Obituary for Lila Elaine Hicks

Lila Elaine Hicks was born in Scottsbluff, NE, March 30, 1926 and died June 29, 2019, at her home in Little Rock, AR. Elaine was pre-deceased by her husband, Bishop Kenneth Hicks, and son-in-law, Wayne Gottschalk. Her survivors are daughters Debra Gottschalk of Topeka, KS, Linda Hicks of Cabot AR, granddaughter Dr. Kiley Gottschalk (Oren Lee-Parritz) of Waltham, MA, grandson Spencer Gottschalk of Topeka, KS. She became a true Nebraska girl, living in cities throughout the state under the loving gaze of her mother, Martha Magnolia (Nolia) and an abundance of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who helped define and shape her into a woman who cherished “family.” While attending York College in York, Nebraska, where she pursued teacher education curriculum, she attended an event, in the fall of 1945, where a student by the name of Ken Hicks was the Master of Ceremonies. She mentioned to a friend she rather liked him. Two days later he called her, they went on a date, became engaged in November 1945 and were married Aug. 11, 1946. After being married nearly 73 years, they decided it was going to last.

The life of a minister’s wife was one of adapting, listening, extrapolating, being creative, being objective, being politically correct, knowing and being social…all while modeling love, grace, intelligence, wisdom and discipline for her daughters, so they could become the best people they could be. With passion, organization and fortitude, she orchestrated the residential moves which occurred about every four years into parsonages in a variety of floor plans and conditions and communities of various personalities. Working was necessary, so she became a Jill of many trades…a dental assistant, a doctor assistant, a kindergarten teacher, an administrative assistant…and a Master of all. Her love of music and wonderful organizational skills enhanced many roles in the churches.

In the role of a Bishop’s wife, she added another job to her resume. Her support of Ken, through facilitating meetings for Bishops and spouses, organizing conference events, organizing Ken for travel…and life, actually…, providing counsel to him, and participating in all facets of the Episcopal wife’s duties rounded out the job description.

When the grandchildren were born, life became even richer for her. She guided them with love and joy, becoming the MaaMaw these children needed to navigate this life.

Elaine belonged to many civic and church organizations, including being part of the first group of people serving as proud volunteers at the Clinton Presidential Center and being a member of P.E.O. Through these opportunities, she brought cherished, enduring friendships into her circle of life’s abundant gifts.

Animals…she loved them all, from rescued baby birds, to feral cats to not feral cats, to butterflies, to parrots, to dogs. Abby, her rag doll guardian cat of the last five years, was a magical gift, a touchstone for Elaine in good, bad and “It’s OK” times, a spirit dashing between bedrooms, care-taking her beloved people.

A village of people walked with Elaine through the last phase of her life, including caregivers Andrew, Celeste, Curtis, Debbie, John, Latonia, Lucille, TJ, and Arkansas Hospice. The family offers profound appreciation for the respect, kindness, generosity and compassionate care she was given.

Elaine Hicks was probably more than anyone knew, most always giving the stage, the credit to her successful husband. However, he would not have been who he was or what he accomplished…nor would her children and grandchildren…without this woman of intelligence, resilience, wisdom, humor and love…a river of deep, generous love.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to organizations close to Elaine’s heart:

Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks Peace Endowment at PHUMC, 4823 Woodlawn Drive, Little Rock 72205

An animal rescue organization of your choice.

A celebration service honoring Elaine’s life as she transitioned and a service of thanksgiving and resurrection for her husband, Kenneth Hicks, were intertwined, as were they, at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.

Obituary for Bishop Kenneth William Hicks

Bishop Kenneth William Hicks, 96, died Wednesday, June 19, at his home in Shepherd’s Cove in Little Rock midst his wife and family. He was born as the only child of Earl and Ertie Hicks on June 18, 1923, near Iola, KS, and graduated from high school in 1941. During the early years of World War II, he worked in a Nashville TN airplane factory where bombers were built. Eventually he attended junior college, after which he enrolled at York College (NE), completing a B.A. degree. He then enrolled at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, earning his Master of Theology in 1953. Ordained a Deacon in 1952 and an Elder in 1953, Hicks served Methodist churches in Colorado for seven years, and then later in Nebraska including five years as a District Superintendent.

Rev. Hicks met his lovely wife Elaine in college and they married in 1946. From then until he died last Wednesday, they were one another’s counsel in all matters.

