All Saints' Day 2020
No obituary or picture provided:
- Marion K. Blythe (Surviving Spouse of Rev. Ed Blythe) — Nov. 1, 1932 – Nov. 22, 2019
- Sydney George Howe (Spouse of Rev. Susan D. May “Sue” Howe) — Jan. 31, 1947 – Aug. 25, 2020
(Surviving Spouse of Rev. Fred Smith)
Feb. 25, 1931 – July 16, 2020
Alma Ruth Smith, age 89 of Texarkana, Texas, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on July 16, 2020.
Mrs. Smith was born February 25, 1931 in Orange County, Calif. She was a homemaker but her most important role in life was that of a pastor’s wife. She was a member of Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years Rev. Fred R. Smith.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Phil and Cindy Smith of Texarkana, Ark.; her daughter and son-in-law; Pam and Keith Baker of Dallas, Texas; four grandchildren, Callie Huett and her Husband Daniel, Ben Smith and his wife Miriam all of Texarkana, Ark.; Amanda Baker, Hayden Baker and his wife Daniella, all of Dallas, Texas; and four great grandchildren: Levi Huett, Wylie Huett, Noah Smith, Avery Smith. She was loved by many other friends and relatives.
Annie Beatrice Martin
Sept. 18, 1933 – Oct. 11, 2020
She Bea was a retired school teacher and administrator of Skyline Urban Ministry in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During her long career in education, she taught multiple grade levels and subjects at several different institutions and worked for the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, which later became the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She and Bill met when they were both teaching at Robinson School in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After they were married, Bea completed a Master’s degree in teaching at Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee while Bill attended Vanderbilt University. During this time, Bea and Bill were active in the Civil Rights movement. They participated in the Nashville sit-ins, helped to organize student protests, and started a family. While raising three children during the next 30 years and living in various parts of the United States, Mexico City, and Puerto Rico, Bea continued to teach and was active in several Methodist churches. She served as a librarian for the Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, during the early 1970s, and resumed teaching at Robinson School. She later taught at the Navajo Methodist Mission School in Farmington, New Mexico and McCurdy School in Española, New Mexico. In the 1980s and 90s, while Bill taught at Oklahoma City University (OCU), Bea served as an administrator at Skyline Urban Ministry, a mission outreach of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church, from which she retired in 1996. Bea was active in Chapter 238 of Amnesty International in Oklahoma City and in the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Bea and Bill were arrested numerous times following demonstrations against the death penalty in Oklahoma and received a lifetime service award from the Coalition.
Bea actively supported the Reconciling Ministries Network and the Methodist Federation for Social Action, both unofficial United Methodist organizations. This support included participation in committees at Epworth United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City and St. John’s United Methodist Church in Lubbock, Texas that petitioned the General Conference of the denomination to become more fully open in its acceptance of LGBTQ persons. As a citizen, she supported Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and numerous other organizations.
Rev. Berah Willyne Thompson Jordan
Survivors include her children, Larry (Tammy) Thompson, Debbie (David) Guemmer, and Cindy Burns; grandchildren, Todd Guemmer, Kassie Allen, Amanda (Curtis) Henderson, Tommy Joe Burns, Mitchell (Kristen) Guemmer, Matthew Guemmer, Brett Guemmer, and Garrett Thompson; great-grandchildren, Taylor Guemmer, Brennan Milligan, Charles Guemmer, Jaxon Allen, Rayleigh Burns, Riley Henderson, Vivian Guemmer, Jake Burns, and Jace Guemmer; one great-great-grandchild, Kai Krupp; two sisters, Amy Gardner of Paragould and Joan Conklin of South Dakota; and many other nieces and nephews.
Carol Ann Nolley
Nov. 15, 1938 – Oct. 19, 2020
Carol Ann’s “growing up years” were on her parent’s farm where she learned to value the land and the ethic of hard work in her father’s production of rice, soybeans, and wheat.
Carol Ann spent all of her childhood on the farm. Her education, beyond her mother’s in-home instruction, began when she was five years old as she attended a one-room school through the sixth grade. Her remaining six years were in the public schools at DeWitt, Ark. Upon graduation in 1956 from high school, she enrolled in Hendrix College, graduation in 1960 with a degree in elementary education.
The light of Carol Ann’s life was always the children: hers, theirs, or someone else’s. She taught the third grade in Decatur, Ga., the first three years out of Hendrix while her husband was in seminary preparing for ministry in the United Methodist Church. Along the way, she gave piano lessons to many children. She also taught children in Vacation Bible School and at Camp Tanako, all the time modeling for them the life and teachings of Jesus.
Carol Ann, unbeknownst to many, supported children in other parts of the world for over 30 years through The Christian Children’s Fund. And, in her latter years, through her love for PEO, she continued to affirm and support young women in their effort to get a higher education when otherwise it might not have been possible.
But the greatest meaning she found in life was through her husband, their two children and six grandchildren. Theirs was a close-knit family in sorrow and in joy, the ordinary and the extra ordinary, and most especially, as they travelled with her during the last seven years of her battle with Alzheimer’s.
