Obituary – Rev. Charles T. Thompson

Rev. Charles T. Thompson
March 9, 1942 – May 6, 2022

Rev. Charles Trabue Thompson, 80, devoted husband to wife, Linda Kay Thompson, and companion to Simon and Monette, passed away peacefully in the early hours of May 6, 2022, peacefully in his home.

Charles was born March 9, 1942, in Texarkana, TX, the oldest among 3 siblings to Charles Trabue Thompson Sr. and Mary Ruth (nee) Bell. He and Jerry Sue Keller-Thompson were blessed with 4 children: Sarah, Angela, John, and Christopher.

He was a DJ and a journalist before being called to the ministry of Christ. Rev. Thompson received his undergraduate education in Religion and Church Careers in Louisiana, his Master of Divinity degree and seminary training at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and served as pastor in the United Methodist Church for the past 42 years in Almyra; Bayou Meto; Carr Memorial; Wilson; Clarendon; Aldersgate; Stephens Charge; Earle/Crawfordsville; Harrisburg First; and Pleasant Valley, all in Arkansas, and in Colorado including Paonia, Parachute, Fruita, and Crossroads UMC in Grand Junction. Debeque and First Congregational UCC, Koinonia. Charles considered it a privilege to fulfill his calling and loved his church families dearly and compassionately. He had a passion for missions and made several trips to Mexico. He held the Arkansas Walk to Emmaus close to his heart. He will be greatly missed.

Friends and family alike knew of his passion for music, art, planes, and trains. Charles and Linda also shared a love for rescue pets. He had great zeal for life and was always in search of his newest hobby – most recently, an avid coffee connoisseur and rose enthusiast.

Charles is survived by his wife, Linda Kay; sister, Kathleen Highnight (Dan); children, Sarah McBroom (Ray), Angela Lawson (Carl), John Thompson (Beth), and Christopher Holsinger (Natalie); stepchildren, Jack Bumpass (Shannon) and Meredith Viator (Stephen); six grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by sisters Charlotte and Renetta and stepdaughter, Stacy.

Charles experienced great love and joy with his family and considered himself most blessed. He retired in AR but always wanted to get back to CO.

Along life’s journeys, he never stopped reminiscing about his adopted home. John Denver said it best, “I guess he’d rather be in Colorado…”

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, May 16 at Crossroads United Methodist Church (599 30 Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81504).

Browns Cremation Service

Obituary – Herman Arvin Norris

Herman Arvin Norris
April 15, 1932 – May 7, 2022

Herman Arvin Norris, age 90 of Monticello, went to be with his Lord and Savior Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Chapel Woods Nursing and Rehab in Warren, AR. He was born April 15, 1932, in Harrell, AR to the late Everett Norris and Annie Smart Norris.

He was a retired farmer, United States Navy Veteran, and member of Tabernacle of Faith Church. Herman enjoyed traveling, gardening, fishing, camping, and doing his churches maintenance. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his first wife, Rebecca Austin; and a son, Mitchell R. Norris.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah Norris of Monticello; a daughter, Debbie and Ron Newberry of Mt. Ida; a son, Terry and Margaret Norris of Monticello; stepchildren, Janet and Tommy Vinson of Magnolia, Ronnie and Angel McTigrit of Star City, Patsy and Denny Hurst of El Dorado and Gary McTigrit of El Dorado; two sisters, Linda Aldridge and Carolyn Norris both of Bryant; grandchildren, Josh and Jamie Newberry, Summer and Chase Riehn, Hayley and Bart Russell, Heath McTigrit, Trent Vinson, Eli and Amie Vinson, Jennifer and Jeremy Bradley, Holly and Kelly Ray Persons; and seven great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Tabernacle of Faith Church in Monticello with Rev. Terry Norris and Rev. Ron Newberry officiating. Burial will be in Walnut Lake Cemetery in Dumas, AR. There will be a visitation from 5-7 p.m. Monday evening at Tabernacle Church.

You can sign Herman’s guestbook page at www.stephensondearman.com.

Obituary – Marion Jane Laird Baker

Marion Jane Laird Baker
July 8, 1924 – May 4, 2022

Marion Jane Laird Baker died peacefully at home on May 4 with her daughters by her side.

