. He was a member of the Oak Ridge Fellowship Church and Cache River Pentecostal Church.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Jeffrey Lynn Ball; and his grandparents, Walter and Sadie Ball and Oscar and Ora Gentry.

Survivors include his wife Edith Tinker Ball; a son, Jeffry Ball, Dalton; a daughter, Natalie Ball, Little Rock; his parents, David and Shirley Ball, O'Kean; four sisters, Carole Loggains, Pocahontas, Jan Hill, Delaplaine, Lavonda Jones, Alicia, and Kim Rutledge, Hoxie; and two grandchildren, Xander Ball and Lola Ball, Dalton.

Funeral was Friday at 2 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Rick Hart and Calvin Botard officiating. Burial was in Wells Cemetery at Dalton.

Pallbearers were Jamie Hill, Chris McMullin, Brian McMullin, James Tinker, Travis Tinker, Daniel Prater, Blake Prater, Blake Passalaqua and Chad Rutledge. Honorary pallbearers will be Roger Sullivan, Larry Darr, Eddie Hill, Anthony Passalaqua, Lanny Tinker, Richard Tinker, Greg Rutledge, Bobby Burton, Liz Hickman and Judy Dudley.

An online guestbook is available at

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Imogene S. Counts

Imogene S. Counts, 94, of Rockford, Ill., died Aug. 6, 2014, at the Swedish American Hospital in Rockford.

Born July 23, 1920, in the Lauratown community, she was the daughter of Hershel and Minnie Nunally. She retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar Counts, in 1972, whom she married May 4, 1940, in Alicia; three sons, Jerry, Ronnie and Rex; and a special grandson, Kristopher Counts; three sisters; and two brothers.

Survivors include a daughter, Barbara Palmer and husband Bill, Stillman Valley, Ill.; a daughter-in-law, Marguerita Counts, Rockford, Ill.; a brother, Neil Nunally, Indianapolis; a sister, Mildred Richey, Okeechobee, Fla.; 12 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Monday, Aug. 11, at 12:30 p.m. at Sundberg Funeral Home in Rockford with Wayne Morris officiating. Burial was in Arlington Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to Broadway Church of Christ.

An online guestbook is available at

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Cathryn Grace Gale

Cathryn Grace Gale, 82, of Swifton, died Aug. 13, 2014, in Shreveport, La., following a short illness.

Born Oct. 1, 1931, she was the daughter of Fred and Charlotte Standiford Gottlob.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J.C. Gale; a daughter, Lisa Gale; and a grandson, Nicholas Johnston.

Survivors include two sons, Chris Gale and wife Tina, and Brent Gale, all of Shreveport, La.; a brother, Freddy Gottlob, Taylor, Mich.; three sisters, Christine Morris, Newellton, La., Fredrica Edwards, Wartrace, Tenn., and Henrietta Ferrington, Waterproof, La.; and two grandchildren, Austin Gale and Amber Gale.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at Swifton Baptist Church with Nathan Bentz officiating. Burial was in Arnold Cemetery under the direction of Dillinger Funeral Home of Newport.

Pallbearers were Don Gale, Gary Owens, J.W. Hulen, Darrol Campbell, Danny Fears and Roy Runyan.

An online guestbook is available at

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Marie George

Marie Romine George, 78, of Mountain View, died Aug. 19, 2014.

Marie was born Sept. 19, 1935, to Amos and Bertha Romine in Swifton. She grew up in a farming family, surrounded by loving parents, four brothers and a sister.

In 1954 she met and began dating Thomas "T-Bone" George. T-Bone and Marie were married on June 8, 1955, in Mississippi. During their marriage, they were blessed with two children, Debi and Norman. When her children were young, Marie was a stay-at-home mom. When they both reached school age, she began a career at Lawrence Manufacturing. She truly enjoyed working at the dress factory and began many friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

After both of her children were grown, Marie went to work cooking on the towboat that T-Bone captained. Upon their retirement, T-Bone and Marie moved to Mountain View. She spent her golden years quilting, sewing, going to auctions and listening to music on the square. T-Bone and Marie enjoyed many wonderful years together until his passing in November of 2011.

After T-Bone’s death, Marie began working as a "Pink Lady" volunteer at the hospital. She spent as much time volunteering as possible and thoroughly enjoyed every second. Marie went to join T-Bone on August 19, 2014. She was very loved and shall be greatly missed by all.

Marie is survived by her mother, Bertha Lee (Barker) Romine; one son, Norman George of Judsonia; one daughter, Debi Segraves and husband David of Mountain View; three brothers, Ed Romine of Hoxie, Bill Romine of Duran, Ill., and Clarence Romine of Seminole, Okla.; granddaughters, DeSha Mills and husband Stan, and Marisa Rector and husband Tim of Mountain View; great-grandchildren, Sydney Swafford, A ndrew Swafford, Katie Swafford, George Rector, Chloe Mills, and Erin Mills, all of Mountain View.