Carol Ann was the consummate helpmate for her husband through forty years of his ministry, often hearing the church-folk say, “Well, the Bishop may want to move Don, but you are gonna stay here with us.” She loved the Church, its liturgy, the sacraments, a good anthem, other pastors, and their wives, teaching adult SS Classes and helping young families pray and care for one another. She delighted in setting a beautiful table and inviting family and friends to come together and enjoy a wonderful meal. In short, Carol Ann was the biblical sisters, Mary and Martha, rolled into one.
Carol Ann was preceded in death by her parents and a special aunt, Rosebud Nicholson, of Ethel, Ark. Survivors include her husband, Rev. Donald F. Nolley, of 60 years; her two children, Kimberly (John) Johnson of Bryant, her son, David (Allison) Nolley of Benton; along with six grandchildren: Amanda Harrison of North Little Rock, Kelsey Harrison and Michael Harrison, II of Metairie, La., Drew (Maggie) Nolley of Jonesboro, Ark., Olivia Nolley and Cooper Nolley of Benton.
Rev. David Scruggs
The Rev. David Scruggs Sr., 69, of Little Rock, transitioned on Feb. 6, 2020. He leaves to cherish his memories: his loving wife, Janice Gordon Scruggs of Little Rock, Arkansas; five children, Eddie Scruggs Smith of El Cerrito, California, David Scruggs Jr. of Davis, California, Kinte Dukes (Cheryl) of Marianna, Arkansas, Kisa Morman (James) of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Krystal Henderson (J.R.) of Conway, Arkansas; 11 grandchildren, Elijah, Jacob, Miles, Jada, Myles, Khayrianna, Gavin, Ryleigh, Caden, Chase, and Caysen; two sisters, Neomia Chapmon (Arie) of Cleveland, Ohio. and Irene Carruth (Rev. Troy) of Scott, Arkansas; five brothers, George Scruggs (Rosalyn) of Little Rock, Arkansas, Emmett Scruggs (Willie Mae) of Richardson, Texas, Rev. James Scruggs (Mary) of Maumelle, Arkansas, Daniel Scruggs Sr. (Mary) of Little Rock, Arkansas, and John Scruggs (Dorothy) of Arlington, Texas; a close cousin, Michael Walker (Rhonda) of North Little Rock, Arkansas; his father and mother-in-law, Willie and Mildred Gordon of Lathrup Village, Michigan; and a sister-in-law, Edna Moore of Memphis, Tennessee. Visitation will be Friday, Feb. 14, from 6-7 p.m. at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home (1200 Chester St). Celebration of Life Service will be 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Geyer Springs United Methodist Church, (5500 Geyer Springs Rd). Burial will be at the Gill Cemetery in Gill, Arkansas.
Rev. Don J. Hewett
It was in a little country church in Peach Orchard, Arkansas that Don met and soon afterwards married his love, Ida Ellen Clayton on August 12, 1962. They were together for a short time at Fort Hood, Texas where he was stationed in the Army. Ida returned to her home in St. Louis while he was overseas and later Don would hitchhike from Fort Hood to St. Louis to see his wife and new baby girl Jody.
He held many different jobs throughout his life, including the U.S. Postal Service where he was a letter carrier and clerk for many years. He helped Ida with her successful business, Ida’s Antiques and Accents. He was her electrician, plumber, builder, painter and whatever else she needed him to do. Continuing the tradition of his family’s business, H and H Auto Parts, he had his own small engine repair shop. In 1994, Don fulfilled his dream of serving the Lord by completing seminary at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and becoming a Methodist minister.
Don loved his family and worked hard to provide for them. He was a true Christian, always willing to lend a helping hand and living by example. His kindness and sweet nature touched the hearts of many and made him liked by all who met him.
He enjoyed mechanics, collecting and studying books on theology and Cardinals baseball.
Don passed peacefully in his home on the afternoon of August 5, 2020 under the care of his dedicated and loving wife. He is survived by his wife, Ida. Daughter, Jody (Ellen Jo) Crable and husband Phil of Plano, Texas. Siblings, Naoma Ragsdell, Fred Hewett Jr. and wife Betty, Helen Lindner, Carrie Walker and husband Jim, Dottie Denniwitz, Herb Hewett and wife Elizabeth, and many nieces and nephews.
Dorothy E. Bostow
March 16, 1925 – April 20, 2020
Dorothy is survived by seven children and their spouses, Robert and Linda Bostow of Centennial, Colorado, Roselyn Bostow of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Darlene Sirotek of Galien, Michigan, Deborah and Orlyn Boe of New Carlisle, Indiana, Darryl and Tammy Bostow of Hot Springs, Roderick Bostow of Bonnerdale and Rebecca Martin of Mount Ida; ten grandchildren and their spouses, Chad, Stacie (Clint), Natalie (A.J.), Murray (Nadia), Victor, Alex (Anna), Jennifer (Andy), Dana (Kenny), Kristen (Kobe) and the youngest, Bailey, whom she shared an extraordinary bond with as she helped raise and spoil her over the past nineteen years; six great-grandchildren, Jackson, Silas, Owen, Daniel, Kylie, and Lindy. Dorothy had a special grand-dog, Buddy that was her companion and gave her lots of love everyday and a hateful cat, Callie, that also provided her with companionship and plenty of frustration.