She was born smiling on July 8, 1924, to Thompson and Marion McAdams Laird in Dallas, Texas, the first grandchild of A.S. and Jamie Laird and Lee McAdams, and was doted on from the beginning by aunts Ruth Reardon and Libbus Caldwell.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, Ferris, and their beloved son, Randy. She is survived by daughters, Judy Goss (Pat), Little Rock, and Barbara Satterfield (Jim Volkert), Conway. She was “Mama B” to grandchildren, Branch Satterfield (Carrie) and Mary Margaret Satterfield, Conway; Jamie Goss Dempsey (Matty) and Margie Goss Buzbee (John), Little Rock, and great-grandchildren, Lake, Tucker, and Porter Satterfield, Jack and Julia Dempsey, and Anna and Jay Buzbee. Cousins Betty Caldwell, New Orleans, LA, and Jamie Dietrich, New York, NY, predeceased her, and she is survived by cousin Bob Reardon (Kathleen), Delray Beach, FL.

Marion was a bragging Texan whose Conway roots grew deep over sixty-three years before her death. Widely known for active community involvement, she loved socializing and welcomed newcomers to multiple organizations and events. She was proud to work with many to help Conway grow and prosper.

Raised a Presbyterian in Oak Cliff, Marion graduated from Sunset High School in 1940 and Southern Methodist University as a Sigma Kappa and sociology major in 1944. In summers, she took education classes at state schools, dancing on every campus. She credited letters from friends serving in World War II and hearing President Roosevelt’s radio broadcasts for igniting her political awareness. Working for SMU’s academic dean in 1946, she met Rev. Ferris C. Baker, a Master’s candidate in sociology. Married on April 4, 1947, they lived in the athletic dorm, embraced by the guys as “Preacher,” Marion and, in 1948, baby Judy. From 1950, Marion participated in Wesley Foundation, directed by Ferris, at First Methodist Church, Denton, TX. As Barbara and Randy were born, she worked as a church secretary, and she took graduate education courses at North Texas State College. She loved lifelong friends made in Denton.

The family moved in 1959 to Conway, where Ferris taught sociology at Hendrix College. Marion joined UMW at First Methodist Church, Hendrix Dames, and the League of Women Voters. She was a warm hostess to Hendrix students, greeting them later at Alumni Weekends. Marion joined the Conway Human Relations Council, led by Ferris to promote civil rights as he had done in the Wesley Foundation. Working happily for decades as a legal secretary, she stayed involved in her children’s activities. She raised them to make friends, enjoy books, use imagination, be responsible and have fun in all pursuits. Their friends knew her as a strict mother with a spontaneous and entertaining sense of humor.

With Randy’s brain surgery in 1973, she became a knowledgeable caregiver, and, when he developed glioblastoma in 1982, she and Ferris accompanied him for treatments at M.D. Anderson. After his death in 1984, they participated with other bereaved parents in Compassionate Friends.

Over years she enjoyed the Forum Sunday School class and was active in the Mary Mitchell UMW circle at First Methodist Church. She supported Friends of the Faulkner County Library, the Faulkner County Historical Association, Conway Community Arts, Reynolds Performance Series, Conway Men’s Chorus, and Toad Suck Daze. Marion was a member of Chapter BE, P.E.O. and a founding member of P.E.O., Chapter CA, achieving her 50-year Golden Membership Award in 2019. She also enjoyed membership in the Conway Civic League, Conway Shakespeare Club, and WIN Investment Club. A popular local book reviewer, she presented authors such as Molly Ivins, Erma Bombeck, and Nora Ephron. With Ferris, she volunteered at Conway Regional Medical Center. In 1990, she and Ferris received the Ethel K. Millar Award for Religion and Social Awareness through the Steele Center for Religion and Philosophy at Hendrix.

Focusing more on political action in the 1990s, Marion founded the Faulkner Country chapter of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Fan Club with Ferris, and created service projects related to education. When the Clintons left Washington, she volunteered at the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library, greeting visitors enthusiastically. She voiced activism through letters to newspaper editors. She was a leader in both Faulkner County Democratic Women and the Faulkner County Democratic Party, which honored her with the first annual Marion Baker Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Covered in bright stickers for Democratic candidates and causes, her car was a familiar sight.

Ferris died in 2006, and she was shocked to outlive her husband who “did everything for me.” They had danced from living rooms to ballrooms, played games from bridge to chicken foot dominoes, and attended events from performances to political rallies, weddings to funerals. With his photo in every room, Marion continued to volunteer at the church, phone Democratic candidates, and visit ailing friends, pumpkin muffins in hand. Despite pandemic “distancing,” she phoned, emailed, and wrote notes. Marion loved being alone with a good book, but friends energized her with smiles and laughter and she kept them close as long as she could.

