November 2, 2016 Edition

Also in this issue...

News | Sports Scene | Education | Viewpoints | Records |


Blackburn ~ Duncan


Ray Barnes Inez Bennett Richard Keith Brawley
R.C. Goodwin Betty J. Graham Wilburn Forrest Hibbs
Howard W. Meadows Freeda Mullaney Christine Nees
Otis Leon Robbins Skylar Robins


Blackburn ~ Duncan

Glenn and Cindi Blackburn of Black Rock have announced the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Lauren Dair Blackburn, to Tanner Ryan Duncan, son of Brian and Teressa Duncan of Paragould.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Helen Blackburn of Black Rock and the late Alvin Blackburn and the late Rev. John and Helena Hedgepeth.

She is a graduate of Black Rock High School and attended Williams Baptist College. She is employed at First National Bank in Paragould as a loan processor.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Bill and Barb Duncan of Jonesboro and Bob Morris of Paragould and the late Fran Morris.

He is a graduate of Greene County Tech High School and attended Black River Technical College in Paragould. He is employed at Bartons in Walnut Ridge.

The couple will exchange vows on Nov. 12, 2016.

Back to Top


Ray Barnes

Ray Barnes, 72, of Black Rock, died Oct. 27, 2016, at St. Bernards in Jonesboro.

Born March 5, 1945, in Vallejo, Calif., he was an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and worked for the FAA in Kansas City before moving to Smithville.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby Barnes; his parents, Glides and Orella Beckworth Barnes; and a sister, Rita Lawrence.

Survivors include a son, Keith Barnes.

Visitation is Thursday from 4-6 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home. A private burial will be held by the family at a later date.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Inez Bennett

Inez Bennett, 80, of Hoxie, died Oct. 24, 2016, at her home.

Born Sept. 27, 1936, in Hoxie, she was the daughter of William and Donna Earhardt Johnson. She lived most of her life in Lawrence County and was a member of the Church of Christ. She raised nine children and was a cook at Lawrence Hall.

She was preceded in death by a son, Bruce Bennett.

Survivors include her husband, Willie Geral Bennett; two sons, Wayne Bennett and wife Teresa and Larry Bennett, all of Hoxie, six daughters, Peggy Inman and husband Larry, Greers Ferry, Betty Cummings, St. Charles, Mo., Kathy Lakey (Paul Robinson) and Janice Dawson, all of Portia, and Marilyn Mason and Christie Watson and husband David, all of Hoxie; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Thursday at 2 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Everett Hart officiating.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Richard Keith Brawley

Richard Keith Brawley, 56, of Walnut Ridge, died Oct. 28, 2016, at his home.

Born Sept. 1, 1960, in Paragould, he was retired from law enforcement and was a car salesman.

He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Ray Brawley; and a sister, Cathy Brawley.

Survivors include his wife, Donna Elder Brawley, whom he married May 14, 1988; a son, Austin Keith Brawley, Walnut Ridge; a daughter, Vanessa Rae Brawley, Walnut Ridge; his mother, Ruby Hale Garnder, Walnut Ridge; three half-brothers, Lee Brawley, Paragould, Frankie Brawley, Marmaduke, and Kenny Hayes, Louisiana; and a granddaughter, Kaitlynn Brawley.

Funeral is Thursday at 10 a.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Bro. Jake Guenrich officiating. Burial will be in Austin Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Jim Stevens, James Jones, Doug Thielemier, Mike Dortch, Harry Harvey and John Erickson.

Visitation is today from 6-8 p.m.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

R.C. Goodwin

R.C. Goodwin, 77, of Batesville, died Oct. 27, 2016.

Born July 25, 1939, in Walnut Ridge, he was the son of Ozro Mark and Mary Effie Lingo Goodwin. He was retired from the U.S. Postal Service in Rockford, Ill.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Sanford Goodwin; and two sisters, Barbara Penn and Nina Casper.