Dorothy spent her life being a homemaker and taking care of her large family. She was a devoted Christian and faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Mount Ida where she was loved by the congregation and the Women of Miriam Circle. Dorothy loved embroidery and provided each and every member of her family with her handiwork and taught each of her daughters and several of her granddaughters how to embroider. Her embroidery work will have a lasting impact on her family for years to come. After her hands would no longer allow her to hold her embroidery needle, she turned to her love of reading. She was provided with many books by special friends through the years. When she wasn’t reading, she was completing find-a-word puzzles, keeping her mind sharp throughout the entirety of her life.
Ethelyn McDoniel Moyers
July 3, 1926 – April 11, 2020
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother EH McDoniel Jr, and great-great grandson, Braxton James Taylor.
Ethelyn loved to travel with her cousin, Patsy Brown. She would take off on a road trip leaving a note on Martha’s kitchen table saying I’ll be back in a few days.
Receiving her Bachelor of Science Education Degree from State College of Arkansas (UCA), she taught school for 35 years at Vinity, McRae, and Jacksonville.
Ms. Moyers loved music, taking piano lessons as a child, walking three miles for a lesson on a Saturday with her quarter tied in a handkerchief.
She is survived by her son Arnold E. Shaw (Earnestine) and daughter Martha Rogers (Jimmy), five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren, and sister in law Joyce McDoniel.
The family would like to thank Beebe Retirement Center and staff for the years of excellent care.
Rev. Gary L. Goldman
He is survived by his wife, Janice, of the home; by a daughter and son-in-law, Jamie and Ernie Larson of Malvern; a brother, Ron Goldman of Dallas; two sisters, Wanda Livsey of Texarkana, Arkansas, and Jeanette Spradley of Wichita Falls, Texas; four grandchildren, Lilli Larson, Abi Larson, Jena Minick, and Harrison Hearne.
Gary was also preceded in death by a brother, Ted Goldman.
Rev. Guy M. Whitney, Jr.
Growing up in the Baptist Church, Guy responded to an altar call when he was 11 and preached his first sermon at age 12. In 1966, he graduated from Paragould High School, where he lettered in three sports. While earning degrees in religion and English from Ouachita Baptist University (1966-19670), he became ordained in 1967 and served two new churches, Scranton Baptist Chapel (1966-68) and Broadmore Baptist Church in Brinkley (1968-1970). He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kent., earning a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care and counseling. During seminary, he served as pastor of Pigeon Fork Baptist Church in Waddy, Kent., in 1974-75. He also served Remount Baptist Church in North Little Rock (1975-76). In 1996, he received a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Guy served as a chaplain in the Arkansas Department of Corrections (1977-79) at the Cummins Unit in Grady and the Women’s Unit in Pine Bluff. He also was director of the Therapeutic Community at the Tucker Unit.
In 1979, Guy joined the First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock, where Rev. Dr. Ben Jordan was pastor. Ben became Guy’s mentor as he worked to become ordained in the United Methodist Church, and Guy and his wife, Loretta, remained dear friends thereafter with Ben and his wife, Marie.
Guy was appointed as associate pastor of FUMC North Little Rock in 1980, and he and Loretta were the first couple to be married in the sanctuary of the church (prior to its completion) on February 16, 1980. He spent the rest of his career serving the United Methodist Church, with appointments at Nettleton United Methodist Church (Jonesboro) 1981-84, St. John’s United Methodist Church and Heritage United Methodist Church (Van Buren) 1984-90, First United Methodist Church (Bentonville) 1990-96, First United Methodist Church (Searcy) 1996-98, and St. James United Methodist Church (Little Rock) 2000-04. He also served the Office of the Bishop of the Arkansas Conference as Director of Congregational Development 1998-2000 and as South Central District Superintendent 2004-07. He ended his career in the United Methodist Church where he began it, at FUMC North Little Rock 2007-10.
Warm, gregarious, exuberant, and larger-than-life, Guy loved many things, but none more than his wife, Loretta. In his wallet he kept the receipt from the Holiday Inn in Russellville, where they stayed on their wedding night. They spent their honeymoon at Devil’s Den, and they repeated the trip each year on their anniversary.
Besides his wife and children, his other great love was serving the church. A gifted storyteller with a rich and resounding voice, he inspired many while preaching the gospel, and his voice could always be heard above everyone (even the choir) during hymns. He always wanted to help people. He gave money to anyone who asked. He was always happy to make hospital visits, respond to middle-of-the-night phone calls, officiate at weddings and funerals, and attend all the meetings. Some of his favorite things about being a minister were going to a good potluck (with a bucket of KFC), serving communion, and baptizing babies. A true baby whisperer, he could calm a colicky infant, and he especially enjoyed walking down the center aisle of the church with a newly baptized baby to show it off to the congregation.