The family thanks Hospice Care at Home of Conway, especially nurse Jessica Belote, caregiver Billy York, and the Visiting Angels of Conway staff for medical and comfort care as illness and age weakened her.

A family graveside service will occur at Oak Grove Cemetery on May 18; a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on May 23, at First United Methodist Church, Reverends Michael and Dede Roberts officiating. Arrangements by Roller-McNutt, Conway. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hendrix College, First United Methodist Church, or Faulkner County Library system. Online guestbook available at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/conway

Obituary – Carol “Coach” Henry

Carol “Coach” Henry
September 21, 1930 — May 3, 2022

Carol “Coach” Henry died peacefully on May 3, 2022.  He was born in 1930 outside of England, Arkansas, at the “Tankersley” place and he didn’t have a birth certificate until he was 17 years old.  His parents were Burt Dallas & Jo Eddie Henry and he had 4 brothers, Burt Jr., Joe, David, and Fred, and two sisters, Dahlene and Peggy.  In 1942, when the older boys went to war, Carol and his brother David had to run the town dairy and get up every day at 3:00 a.m. to milk the cows before attending school.  By the ripe age of 12, Carol was driving the school bus!

Coach attended Lonoke High School from the 7th – 11th grades.  He met the love of his life, Saville Henry, when he was in the 9thgrade, and they dated all the way through high school.  In his Senior Year he transferred to Central High School and played for the Wilson Tigers under Coach Wilson Matthews.  He left Central High School at mid-term to go to the University of Arkansas on a football scholarship.  He started his freshman year and got to play Notre Dame at War Memorial Stadium where he scored a touchdown on a long pass.  As part of a fraternity, he won an intramural track meet and was recruited by the U of A to run for the track team.  He ran the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds in tennis shoes. 

Carol and Saville were engaged in the summer before his freshman football season.  They were married at Lonoke Methodist Church on March 30, 1952, and at the end of the semester Carol dropped out of school to remodel a house on his father’s farm where they were going to live.  Ironically, he was drafted three months later and was in the army for 21 months.  He went into basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, then was stationed in California and Pirmasens, Germany for 11 months.  After he was discharged, he went to Teacher’s College in 1954 and played football for two seasons.  He coached in England in 1956 and in 1957 he was hired to coach in Paragould.  His daughter Cindy was born in 1957 and his son Cal was born in 1959.  Coach paid for their births by running the Country Club swimming pool during the Summer.  The family moved to North Little Rock in 1964 and Carol was the head track coach and assistant football coach for North Little Rock High School.

In 1970, Coach Carol Henry became the first principal at the newly built Lakewood Junior High. He also served on the Pulaski County Quorum Court for 18 years and was a State Legislator for two terms.  In the legislature he co-authored House Bill 1093 subtitled “No Excuse Absentee Balloting” that allowed for early voting in Arkansas and remains in effect to this day.  When his father, Daddy Burt, died in 1977, Coach retired from education to manage Lonoke Henry Farm and Protho Manor Apartments. 

He shared 62 years of marriage with Saville Henry before she died in 2013.  Throughout their lives together they were actively involved in church, community service, and social activities.  They enjoyed love, laughter, dancing, playing cards, and spoiling their two beloved grandchildren, Heather, and Tyler Lindsey.  Coach Henry also loved duck hunting and sharing laughs with his best friend in life, Carl Lacy. He made daily trips to BJ’s for lunch and loved taking his dog Parker to his farm in Lonoke. He was known for his “MalaCoachisms”, a mistaken or intentional misuse of a word or phrase. He had a devout faith and was an active member of Lakewood United Methodist Church, where he held court on the back row.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Saville Henry, and his parents, Burt Dallas Henry and Jo Eddie Henry, his stepmother, Myrtle Henry, and his siblings, Dalene Henry Porter, Burt Henry Jr., Joe Eddie Henry, David Henry, and Fred Henry. He is survived by his daughter Cindy Shaw Henry (Joe Marchese), his son Cal Henry, his granddaughter Heather Haney (Bubba), his grandson Tyler Lindsey (Mallory), and two great-grandsons, James Lindsey and Henry Haney, and his sister Peggy Henry McElrath.

Memorials may be given to the Saville Henry Endowment Fund at Lakewood United Methodist Church or to Camp Aldersgate.

