Bonnie Estes

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Bonnie Estes
June 28, 1931 – November 12, 2021

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Bonita Aileen Hatfield Estes died November 12, 2021, in Nashville, Arkansas where she was living with daughter Julia and son-in-law Dan Carter. Retired from Malvern High School, Bonnie taught American and World history, sociology, Arkansas history, and computer science. She directed European travel for high school students with fellow teachers, Vonda Cranford and Olivia Pierce. Mrs. Estes also taught at National Park Community College, Hot Springs. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, receiving the BA in English and history in three years and the MSE in history. Served on the state standard for social studies with Hillary Rodham Clinton. She participated in a teacher exchange with Denmark. Bonnie recruited for the first integrated PTA in Arkadelphia. Bonnie was committed to justice and fairness in her profession and her daily life, holding herself and others to high standards.

The first born of Catherine and Harold Hatfield of Valley Falls, Kansas, she is survived by her siblings, Paul Hatfield, Daryl Hatfield, and Nancy Gay. She was born June 28, 1931. She married her sweetheart August 22, 1949, at First Baptist Church, Valley Falls. Her children are son Mark Ernest Estes and his wife Elizabeth Wrenn-Estes, their daughter Whitney Wrenn Deuel and her daughters, Lorelei Elizabeth and Tabitha Lucile Deuel; daughter the Reverend Pamela Jean Estes; and daughter Dr. Julia Marie Carter and her husband Dan, their children, son John Thomas (J. T.) and his wife Erin, their sons, Jackson Tyler, Samuel Edward, Derryk Wayne, and Dalton Howard Carter; and daughter Jessica Raye Carter, her daughter, Adreanne Danielle and her son, Douglas Eugene Runyan. Extended family includes Dr. Nancy and Darrell Cartwright and their children, Sally Epps and Ben Cartwright; Ricardo and Cesar Galligani; Tom and Chris Ludwig, their children, Matthew and his wife, Amy, and Sarah, and her husband, Michael and her children, Luna Aurelia and Elena Mae Risch; and Becky Dugan. Bonnie is preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Jack E. Estes.

She and Jack were faithful members of First United Methodist Church, Arkadelphia, and its Upper Room Sunday School class. Active in RAIN, she was a Stephen minister. Like her husband, she was a Paul Harris Fellow. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, professional education sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota, the women’s music fraternity, NEA/AEA, and UMW.

Bonnie was an accomplished seamstress and host. The table was open to all and every language necessary was spoken. Most important was love. She was faithful to husband, family, and friends, and to the spirit of Jesus who welcomed all.   

Visitation will be held at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home (517 Clay St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923) on Monday, November 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Service will be Tuesday, November 16 at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church (107 N 9th St, Arkadelphia).

Memorials may be made for missions through the United Methodist Women of any United Methodist Church.

The Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay St., Arkadelphia, is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit


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