March 22, 2017 Edition

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Ivy Grace Ragsdale


Ronnie Bradshaw Marcene Britton Cress Lee Byrd
Shirley Ellis Darrell Dempsey Fisher Maria Darlene George
Bill Hallmark Eric Harmon Bessie Mae Jarrett
Lynn Lawrence Robert Paul Long Rev. Herschel McClurkin Jr.
James Edward McGinty Betty McMillon


Ivy Grace Ragsdale

Justin and Lacey Ragsdale of Black Rock have announced the birth of their first child, a daughter, born Feb. 20, 2017, at NEA Baptist in Jonesboro.

The baby weighed seven pounds, three ounces, and has been named Ivy Grace Ragsdale.

Grandparents are Joyce Dobbs and Jeff Williams, both of Walnut Ridge; Larry and Connie Ragsdale of Black Rock; Kurt and Lisa Weiand of Hardy; and the late Rodney Dobbs.

Great-grandparents are Earl and Dianne Ragsdale and Brilla Hall, all of Black Rock; Randy and Cathy Boyd of Ravenden; and Danny and Pam Smith and Floyd and Roberta Braden, all of Walnut Ridge.

Evelee Darnall of Jonesboro is the great-great-grandmother.

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Ronnie Bradshaw

Ronald H. "Ronnie" Bradshaw, 74, of Centerton, died March 13, 2017, at Circle of Life Legacy Village in Bentonville.

Born Feb. 24, 1943, in Tulsa, he was a former athletic director, coach and teacher in the Walnut Ridge School District.

He was an athlete, a coach, a teacher and an assistant superintendent who dedicated 40 years to working in the public schools. But his strongest devotion was to his family (whom he also insisted on coaching, whether they liked it or not). He loved to play (and cheat) at games, to make bad jokes, and to build things - sometimes over-build; if there is ever a tidal wave in Arkansas, his deck will withstand it. At heart, he was always a kid, and that's why all the kids in his life will miss him so.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman Cecil and Dorothy Faye Dial Bradshaw; and a sister, Linda Rodgers.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Janet Karen Bradshaw; three children, Brent, Karrie and Tonya; a brother, Wayne; and three grandchildren, Meredith, Averie and Winona.

Funeral was Friday at 2 p.m. at Southside Church of Christ in Rogers with minister Jackie Chesnut officiating. Burial was in Bluff Cemetery at Springdale. Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers had charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to Springdale Athletic Foundation, 1612 E. Emma, Springdale, AR 72764.

An online guestbook is available at

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Marcene Britton

Marcene "Marcey" Britton, 80, of Walnut Ridge, died March 21, 2017.

Born March 13, 1937, in Walnut Ridge, she was the daughter of Homer and Marie Wynn. She was a homemaker and a member of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifton; and a brother, Calvin Wynn.

Survivors include two sons, Randy Britton and wife Paula, Bono, and Blake Britton and wife Shelia, Walnut Ridge; two sisters, O'Dell Stark, Bono, and Imogene O'Connor, Walnut Ridge; three granddaughters, Taylor Cope, Brandy Summers and Amber Broadway; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral is Thursday at 2 p.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home. Burial will be in Manning Cemetery at Walnut Ridge.

Visitation is Thursday from 1 p.m. until time of the service.

An online guestbook is available at

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Cress Lee Byrd

Cress Lee Byrd, 55, of Imboden, died March 15, 2017, in Jonesboro.

Born June 18, 1961, in Pocahontas, he was a truck driver, worked on the pipeline and in construction.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Patsy Stratton Byrd; and his grandparents.

Survivors include a son, Tanner Lee Byrd, of the home; his father, James R. Byrd and wife Willene, Imboden; a sister, Patrice Junkersfeld, Swifton; a brother, Trent Byrd, Imboden; and his girlfriend, Kim Blevins, Imboden.

A graveside memorial service is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at Hope Cemetery in Imboden. House-Gregg Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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Shirley Ellis

Shirley Ann Ellis, 66, of Walnut Ridge, died March 16, 2017, at her home.

Born Sept. 9, 1950, in Walnut Ridge, she was a homemaker and also worked at the Snack Pak and the Lawrence County Co-op for many years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer "Buster" and Dessie Ann Keaton Clark; and two sisters, Betty Sue Clark and Kathrine Ward.