Enthusiasm, joy, and goodness infused his whole life. He loved basketball, the Razorbacks, BBQ, Karo syrup, big gatherings with lots of home cooking, taking pictures of the food, a nice shave, a haircut, fresh clean undershirts, brushing his kids’ and grandkids’ hair (and making tight ponytails), mixed nuts and fresh fruit, eating cereal out of a big mixing bowl, reading books by everyone from Joseph Campbell to Louis L’Amour, visiting out of town churches of different denominations, taking a nap (preferably in a recliner), traveling to other countries, watching movies (especially Hoosiers, Cool Hand Luke and Jeremiah Johnson), letting the kids win at ping-pong — but never at Monopoly (“I am the Landlord!”) — and occasionally buying new workout clothes, joining a fancy gym, and then going once and only once.
Guy was survived by his family, including his deeply devoted, loving, and beloved wife of 40 years, Loretta Wilkerson Whitney; his five children, Mandy Hull and her partner Dennis Teplinski of Little Rock, Michele Lemon and her husband Jim Lemon of Conway, J.J. Whitney and her husband Kaleb Barrett of Bentonville, Guy M. Whitney III of New York City, and Katie Whitney and her husband Lew Okun of Ann Arbor; his six grandchildren, Claire Hyatt, Weston Barger, Stephanie Barger, Jack Derden, Charlie Barrett, and Zuzu Whitney; his four grandchildren by marriage, Jayme Lemon, Jordan Lemon, Robert Okun, and Benjamin Okun; his brother, Marv Whitney and his wife Jennifer Denkmann; his sister, Judith (Whitney) Pohlod and her husband Michael; his niece, Jane Emily Hubbs; his nephew, Reed Whitney; his aunts, Ora Lee (Caery) Castleman and Trudy (Caery) Hatcher and her husband Tommy; his uncle, Jerry Caery and his wife Frances; and many beloved cousins.
Guy’s family would like to thank Deborah Piggee, Brittany Piggee, and Kindred Hospice for their compassionate kindness in helping Loretta care for him at the end of his life. They would also like to thank Guy’s faithful friend, Bobby Bell, for coming to tell Guy some hilarious stories in his final hours.
Rev. Hardy P. Peacock
Hardy Preston Peacock, 77, of Little Rock, Arkansas formerly of Dumas, passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Born June 26, 1942 in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of the late Jesse Thomas Peacock, Jr. and Mary Pearce Peacock.
Hardy graduated from University of Arkansas where he and his wife Kathryn met in the Razorback band and traveled during the football championship era from 1964 to 1966. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967 to 1969 attaining the rank of Sergeant. Returning to the Dumas Area he owned Pittman-Witherington Oil Company in Dumas and Cleveland County Oil in Rison. He was a past president of Arkansas Oil Marketers Association and past Vice President of the Petroleum Marketer Association of America.
Hardy was a member of First United Methodist Church of Dumas. As a lifelong Methodist, Hardy served as a lay speaker and became the local pastor serving at Andrews Chapel, Mount Pleasant “Campground”, Rock Springs and Wilmar congregations. He was a former member of Jaycees, Lions Club, a founding member of Dumas Area Arts Center and board member of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. He loved singing and acting in theater productions in Dumas, Pine Bluff and Little Rock. Former Dumas Man of the Year and Ding Dong Daddy, He also wrote humorous articles for The Canopy trade magazine and annually participated in Tuba Christmas. He was generous, loving and a forgiving spirit who shared his wit and humor at the drop of a hat–even if he had to “drop the hat”.
Survivors are his wife, Kathryn Peacock of Little Rock, Arkansas and daughter, Pearce Peacock of Little Rock, Arkansas, sister, Mary Jo Tucker and brother, Tommy (Betty Claire) Peacock all of Dumas, Arkansas.
Rev. J. Donald Johnson
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Edward Johnson and Charles Johnson and a sister, Rogene Johnson Diffee. He is survived by his loving wife of 34 years, Mary T. Johnson; a daughter, Amy Moore and her husband, Chris of Fayetteville, AR; a son, Adam Jones of Fayetteville, AR; two brothers, Roger Johnson of Monroe, GA and Dewey Johnson and his wife, Betty of Shreveport, LA; an adopted daughter, Tina Allen and her husband, Kim of Kingsland, AR; an adopted son, Ashly White and his wife, Jennifer of Fountain Hill, AR; three sisters-in-law, Jan Rose and her friend, Jimmy Brooks of Ruston, LA, Donna DeLoney and her husband, James of Pensacola, FL and Anne Auschwitz and her husband, Ted of Owasso, OK and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was a carpenter prior to accepting the call to ministry in 1981. He served four charges in Louisiana and Arkansas. He was currently serving at the Green Hill/Lacey charge.
Rev. A. James Lann
(Surviving Spouse of Rev. Dudley E. McCulloch)
Feb. 20, 1930 – Feb. 27, 2020
Rev. Joe Sparks
The Rev. Joe L. Sparks Jr. died on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020 at Ashley Health and Rehab in Rogers, Arkansas. He was born at home on Feb. 19, 1926 to Joe L. Sparks Sr. and Mary Cordiela Lann Sparks in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Mary Joe Sparks, Mildred Law and her husband Eldon Law and his precious wife Tommye Mae.