Survivors include his wife, Donna Goodwin; four sons, Dave Goodwin, Madison, Wis., Geoff Goodwin, Chicago, Timothy Goodwin, Rockford, Ill., and Jerry Goodwin, Clarion, Iowa; two stepdaughters, Sandra Buenzle and Jessica Buenzle, both of Batesville; two brothers, Jerry Goodwin, Lynn, and Larry Goodwin, Calamine; three sisters, Joyce Goodman, Somers, N.Y., Aleta Miller, Doniphan, Mo., and Jane Ward, Jensen Beach, Fla.; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Memorial services were held Saturday. Qualls Funeral Home of Cave City had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Betty J. Graham

Betty J. Graham, 73, of Hoxie, died Oct. 28, 2016, at her home.

Born July 30, 1943, near Portia, she lived in Rockford, Ill., as a teenager, but lived most of her life in Lawrence County. She worked at Frolic Footwear for 35 years and attended the Life Tabernacle Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charlie and Opal Decker Gawf; a foster brother, Michael Thomas; an uncle, James R. Decker; and a brother-in-law, Elmo Gentry.

Survivors include her husband, Jerry Graham; four sisters, Barbara Whitmire and husband Gerald, Gloria Gawf, Connie Gawf, Donnie Graham and husband Doc, all of Portia, and Mary Gentry, Rockford, Ill.

Funeral was Monday at 2:30 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Patrick Hancock officiating.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Wilburn Forrest Hibbs

Wilburn Forrest Hibbs, 93, of Walnut Ridge, died Oct. 26, 2016, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born April 2, 1923, in Minturn, he was the son of Oscar and Maggie Decker Hibbs. He was a World War II Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He was a farmer and was of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruby Reed Hibbs; his second wife, Agnes Rice Hibbs; a daughter, Diane Horton; a grandson, Shane Hibbs; and five brothers and sisters.

Survivors include two sons, Roy Hibbs and wife Brenda and Willard Hibbs and wife Roxann, all of Walnut Ridge; a daughter, Barbara Wilson, Walnut Ridge; six stepchildren, Lonnie Parker and wife Judy, Morro Bay, Calif., Meleta Mulligan and husband John, Frederick, Md., Rickey Parker and wife Barbara, Walnut Ridge, Danny Parker and wife Mona and Dell Parker and wife Lorisa, all of Jonesboro, and Cathy Lehman, Alicia; a brother, Ray Hibbs, Hot Springs; a sister, Daphine Brown, Jamestown, Tenn.; 17 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Saturday at 10 a.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Bro. Dale Hughart officiating and Bro. Marion Stringer honorary minister. Burial was in Whittaker Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Derek Horton, Hunter Horton, Jason Aaron, Nathaniel Aaron, Keith Aaron, Joe Winters and Tyler Hibbs.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Howard W. Meadows

Howard W. Meadows, loving father, husband, sibling, world traveler and WWII veteran, died Oct. 27, 2016, at age 97. Howard, the 10th of 12 children, was born in Sedgwick on June 20, 1919, and lived much of his life in Lawrence County.

He was preceded in death by Viola Belle Callahan Meadows, his wife of 59 years, his parents, Burton and Pearl Jane Whittaker Meadows, and 11 siblings, Roy Meadows, Rev. Cecil Meadows, Ruth Meadows Hopkins, Edith Meadows Johnson, Lorine Meadows Meadows, Ester Meadows Osterhus, Hazel Meadows Coleman, Harold Meadows, Effie Meadows Auman Hawkins, Juanita Meadows Haughey and Naomi Meadows.

Survivors include his son, Matthew Meadows of Dallas; his daughter, Mary Meadows Pyburn and husband, Richard, of San Antonio; grandchildren Ariana Pyburn of Woodbridge, Va., and R. Andrew Pyburn of San Antonio; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Howard attended elementary school at Ponder's Switch outside of Sedgwick and graduated from Walnut Ridge High School, which he walked through the woods to get to, in 1938. He received two years of higher education from Arkansas State College under a track scholarship his high school coach helped him get.