A visitation will take place Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Roller Coffman Funeral Home in Mountain View.

A local visitation will be held Friday from 9-10:30 a.m. at Bryan Funeral Home. A graveside service will follow at 11 a.m. at Lawrence Memorial Park with Tina Romine Russell officiating.

Pallbearers will be Nathan Romine, Windel Romine, Hoby Romine, David Hugg, Mike Adkinson and Larry Romine.

Memorials may be made to the Stone County Ladies Auxiliary, P.O. Box 510, Mountain View, AR 72560.

An online guestbook is available at


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Johnny Jefferson Gray

Johnny Jefferson Gray, 92, of Pocahontas, died Aug. 17, 2014, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born May 8, 1922, in Sedgwick, he was the son of S.B. and Loretta Dean Gray. He was an Army-Air Force veteran and served as an airplane engineer during World War II. He was a car hauler and worked for Oak Ridge Central Schools for 11 years. He was a member of Cache River Pentecostal Church.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Hubert Nelson Gray and John Donald Gray; a daughter, Debra Louetta; and a grandson, Lloyd L. Gray.

Survivors include his wife, Pearl Maxine Neal Gray, whom he married July 7, 1943, in Sedgwick; three sons, James Glenn Gray, McDonough, Ga., and Lloyd Lee Gray and Benny Randall Gray, both of Dalton; three daughters, Judy Chiappelli, Hoxie, and Rhonda Cherry and Tammy Tribble, both of Pocahontas; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral is today at 10 a.m. at Cox Funeral Home with Rick Hart and Calvin Botard officiating. Burial will be in Old Military Cemetery at Sedgwick.

Pallbearers will be Jeff Worlow, Mitchell Worlow, Jr. Deen, Jamie Hill, Bobby Neal and Brian Gray.

An online guestbook is available at

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Hurshel Holt

Hurshel R. Holt, 92, of Swifton, died Aug. 14, 2014, at Swifton.

Born June 14, 1922, he was the son of Council George and Agnes Mabel Fortenberry Holt. He was a retired farmer and a member of the Swifton Church of Christ, where he taught Bible class and was an elder for over 40 years. He was a World War II Army veteran and received two Bronze Stars for his service.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lula Mae Hughes Holt.

Survivors include a son, Bobby Holt and wife Brenda, Swifton; a sister, Ruby Holt Young, Swifton; two grandchildren, Anthony Holt and Joy Holt; four great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Swifton Church of Christ with Michael Brotherton and Anthony Holt officiating. Burial was in Swifton Cemetery under the direction of Jackson’s Newport Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Corey Holt, David Heckethorn, Kyle Wheeless, Cole Wheeless, Maurice Watkins and Charles Benson. Honorary pallbearers were the men of the Swifton Church of Christ.

An online guestbook is available at

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Donna Diane Horton

Donna Diane Horton, 67, of the Evergreen community, passed away Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born Jan. 1, 1947, in Walnut Ridge, she was the daughter of Wilburn and Ruby Reed Hibbs. She was a factory worker and homemaker most of her life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Horton; her mother, Ruby Reed Hibbs; and a grandson, Justin Michael Horton.

Survivors include a son, Terry Horton and wife Mary, Black Rock; a daughter, Cynthia Aaron and son-in-law Keith Aaron, Black Rock; her father, Wilburn Hibbs, Walnut Ridge; two brothers, Roy Hibbs and Willard Hibbs; a sister, Barbara Hibbs, all of the Evergreen community; four grandsons, Derek Horton and wife Amanda, Hunter Horton, Jason Aaron and Nathaniel Aaron and wife Kim, all of Black Rock; three great-granddaughters, Emma Aaron, Zoey Horton and Laney Horton; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral is today at 2 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Bros. Marion Stringer and Dale Hughart officiating. Burial will be in Old Military Cemetery at Sedgwick.

Pallbearers will be Derek Horton, Hunter Horton, Dale Hibbs, Keith Aaron, Jason Aaron and Nathaniel Aaron.

An online guestbook is available at


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Joseph M. Sparks Jr.

Joseph M. "Joe" Sparks Jr., 83, of Jonesboro, died Aug. 15, 2014, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born Sept. 12, 1930, he had lived in Jonesboro the past 44 years after moving from Walnut Ridge. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller. He was a former Jonesboro Airport manager.

He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Kali Nicole Sparks.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Joyce Sparks; a son, Michael Sparks and wife Rhonda, Conway; two daughters, Teresa Sparks Boyd, Jonesboro, and Sharon Sparks Foley and husband George, Tampa, Fla.; and four grandchildren, Daniel Foley, Nathan Foley, Cameron Boyd and Megan Foley.

Services were private. Emerson Funeral Home of Jonesboro had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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