Joe is survived by his three children and their families: Linda (Alan) Payne, Ross (Karen) Sparks and Tommye (Jay) Baldwin. Eight grandchildren: Jennifer (Rodney) Duesterbeck, Sidney (Misty) King, Rebecca (Ben) Szymanski, Rachel (Aaron) Gustum and Nathan Baldwin, and a very special niece, Dr. Maryscott Glasgow. Five great grand-daughters: Kayla Rae Dusterbeck, Harper Lynn King, Riley Anne King, Eleanor Mae Szymanski, Maisie Jo Szymanski and Genevieve Grace Gustum.
Joe graduated from Fort Smith Senior High School in 1943. He joined the US Army Air Corp on his 18th birthday. After passing the physical and aptitude test, he was sent home until called to active duty in March of 1944. He was called to active duty, failed another physical and given a medical discharge. This led him to the next phase of his life.
Before enrolling at the University of Arkansas in the fall of 1945, he worked for a short time as a fireman on the Frisco Railroad. In the spring of ’46 he met a beautiful Pi Phi, Tommye Me Owen, from Marked Tree Arkansas. They were married on Aug. 17, 1947 in the First United Methodist Church of Marked Tree, which was their home for the next 61 years. Over the next 41 years, he worked as an assistant cotton buyer for E. Ritter and Co. managed a Bulk Oil Plant, 500-acre cotton, soybean and dairy farms; and owned and managed O-H Cleaners and Joe Sparks Chevrolet-Olds. He was active in his community serving as president of the Marked Tree Lions Club, Marked Tree Chamber of Commerce, and board member of the Marked Tree Industrial Committee. He served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Delta Vocational Technical Institute and Regional Vice President of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association.
Joe was very active in the First United Methodist Church in Marked Tree. He served as Superintendent of Sunday School, member and chairman of the Administrative Board. He served as a lay leader, delegate to the Annual Conference, teacher of an adult Sunday School Class, and member of the Chancel and Hand Bell Choir. His dedication extended beyond the local church to the district and conference levels. He served as Lay Leader of the Jonesboro District and was a Certified Lay Speaker. He served on the conference committees of Lay Life and Work, the Episcopacy Committee, and the Chair of Diaconal Committee. He was proud to have been elected as a lay member of the 1988 General Conference. He was a board member of the United Methodist Children’s Home and served as Chairman of the Board from 1994-1996. It seems that his varied experiences prepared him for the ministry.
In 1988 at the age of 62, he answered his call to the ministry, which he had been denying for many, many years. He completed the Saint Paul School of Theology Course of Study School in Kansas City, Missouri and was ordained Deacon of the Little Rock Annual Conference in 1995. He was privileged to serve the churches of Bay Village/Farm Hill, Joiner/Terrell, and Parkview in Benton, Arkansas, Tyronza/Centerview and Joiner/Lepanto. Rev. Sparks completed 19 years of ministry and retired in 2007 at the age of 81.
Joe and Tommye Mae lived in Marked Tree for 61 years. They loved to entrain. Operations and illnesses did not deter them from enjoying a wonderful life. They moved to Rogers, Arkansas in 2008 to be near their children. At age 93 he wrote a book, “Tickled Tales-Untold Arkansas Stories from a 93 year Old Great Grandfather.” It was published and sold almost 100 copies. Through all the events of his life his devoted wife, of 69 years, was by his side. He always said, “That without her and the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ he would have accomplished nothing.”
In Lieu of flowers please consider a donation to either Oakley Chapel United Methodist Church of Rogers, or the United Methodist Church of Marked Tree, Arkansas. Visitation for Rev. Sparks will be 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, with a celebration of life to follow at 2 p.m., at Oakley Chapel United Methodist Church in Rogers. Arrangements by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home, Rogers, Arkansas.
Rev. John S. Polk
John Stephen Polk experienced his resurrection birth on March 1, 2020. His earthly journey began August 27, 1942, in Little Rock, the son of James K. and Margaret (Matthews) Polk.
John graduated from Mabelvale High School in 1960 and earned a bachelor’s degree (1965) and a master’s degree (1973), both from the University of Central Arkansas. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he began his public school teaching career in the Hot Springs City School District. He taught history, geography, and American government. Area colleges and technical schools also employed him as an adjunct instructor.
Following 30 years as a school teacher, John became a part-time local pastor, serving as the minister of visitation to homebound members at First United Methodist Church in Hot Springs. He served in that capacity for almost 22 years, retiring due to health reasons in 2016. His caring ministry to homebound members left an indelible mark in the church family and beyond. Many in the church have said, “We need more John Polks in our churches.”
John frequently talked about how much he enjoyed the Local Pastor’s License School and the Course of Study. He spoke of his years of ministry as the most enjoyable years of his life.
John is survived by his wife of almost 54 years, Winona Sue Jines Polk, daughter, Susan Elizabeth Van Dusen, and husband, Timothy, two granddaughters, Elizabeth Anne “Betsy” Van Dusen and Mary Sue Van Dusen; and two brothers, James E. Polk and Lynn M. Polk.