A visitation will be held 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Thursday, May 5, 2022, at Smith North Little Rock Family Funeral Home (1921 Main Street).  A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the sanctuary at Lakewood United Methodist Church on Friday, May 6th, at 1:30 p.m. followed by interment at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Cemetery. 

Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.

Obituary – Mary Sue Tanner

Mary Sue Tanner
January 20, 1934 – April 29, 2022

With her loving husband of 65 years holding her hand, Mary Sue Tanner of Hot Springs Village died on April 29, 2022. Sue was born on January 20, 1934 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to the late P.A. and Lois Marie Smith. Following a childhood surrounded by friends, loving aunts and uncles, her brother and a myriad of cousins, she trekked to Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She combined her keen intellect and innate curiosity with developing lifelong relationships, including with her future husband, George A. Tanner.

Following their marriage on July 8, 1956, Sue and George relocated to Durham, North Carolina while George pursued his master’s in divinity. She solidified her commitment to the Wesleyan Tradition of doing all the good you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can in her role as the bride of a Methodist minister.

In addition to being a loving, supportive spouse and mother to two adoring sons, Sue was an early childhood public school educator in the many communities she and George lived and served. She taught in Durham, North Carolina; Magnolia, Arkansas; Eugene, Oregon; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Lake Village, Arkansas; Camden, Arkansas; and Dumas, Arkansas.

Although always an educator, Sue ended her role as a classroom teacher and turned her considerable energies toward a life of volunteer service. She was actively involved with United Methodist Women, Community Concerts, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Garland County Master Gardeners, and especially empowering other women through the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Sue enjoyed being a member of the Hot Springs Village Women’s Tennis Team and promoting locally sourced foods. Reading to the young cherubim at the North Garland County Head Start Program near the Cedar Mountain Boys and Girls Club was a weekly delight for Sue and a further demonstration of her love for all God’s children.

An avid traveler with a willing companion, George and Sue were able to visit every continent with the exception of Antarctica, but she did get within a stone’s throw of seeing emperor penguins in the wild. Most importantly, Sue built and sustained lifelong relationships with friends who have added life to her years and years to her life.

She is survived by her husband, George A. Tanner; son, Gary Tanner (Denise); son, Scott Tanner (Connie) and brother-in-law, Jim Tanner (Marilynn). The family would like to extend their thanks and admiration to the angels with Village Home Care, Greenwood Manor, and Mt. Carmel who have surrounded George and Sue with amazing nurturant care during this chapter in their lives.

A celebration of Sue’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 3 at Village United Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider memorials in Sue’s memory to Hendrix College and Village United Methodist Church.

Obituary – Johnnie Merle McDowell

Johnnie Merle McDowell
Aug 5, 1933 – Apr 29, 2022

Johnnie Merle McDowell passed away on April 29, 2022, surrounded by her family. Born on August 5, 1933, in Yell County, Johnnie’s family moved to West Helena when she was a young girl, and she lived there until she moved to Little Rock to be closer to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Thurman Robert “Bobby” McDowell was taken with Johnnie’s beauty, and they married on January 27, 1951. She and Bobby raised their three children in a happy and loving home with Johnnie loving them unconditionally and caring for them as the consummate homemaker. She was able to live independently until two days after Easter of this year, maintaining the same immaculate home, yard, and her beautiful appearance.

Bobby and her son, Rob, predeceased her, as did her parents, Otis Benton Watson and Grace Howell Watson, and six of her siblings: Earl Watson, Inez Cook, Neva Harden, Ida Matthews, Geraldene Von Kanel, and Nina England. She is survived by two other sisters, Betty Chambers and Lois Madonia.  She is also survived by her daughters, Debbie Dillier (Larry) of Bentonville and Patty Waddell (Bill) of Little Rock, and her daughter-in-love, Robyn McDowell of Gurdon. Cherishing her memory as their Mamaw are her grandchildren, Allison Wood, Elizabeth Robinson, Jessie Teegarden, Grace Waddell, Anna Waddell and Trent McDowell, and her great-grandchildren, Lawson Wood, John David Wood, Fisher Robinson, Lilly Robinson, Stella Robinson, and Georgia Teegarden. She delighted in each of them and they were her pride and joy. 

The family will hold a private memorial service. Memorials may be made to Highland Valley United Methodist Church, 15524 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72211. The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to the staff in the ICU South Unit of Baptist Health for their tender care and support during Johnnie’s last days.