Survivors include her husband, Ray Ellis, whom she married March 24, 2006; three sons, Chuck Oliver and wife Lisa, Rogers, Dewayne Barker and wife Candis, Walnut Ridge, and Michael Brown, Jonesboro; three daughters, Michelle Waldrupe and husband Tony, Walnut Ridge; and Melissa Quinn and husband Steve, and Wanda Mooney and husband Tim, all of Jonesboro; 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Funeral is today at 2 p.m. at Gethsemane Baptist Church with Bros. Derek Collins and Randy Bailey officiating. Burial will be in Swifton Cemetery under the direction of Bryan Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Tim Mooney, Gavin Waldrupe, Trevor Moore, Stephen Moore, Ron Keaton and Johnny Upchurch. Honorary pallbearers will be Steve Quinn and Daniel Stephens.

An online guestbook is available at

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Darrell Dempsey Fisher

Darrell Dempsey Fisher, 88, of Rossville, Tenn., formerly of Lawrence County, died March 17, 2017.

Born Sept. 29, 1928, he was the son of Earl and Ruby Archer Fisher. He was a U.S. Marine veteran of World War II, a truck driver and a member of Westside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Chestine Fisher; and two brothers, Harold Fisher and W.E. Fisher.

Survivors include two sons, Dempsey Fisher, Germantown, Tenn., and Michael Fisher, Collierville, Tenn.; a daughter, Linda Shepherd, Rossville, Tenn.; two brothers, Freddie Fisher, Newport, and Bobby Fisher, Smithville; 13 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren.

Funeral is today at 11 a.m. at Bryan Funeral Home with Dr. Rick Shepherd officiating. Burial will be in Lawrence Memorial Park.

Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

Visitation is today from 10 a.m. until time of the service.

An online guestbook is available at

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Maria Darlene George

Maria Darlene George, 59, of Pocahontas, passed away Thursday, March 16, 2017, at Randolph Home.

Darlene was born May 8, 1957, in Walnut Ridge, to Bill and Lavon McGough George.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, RD and Geneva McGough.

She is survived by her parents; daughters, Stephanie (Anthony) Thatch of Dalton, Alexia (Jimmy) Mahaffey of Ravenden; grandchildren, Sean (Stephanie) Thatch of Pocahontas, Kory Thatch of Batesville, Skyler (Brittney) Ross, Weston Ross, and Blake Ross, all of Dalton, and Kiana Mahaffey of Ravenden; great-grandchildren, Mila Thatch and Bubby Thatch of Pocahontas, Kylan Ross of Dalton; brothers, Gary (Linda) George of Powhatan, Glenn George of Florida, Vickie (Reggie) Lewis of Walnut Ridge, and Karen (Gary) Cremeens of Paragould.

Visitation was Monday, March 20, 2017 from 4-5 p.m. at McNabb Funeral Home with a memorial service immediately following at 5 p.m. with Gary Cremeens officiating. A private family burial will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the ALS Foundation.

An online guestbook is available at


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Bill Hallmark

Bill Hallmark, 87, of Cherokee Village, died March 15, 2017, at the White River Medical Center in Batesville.

Born Feb. 26, 1930, in Newport, he was the son of Luther and Birdy Williams Hallmark. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and worked in the maintenance department at Gateway Vo-Tech. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Ash Flat.

He was preceded in death by a son, James Leroy Hallmark; a great-grandson, Daniel Elliot; three sisters and three brothers.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Ruby Smith Hallmark, whom he married Dec. 7, 1953; two daughters, Jeannie Scott and husband Larry, Batesville, and Christine Harden, Walnut Ridge; a son, Rodney Hallmark and wife Becky, Ash Flat; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral was Friday at 1 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Ash Flat with Larry Morris officiating.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church in Ash Flat.

An online guestbook is available at

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Eric Harmon

Eric Joseph Harmon, 15, of Hoxie, died March 15, 2017.

Born July 6, 2001, in Jonesboro, he was the son of Michael and Victoria Brewer Harmon. He was a 10th grade student at Hoxie High School. His school activities involved FBLA, golf and band, where he played the euphonium. His favorite part of school was working in the Agri department and being an FFA officer.

He was also very active in his local church, Refuge Church of the Assemblies of God in Jonesboro. At Refuge Church, he served on FUEL Team (for student leaders) and was part of the Journey Student Ministries Worship Team. He also taught in the Chosen Kids Ministry using Gospel Illusions.

He was preceded in death by a grandfather, Danny Manning.