Rev. John Joseph Snyder
Rev. John Snyder, Jr., 79 of Brookland, Arkansas passed away Friday, May 29, 2020 at Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House, Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was born January 6, 1941 in Muskegon, Michigan to John J. Snyder, Sr. and Jane Weirs Snyder. He was a member of the Community Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and for forty years was a pastor for the Church of the Nazarene and Methodist church. He enjoyed reading, writing, and golfing. Survivors include; his wife: Charlene Snyder, of the home; one son: Craig Snyder (Christine) of Ottawa, Illinois; two daughters: Lynette Snyder of Nashville, Tennessee and Debi Jo Bruce of Crown Point, Indiana; six grandchildren: Olivia Snyder, Sophia Snyder, Andy Elliott, Aaliyah Bruce, Dekayla Bruce and Brandon Bruce; half sister: Patti Pastor of Muskegon, Michigan; and a host of other family and friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by; one brother: Scott Snyder of Detroit, Michigan; half brother: Tom Pastor and half sister: Nancy Pastor.
Rev. Kay Wiggins
Kay was born on July 9, 1948, in Neenah, Wisconsin, to James R. “Bob” and Lenice Marie Regel Hansen. She was a resident of Cherokee Village, Arkansas, since 1973. She married Frank J. Wiggins, Jr., on April 8, 1989.
Kay received her BA in Christian Education from Williams Baptist College. She was an ordained United Methodist minister, certified yoga instructor, Reiki Level 2 practitioner, poet, speaker, and author.
Those who knew Kay know that she loved better than most. She was a role model to many and shared her wisdom, love, and light with everyone she came in contact with. She lived her life with purpose and advocated for a world filled with peace and love and would like to be remembered for her kindness, acceptance, and sense of humor.
Kay is preceded in death by her father, Bob Hansen, and survived by her mother, Lenice Hansen of Cherokee Village, AR, along with 5 siblings: Susan Hansen of Cherokee Village, AR; Jack Hansen of Hardy, AR; Jim (Debbie) Hansen of Cherokee Village, AR; John (Cindi) Hansen of Cherokee Village, AR; and Jay (Connie) Hansen of Benton, AR; and 3 children: Peter J. (Kari) Winters of Farmington, AR; Kristen Kay Winters (Owen) Ford of Little Rock, AR; Daniel L. (Ann-Marie) Winters of Springfield, MO; and an additional 4 children who she loved as her own: Clay (Gail) Wiggins of Ash Flat, AR; Curt (Trish) Wiggins of Cherokee Village, AR; LeAnne Wiggins of Jonesboro, AR; and Jody (Kristi) Wiggins of Siloam Springs, AR. Kay left behind 15 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a host of close friends and other family members.
Rev. Lewis V. Chesser, Jr.
The Rev. Lewis Vernon Chesser Jr., of Fort Smith passed away July 20, 2020. He was born July 13, 1933, in Attalla, Ala., to Lewis Vernon Chesser Sr. and Bessie Ophelia (Hicks) Chesser.
Although his family moved around, including two stints in Washington, D.C., Lewis primarily grew up in Red Level and Andalusia, Ala., surrounded by his loving extended family. He was a proud graduate of the University of Alabama, where he received a degree in physics and also served as editor of The Mahout magazine. Lewis loved watching sports. He was a lifelong Crimson Tide fan, although after moving to Arkansas, his second allegiance — with frequent frustration — was to the Razorbacks.
After graduating from college, Lewis went to work as an engineer for Boeing in Seattle. It was during this time that he met Elsie “Mazie” May Louthan, who was traveling in the Seattle area during the summer of 1959; they were married the following year. Lewis enrolled in Duke Divinity School, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in divinity in 1963. Upon graduation, he joined the North Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he served as an elder in full connection and in a mentoring role for numerous clergy, students and others for most of his life.
During his active career as a minister, he served North Arkansas United Methodist churches in Plumerville, Green Forest, Alpena, Fayetteville (the Wesley Foundation at the University of Arkansas, St. James and Sequoyah), Fort Smith (Hendricks Hills), Waldron and Charleston. He was also an accomplished poet who completed a Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing at the University of Arkansas; he was well known for his thoughtful Christmas season poems.
In addition to being a minister and poet, Lewis was an excellent carpenter. He designed and built a cabin on his land near Green Forest, known to the family as “Chesserpeak,” and he spent his retirement years lovingly restoring his 1890 Queen Anne style Victorian home in Fort Smith, where he resided until his death.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Gayle Nicholson and Jeanne Hinton; and his loving wife of 58 years, Mazie Chesser.
Survivors include three children, Wib Chesser (Frances Wu) of Washington, D.C., Dawn Chesser (Scot Danforth) of Knoxville, Tenn., and William Chesser (Alison Turner) of Fayetteville; five grandchildren, William Gill Giese of Oahu, Hawaii, Christopher Giese of Madison, Wis., Leith Chesser and Lila Chesser, both of Washington, D.C., and Ares Chesser of Fayetteville; along with numerous family members, ministry colleagues, former parishioners and friends.
July 10, 1923 – March 17, 2020
Lurline Walthall, age 96, of Stamps, Arkansas passed away March 17, 2020. She was born July 10, 1923 in Stamps, Arkansas to Robert and Effie Rogers Stevens. She was a member of Stamps First United Methodist Church, American Legion Auxiliary, Mary McSwain Sunday School Class and Methodist Women’s Club. Mrs. Walthall supported her husband in pastoring many Methodist Churches in south Arkansas. She loved canning, pickling, gardening and men’s Razorback basketball.