During WWII, Howard enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Sept. 16, 1942. He trained at Las Vegas, N. M., before being deployed to Natal, Brazil. However, on his journey there, he contracted the mumps and stayed behind in Recife, Brazil.

Howard exhibited his extraordinary capacity to organize and collect information, type, file and serve in an office environment. He worked under the South Atlantic Division of Air Transport Command and achieved the rank of technical sergeant.

While there, Howard had the privilege of meeting General Douglas MacArthur, though a salute was their only interaction.

After 27 months in Brazil, he returned to the United States and was stationed at Nashville, where he continued to serve until the end of war. Howard retired from the Air Corps and lived in St. Louis and Colorado briefly before returning to school at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a degree in vocational agriculture under the GI Bill in 1949.

Following his graduation, Howard worked with the Veteran Agriculture Program, a U.S. Government program designed to aid veterans seeking a career in farming. He worked with the program eight years through 1957, the year that also marked Howard's marriage to Viola Belle Callahan.

After that, he served as an agricultural advisor to ministries of agriculture in foreign countries through the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Division. He and his wife, along with their son, Matthew, moved to South Sudan for their first assignment. While there, they traveled to the Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to deliver their daughter, Mary.

Howard's family continued to accompany him in his Foreign Service career where they spent time in Maridi, Sudan; Sebha, Libya; Gombe, Nigeria; Kano, Nigeria; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan.

While raising his children in Africa, he would tell them bedtime stories he made up about the African animals. They often featured a clever hedgehog that always got away from the hyenas and jackals.

The family came back to Lawrence County in 1974. Viola returned to teaching and Howard worked to renovate the old farmhouse the family lived in. A conservationist, Howard was sure to utilize everything he cleared from the property and revitalize the land.

Much of this time Howard spent with family and friends. He'd pull visitors across his land in a long wagon hooked up to his tractor and shared the possum grapes or persimmons that grew there. He'd teach his grandchildren to fish in the three ponds he built on the farm.

Every Thanksgiving for over 20 years, the family would venture into the woods and choose a Christmas tree to put in the side-yard. The tree would be decorated with bright large bulbs and was visible at night from the highway.

Howard and Viola cultivated a large vegetable garden for as long as they were able and raised cattle for a short time. Although he only had half a dozen cows, Howard loved to call himself a cattle baron.

Farm life suited Howard well and his love for nature and animals was felt by all around him. Howard could often be seen with many of the farm cats on his heels or tending to the bird feeder he hung that attracted many Ozark birds or simply staring out into the night sky and watching the stars.

Always working to keep up to date in U.S. and foreign policy, Howard enjoyed reading magazines on the topic and watching political programs when he was no longer able to spend his days working on the farm.

Following Viola's passing in 2015, Howard moved to Texas to be closer to his children. His long and full life was felt by his family the week prior to his 97th birthday as he made several jokes and comments about his age, proud of the milestone.

Visitation will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Bryan Funeral Home, followed by graveside service at Whittaker Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America or a charity of choice.


Back to Top

Freeda Mullaney

Freeda Mullaney passed away on Oct. 29, 2016, at Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab.

She was born a twin at home on June 8, 1924, in Lynn to Walter and Lillian Seagraves Ferrell. She attended Lynn High School, where she graduated in 1941. Freeda lived in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, with her second husband, Patrick until his passing. Freeda then moved to Walnut Ridge in 1993 and lived on Magnolia Street until she moved to the Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center in May of 2014.

Freeda was preceded in death by her parents; and her two husbands, Walter Lawson, who died in World War II, and Patrick Mullaney who died in 1991.

Freeda was a compassionate and loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She cared deeply about her family and made many lifelong connections. Freeda had a big heart and was the caretaker of family and friends. She was an avid reader, gardener and bird watcher. Her presence was memorable and joyous.