Survivors include his parents, Michael and Victoria of the home; a brother, Dustin Harmon, of the home; his grandparents, Ted Harmon and wife Christine, Tulsa, Janice Manning, Walnut Ridge, and Bill and Geraldine Brewer, Hoxie; four uncles, Eric Brewer, Portia, Teddy Jo Harmon Jr., Missouri, and Jeremy Harmon and Robert Harmon, both of Tulsa; and four aunts, Paula Wilson, Walnut Ridge, Danetta Townsdin, Memphis, Dana Manning Hopper, Scott AFB and Carrie Harmon, Tulsa.

Funeral was Tuesday at noon at First Assembly of God Church in Walnut Ridge with Revs. Matt Smith, Bethany Strawn and Mr. Homer Lenderman officiating. Burial was in the Manning #1 Cemetery. Bryan Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Conner Guntharp, Isaiah Cook, Cooper Wright, Nathan Taylor, Dalton Cagle and Travis Grimes.

An online guestbook is available at

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Bessie Mae Jarrett

Bessie Mae Jarrett, 98, formerly of Lawrence County, died March 18, 2017, at Katherine's Place in Fayetteville.

Born Nov. 23, 1919, she was the daughter of Robin and Ellen Smith Mayberry. She lived in the Walnut Ridge area for more than 80 years before moving to North Little Rock to be closer to her family. She was a homemaker and a lifelong member of First Free Will Baptist Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher and served on many church committees.

She was preceded in death by her husband, T.Clifton Jarrett; a daughter, Shelby Jean Jarrett; a son, Ronald Jarrett; a sister, Jewell Jarrett; and a grandson, Austin Jarrett.

Survivors include a son, Tommie Jarrett and wife Mary, Bentonville; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Graveside service will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at Lawrence Memorial Park.

Visitation is today from 6-8 p.m. at Bryan Funeral Home.

An online guestbook is available at

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Lynn Lawrence

Ronald Lynn Lawrence, 68, of Ravenden, passed away on Friday, March 17, 2017, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Lynn was born on Feb. 20, 1949, in Ravenden, to Bostic Hulen and Clara Christine Green Lawrence. On June 21, 1969, Lynn married the love of his life, Henrietta Faye Upton. They were married for 47 years. Lynn was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend. He was a member of the Ravenden Church of Christ.

Lynn was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Darrell Lawrence.

Lynn is survived by his wife, Henrietta Faye Upton Lawrence, of the home; sons, Rodney Lawrence of Springfield, Mo., and Lyndon Lawrence of Ravenden; daughters, Jennifer (Jonathon) Phillips of Clarksville, and Lynsey (Paul) Mullen of Pocahontas; sisters, Betty Boyd of Ravenden, Jeannette (Cecil) Frisbee of Beebe, and Barbara (Robin) Dail of Ravenden; grandchildren, Ryan, Cooper and Ty Lawrence of Branson, Mo., Nicole Bristow of Pocahontas, Destiny Hackworth of Clarksville, Sierra Lawrence of Clarksville, Kelsey Phillips of Clarksville, Zayden Lawrence of Jonesboro, Kylie Lawrence of Imboden, and Jaycie and Ian Mullen, both of Pocahontas.

Funeral was at the Ravenden Church of Christ on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at 4 p.m. with Mack Downey officiating. Burial was in the Friendship Cemetery in Lawrence County.

Honored to serve as pallbearers were Dave Lawrence, Kipp Conrad, Steven Mitchell, Jamie Wagner, Johnny Green and Casey Jines. Honorary pallbearers were Ryan Lawrence, Zayden Lawrence, Danny Mitchell, Derek Lawrence, Jeffrey Lawrence, Dale Lawrence, Daniel Lawrence, Dean Lawrence, Wally Upton, Walter Upton and Mearl Taffar.

An online guestbook is available at


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Robert Paul Long

Robert Paul Long, 67, of Cherokee Village, died March 15, 2017, at White River Medical Center in Batesville.

Born Oct. 15, 1949, in Martinez, Calif., he worked in construction and as a heavy equipment operator.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Long; and a sister, Sheila Long.

Survivors include his wife, Judy Long; two daughters, Jennifer Miller and husband Cal, and Heidi Vetter, both of Searcy; two stepdaughters, Kelly Bryan and Kristy McNiel, both of California; his mother, Rita Freeman Long, Strawberry; a brother, Waymon Long and wife Kathy, Batesville; two sisters, Pam Smith and husband David, Kansas City, and Sharon Gilliam and husband Herschel, Black Rock; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

No services are planned at this time.

An online guestbook is available at

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Rev. Herschel McClurkin Jr.

Reverend Herschel Herbert McClurkin Jr., 88, of Alma, passed away Monday, March 20, 2017, at his home in Alma.