Mrs. Walthall was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Bud, Finus and Ray Stevens; sisters, Lura Tissue and Ophelia Allen; granddaughter, Lacretia Harris and grandson, Richard Lee Harris, II.
She is survived by her husband, Charles Walthall; son, Steve Walthall and wife, Stephanie of Austin, TX; daughter, Charlotte Harris and husband, Richard of Lewisville, AR; brother, Bobby Stevens and wife, Virginia of Daingerfield, TX; grandson, Robby Harris and wife, Nicki of Lewisville, AR; great-grandchildren, Brittany, Colby, Molly, Gavin and Braxton and five great-great grandchildren.
The family is very grateful for the staff and residence at Magnolia Health & Rehab for their help, love, care and friendship. Also a special thanks goes to Sylvia Knight at Encompass Health.
Mary E. Green
(Spouse of Rev. Victor Green)
July 14, 1938 – Nov. 21, 2019
Mary Adney Green, age 81, of Benton, passed away November 21, 2019. She was born in Rives, Missouri on July 14, 1938 to Archie and Loney Adney. Following their residence on Petit Jean Mountain and Hot Springs, they moved to Benton and Mary started 1st grade in the New Hope Community School.
She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Kimberly Leigh Green McNabb; brother, James Adney; and a grandniece, Randi Ann Adney.
Mary is survived by her husband of 58 years, Victor Green of Benton; daughter, Karen Marie Blasingame (Daniel) of Fayetteville; niece, Susan O’Kelley (Jimmy); nephew, Randy Adney (Jan); and eleven grandchildren, Oliver McNabb, Jackson McNabb, Lehman McNabb, Mary Claire McNabb, Ophelia Blasingame, Victor Blasingame, Fiona Blasingame, Veronica Lawson, Victoria Lawson, Tyler Lawson and Danica Lawson.
She graduated from Benton High School in 1956 and the Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1959, retiring in 2003 after 44 years in the nursing profession.
Mary served in the Arkansas National Guard where she earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. In 1971, she and Marcia Williams organized the Arkansas Unit of the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program. This a rehabilitation program for mastectomy patients. In 1978, she received the KARK TV Channel 4 Community Service Award for her volunteer work with the American Cancer Society. In 1993, Mary received a Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award while working with cancer patients in the oncology unit at Baptist Hospital. She was a member of the P.E.O. chapter, serving as president in 1999 to 2001 and again from 2015 to 2017. Mary was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Benton and all of the other United Methodist Churches where her husband served as pastor. She always said when they pulled into the driveway of their new parsonage and started unloading boxes that we have arrived at home and ours was the greatest appointment made. Mary was also a member of the United Methodist Women and the Twirling Lariats.
Rev. Norman C. Moyer
He was a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College; Perkins School of Theology, SMU; and Arkansas Tech University. He met his wife, Bonda Deere, in Systemic Theology Class at Perkins. They were married, June 1, 1979, at the Sparkman United Methodist Church. After seminary they moved to Harrison, Arkansas, where he served Alpena, Omaha, Valley Springs, and Bergman United Methodist Churches. While in Harrison their daughter, Amanda Marie was born, December 29, 1981. Their next appointments were in Clarendon where Norm served as associate at churches in the Marianna Larger Parish followed by Holly Grove/Shiloh. From there he served as associate pastor at First United Methodist, Russellville. He then enrolled at ATU where he majored in Theatre and Speech while serving as pastor at Shiloh UMC in Dry Fork. During these four years he was a cast member at the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs and played Simon Peter on the Holy Land Tour.
The next seven years he was pastor of Forrest Hills in Forrest City and Madison UMC. This was followed by churches in Clinton, Marshall/Leslie and Leola/Moore’s Chapel. Then Norm took Honorable Location and served as he put it ”Bonda’s unpaid associate” at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Booneville, Hoxie, and August/Bald Knob. When Bonda retired, they moved to Conway to be near Amanda.
Norm was an active member of Lions Clubs International. He had been president of several clubs where he had lived. Currently he was president of the Conway Evening Lions and the Youth Exchange Coordinator for the Arkansas State Lions and was Past district Governor of Lions District 7-0.Norm was a member of the Storytellers Network. He enjoyed telling stories whether it was folk tales and legends at the local library or portraying biblical characters at Vacation Bible Schools and churches. He also was a clown, teaching youth how to be clowns, visiting nursing homes and hospitals.
About a year ago Norm wrote ”Joy is my chosen mission and as John Wesley said, ‘The world is my parish.’ The bible says, ‘Rejoice, Again I say Rejoice!’ The middle of Rejoice is joy. The mission I have set my life path upon to travel is to bring JOY into everybody’s life to assist them in remembering an essential part of their humanity. …It’s my vocation.” He was a member of Wesley UMC, Conway and attended St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Stanley F. Moyer, Jr.
Survivors include his wife, Bonda Deere Moyer of Conway; daughter, Amanda Yarbro (Bret) Conway; sister, Joyce Hall (Michael) Ridgely, MD and Linda Moyer-Ketterman (Brian Senior) Port Charlotte, FL and many beloved friends.