Freeda is survived by a twin sister, Frances Rider of Sebring, Fla.; a son, Sterling Mullaney (Robin) of Tucson; a grandson, Arin Mullaney (Tonya) and their children, Riley and Jameson of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a granddaughter, Jessica Arnold (Elena) of San Leandro, Calif.; a niece, Letta (Jack) Donaldson of Sebring, Fla.; and her dear friend, Carolyn DePriest of Walnut Ridge.

In honor of Freeda, please continue to share your love and heart with others. Spend time with your friends and family. Take a walk on the beach, or a hike in the mountains and make a toast to enduring friendships lifelong and beyond.

The family would like to extend a special gratitude to the staff at Walnut Ridge Nursing and Rehab, to Legacy Hospice and to the many extended family and friends who visited and kept in touch with Freeda during her nursing home stay.

A celebration of life will be held today, Nov. 2, 2016, at Cox Funeral Home. Family will greet friends beginning at 11 a.m., with services to follow at noon. Burial will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery in Lynn under the direction of Cox Funeral Home of Walnut Ridge.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice in her name.

An online guestbook is available at


Back to Top

Christine Nees

Christine Neal Nees, 65, of Walnut Ridge, died Oct. 27, 2016, at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro.

Born Jan. 8, 1951, in Hoxie, she was the daughter of the late James Alfred and Maudie Etter Smith Neal.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Linda Diana Nees; five siblings, Pauline Kamery, Roy Neal, Bobby Neal, Robert Neal and Louise Dockery; and two grandchildren, Joseph Eugene Hulen and Racheal Ann Hulen.

Survivors include two daughters, Lisa Ann Hulen and husband William, Black Rock, and Lorretta Lorraine Eason and husband David, Mablevale; a son, Leonard Earl Nees Jr. and wife Sandy, Peach Orchard; two sisters, Irene Milgrim, Jonesboro, and Lucille Humphrey, Missouri; five grandchildren, Micheal Scott Hulen, Jarod Scott Stroud, Branden Scott Nees, Cheyenne Elise Jackson and Cherokee Dawn Sartin; 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was Saturday at 2 p.m. at Oak Forest Cemetery in Black Rock with David Decker officiating. Bryan Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Leonard Earl Nees Jr., Jarod Scott Stroud, Branden Scott Nees, Lorretta Lorraine Eason, Cherokee Dawn Sartin and Micheal Scott Hulen. Honorary pallbearers were William Scott Hulen, Cheyenne Elise Jackson, David Decker and David Wayne Eason.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Otis Leon Robbins

Otis Leon Robbins, 74, of Imboden, died Oct. 22, 2016, at his home.

Born April 7, 1942, in Dell, he worked in construction as a painter and was a member of Imboden Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Gracie Robbins.

Survivors include two sons, Randy Robbins, Woodworth, Okla., and Bill Robbins Jr., Ohio; a daughter, Debra Lynn Robbins, Ohio; and several grandchildren.

No services were held. Bryan Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Skylar Robins

Skylar Robins, 25, of Imboden, died Oct. 31, 2016, in Imboden.

Born Jan. 7, 1991, in Jonesboro, he worked at Walmart and was of the Pentecostal belief.

Survivors include his father, Samuel Robins; his mother, Dana Waymire Robins; a sister, Sheyenna Hall and husband Christopher; his grandparents, Richard and Helen Robins and Frankie and Roberta Waymire; and a nephew, Avery Hall.

Funeral is Friday at 2 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Roger Brand officiating. Burial will be in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Visitation is Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

An online guestbook is available at

Back to Top

Click Here for help with The TD Online

Games Games

Click for Walnut Ridge Regional, Arkansas Forecast
News | Sports | Education | Viewpoints | Classifieds | Records
Business Directory | Calendar | Community Directory |
Contact Us | Staff | TD History | Archives | Subscribe Online
Email the Online Editor:
Email the Editor:
Questions? Email:
Copyright 2000 ~ 2018 The Times Dispatch
P.O. Box 389 ~ Walnut Ridge, Arkansas 72476