Born July 24, 1928, in Stephens, he was raised in Mulberry, and graduated from Mulberry High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Master of Science in Animal Husbandry from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He later received a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He served on active duty with the Air Force and retired as a major from the Air Guard Reserves.

Early in his career, Herschel served as Youth Director at First UMC in Fort Smith and First UMC in Garland, Texas, while attending Perkins. On August 13, 1967, he married Mardell Christello of Fort Smith. They would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.

Through his 30 years in full-time ministry and 18 years of "post retirement part-time" ministry, Herschel served many appointments across the state of Arkansas, including Gentry/Springtown/Highfill, Wesley Russellville/London, Walnut Ridge/Alicia, Newport, Wynne/McElroy, District Superintendent of the Conway District, Greenwood, Kibler UMCs and on staff at Fort Smith First UMC.

Herschel also had extensive training in United Methodist camping Ministry, where he was a member of the planning committee of Shoal Creek Camp and directed its first camp.

Herschel served on numerous boards and agencies. He was a member of the Board of Arkansas Methodist Children's Home, Philander Smith College, and the University of Central Arkansas. He served as a member of the Arkansas Inter-Faith Conference, a conference representative to Perkins Alumni Council, a member of the Board of Directors Wesley Foundation at ATU and Arkansas State University, Secretary of the Alma Community Outreach Center, and on the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation board. He was Chaplain of the Ligon Family and Kinsmen Association, and a member of the Fort Smith Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow.

On February 10, 2017, he and Mardell received the Fort Smith Exchange Clubs Book of Golden Deeds Award.

Herschel lived his life full of LOVE for the church, his family, friends and the Razorbacks, JOY for the Lord, PEACE through his gratitude in all circumstances, PATIENCE in his marriage, raising children, being a grandfather and father figure to so many, KINDNESS to everyone he met, GOODNESS in what he saw in others and through his keen sense of humor, FAITHFULNESS in his work, service for others and devotion to his family, GENTLENESS in his pastoral care, ministry and how he handled difficult situations, and SELF-CONTROL in only eating one serving of ice cream a day!

He is survived by his wife, Mardell Christello McClurkin; his brother, John McClurkin of Mulberry; a daughter, Alice Scheer and husband Dr. Blake Scheer of Little Rock; a son, Trey McClurkin and wife Tammie of Conway; grandchildren, Graham and Ella Scheer of Little Rock and Emma, Siah and Hayes McClurkin of Conway.

Visitation is Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Ocker-Putman Funeral Home in Alma.

Funeral is Saturday at 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Smith. Burial will be at the Alma City Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Shoal Creek Methodist Camp, c/o Renee Henson, 1102 Northview Drive, Van Buren, AR, 72956 or any Methodist Church or Methodist organization of your choosing.

An online guestbook is available at

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James Edward McGinty

James Edward "Jim" McGinty, 58, of Walnut Ridge, died March 14, 2017.

Born Nov. 5, 1958, in Walnut Ridge, he was the son of James Clifford and LaWanda Augustine McGinty.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Clifford McGinty; and an infant brother, John Paul McGinty.

Survivors include his mother, LaWanda Augustine McGinty; and four brothers, Jimmy McGinty and wife Regina, Bill McGinty, Elmer McGinty and wife Mary, and Terry McGinty and wife Lori.

Funeral was Friday at 11 a.m. at House-Gregg Funeral Home with Craig Lee officiating. Burial was in Trinity Cemetery at Bono.

An online guestbook is available at

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Betty McMillon

Betty Jo Lawson McMillon, 74, died March 20, 2017.

Born Aug. 10, 1942, she was a homemaker and worked at Fred's Dollar Store and in the office of the cotton gin in Manila. She and her husband, Jim, lived in Caruthersville, Mo., Blytheville, Center Hill, Manila, Hoxie, Portia and Walnut Ridge during the time Jim worked for Entergy Electric and during their retirement.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, James Alfred "Jim" McMillon Jr., whom she married Feb. 27, 1960; her parents, Ewell and Della Mae Bradley Lawson; and three brothers, Jack Lawson, Donnie Lawson and Gordon Lawson.

Survivors include sisters-in-law, Marilyn Lawson, La Porte, Ind., Carolyn Lawson, Walnut Ridge, Shirley Million and husband Hamil, Jonesboro, and Beverly Summers and husband Curtis, Arlington, Tenn.; and a brother-in-law, Bob McMillon and wife Peggy, Walnut Ridge.

Graveside service is today at 2 p.m. at Lawrence Memorial Park with Brian Summers and Brad Summers officiating. Bryan Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

An online guestbook is available at

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