Rev. Dr. Russell Renneau Moore
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas on Aug. 28, 1953, Russell traveled the U.S. and overseas first as the son of a Navy Admiral and later as he served his country in the Navy himself. He met his high school sweetheart when his father was stationed in Millington, TN. They later married in 1977.
Russell rose through the ranks in the Navy to Lt. Commander, but after getting his Masters of Divinity at Vanderbilt, he chose to come home to Arkansas with his family to serve as a Methodist Pastor. During his first years as a pastor, Russell served the remainder of his 20 years in the Naval Reserves. In his 30 years as a pastor, he served seven churches around Arkansas and received a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Methodist University.
With priorities never so clear as in his last days, Russell said, “Life is about loving and growing. Anything you build is going to be ashes and dust.”
Russell was a wise man of vision and initiative who impacted many lives around the world. He was funny and keenly intelligent. He was a man of great generosity. He will be deeply missed.
Rev. James Scott Moore
(Spouse of Rev. Lynn Lindsey)
Dec. 1, 1936 – June 25, 2020
He was born on December 1, 1936 in Mena and was predeceased by his parents, Gladys and Alex Lindsey; his first wife, Rose Marie Robertson Lindsey to whom he was married for 17 years; his son Clay Martin Wimberly; his sister, Harriet Brewer; his brother, Philip Lindsey; and his sister-in- law, Anne Hansen.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Lynn Hansen Wimberly Lindsey; daughter, Elaine Lindsey Porter and husband Robert (Fayetteville); daughter Beth Wimberly Hohfeler and husband Jay (Dallas); son Todd Lindsey and wife Gwen (Tampa); and daughter Mary Kate Wimberly (Fayetteville). Wayne is also survived by his seven grandchildren : Molly Hohfeler Vaugn (Jack), Tyler Lindsey (Mallory), Hannah Lindsey, Maggie Hohfeler, Joseph Porter, Matthew Porter, Kate Hohfeler and a nephew, Douglas Griffiths.
Wayne graduated from Mena High School where he excelled in all sports. He attended Arkansas Tech University, where he played football for the “Wonder Boys”. After transferring to the University of Arkansas, he graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
His distinguished professional career focused on housing issues, specifically with the goal of providing safe, affordable housing for all people. This goal was achieved with work through the Little Rock Housing Authority, the United States Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development and Charter Mortgage & Investments Inc. He later founded Wayne Lindsey and Associates, a housing consulting firm, and prior to his illness, served many clients.
Wayne was kind and gentle, honest and genuine. He was a lover of the downtrodden and gave dignity, without distinction, to everyone. To the family’s amusement and fascination, he sought out total strangers on vacations around the world to introduce himself and get to know them—no matter the context or time constraint. Some of Wayne’s fondest memories were of trips to Russia, Israel and Europe with Lynn. He and Lynn were of like-minds when it came to sacrificing their lives for children and grandchildren. Wayne’s favorite title was “Pappaw”, which was how the grandchildren referred to him. He cherished family vacations to the beach, mountains, and National Parks, as well as cruises with the grandchildren to Alaska and the Caribbean. In Wayne’s eyes, the location mattered not as much as the fact that he was with his favorite people.
Wayne could elicit laughter at most any time with an understated dryness of which he was probably never aware. He was a humble, grateful man—qualities that owe their source to being loved by Christ. He was long-suffering (as in driving a rented Winnebago for two weeks through the American West with a new wife and five newly-blended children.) He was generous with his time and resources because he genuinely knew they weren’t his to hold.
Wayne gave his life away in service to Christ and the community of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. Leading strategically, he served on the Board of Stewards, Mission Board and the Education Committee. In addition, he chaired the Finance Committee and served as a Stephen Minister Leader. For over a decade, he taught elementary-grade Sunday school classes and supported Lynn’s service in ministry for their entire marriage. But, his signature contribution remained as an usher most Sunday mornings greeting countless church members and visitors at the sanctuary’s front door. This singular duty became a multiplier of warmth to souls known and unknown to him. His welcoming smile, engaging laugh and strong handshake, somehow, made all the difference to the congregation. He projected safety and comfort to all inside and loved them with his service.
William Carl Wisener
Bill was a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello and the SMU Swigsbie School of Banking. After playing basketball for the Warren Lumberjacks and the University of Arkansas at Monticello Weevils, Bill built a career in banking, both at Warren Bank and Trust in Warren and at Simmons Bank in Monticello. But his real calling was building and maintaining relationships with thousands of people across south Arkansas, each of whom believed he or she was Bill’s best friend.
A lifelong Methodist, Bill was a member of First United Methodist Church in Monticello. Bill believed in serving others. He did this by working in the Feed Our Neighbors program, by leading classes at the local church, and by serving in a variety of leadership positions both locally and at the level of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he most recently had served as chair of the Committee on Finance and Administration. Bill’s community service included positions on the boards of Warren YMCA, Warren Water Commission, and UAM Foundation.
Bill also worked to build community. He was a web-weaver, constantly reaching out and connecting people together in his communities of family, church, the river crew at Pine Prairie, bank employees and customers, and his hunting and fishing communities. His favorite activities were crappie fishing and watching St. Louis Cardinal baseball.