Hicks was elected to the United Methodist episcopacy in 1976, first serving the Little Rock and North Arkansas Conferences (merging in 2002 to become the Arkansas Conference). While in Arkansas he established an excellent record of credibility and gained a respectable reputation for leadership in human relations, justice issues, and a respect for life. He was also called as a plaintiff to testify against the legislation that would have allowed Creation Science to be taught in Arkansas public schools, which was eventually repealed.

In 1984 Bishop Hicks was assigned to the Kansas Episcopal Area, which included the Kansas East and Kansas West Conferences. Again he served for eight years, prodding and challenging the pastors, District Superintendents and laity in his care to innovative and effective approaches to ministry. While there, a Kansas church-affiliated hospital came into a negotiated sale arrangement to a private corporate entity. Though he walked into the developing stages of this sale in his first months in the state, he presided over the consummation of a matter seething with controversy. The hospital is still operating under the name Wesley Medical Center. After retirement, Hicks served on the board of Kansas Health Foundation for eleven years.

In 1992, Ken and Elaine retired back to Arkansas, where he was given an office in Little Rock’s PHUMC as Bishop in Residence. Though retired, his services were always in demand and his commitment to issues and causes close to his heart continued to beckon. Ken Hicks served as a member of Arkansas Friends for Better Schools, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Governor’s Partnership Council for Children and Families, Advisory Council of Carelink, Interfaith Caregivers Alliance, Bishops’ Initiative on Children and Poverty, and the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He was also a docent at the Clinton Presidential Library, a member of the Steering Committee of Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light. And for several years he was part time director of Ministries of Methodist Family Health.

Ken Hicks’ active ministry included membership on the General Board of Church and Society, and General Board of Global Ministries being chair of the National Division. Committee chairmanships on these boards included Peace with Justice and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Korean Ministry, among others. Notably, Bishop Hicks was in the forefront of the Peace Ministry at PHUMC begun in 2002 focusing on peacemaking and reconciliation. Many of his writings and thoughts were collected, edited and published in a book entitled “Peace Flowing Like a River” in 2010.

Hicks was granted honorary degrees from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Westmar College, Philander Smith College, Hendrix College, and Baker University. He also served on the Board of Trustees at the latter three schools plus St. Paul School of Theology, Southwestern University, Kansas Wesleyan University, and S. M. U. in Dallas. He also served as a Trustee for Mount Sequoyah Assembly, Youthville Inc., Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Methodist Hospital in Memphis, and Friendly Acres Retirement Center.

His many awards included Civil Libertarian of the Year by the ACLU-Arkansas (1984); the Senator David Pryor Award (1997) for Community Service by CareLink; the Ethel K. Miller Award for Religion and Social Awareness by Hendrix College (1999); and he and Elaine received the Hospice Foundation of Arkansas Compassion Award (1999). He also received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Iliff School of Theology.

Ken is survived by his lovely wife Elaine, who shared their incredible life journey. And they have been proud parents of two very accomplished daughters, Linda Hicks and Debra Gottschalk, who with the late Wayne Gottschalk parented Ken and Elaine’s very special grandchildren: Kiley and Spencer. Ken was predeceased by a multitude of beloved pets including Danny.

A special thank you goes out to Ken’s caregivers – Andrew, Curtis, Debbie, John, LaTonia, Lucille and T.J., with an appreciative nod to Arkansas Hospice.

A Memorial Service of Resurrection and Thanksgiving to God for Bishop Hicks will be held at 11 am, Friday, June 28, in the sanctuary of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn, Little Rock 72205. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks Peace Endowment at PHUMC; Methodist Family Health, 1600 Aldersgate Road #200, Little Rock 72205; or the Kansas Health Foundation at 309 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita, KS 67202. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.

Obituary for the Rev. Patricia Sims

Patricia Sims passed away on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Green House Cottages of Belle Meade at the age of 82 years after a 22 year battle with cancers.

Pat was born in Lansing, Michigan on May 11, 1937. She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Olive (Merrill) Nash. She graduated from Bolton High School, Alexandria Louisiana in 1955 and then graduated from Michigan State University in 1958 with a BA in Political Science.

On August 27, 1960, she married Hardy C. Sims of Somerville, TN. He preceded her in death on May 7, 1990. They were married almost 40 years and spent many of those years raising their family in Paragould. She was also preceded in death by her brother and sister-in-law Charles and Florience Merrill.

Pat worked as a legal secretary at the law office of Branch, Thompson, Warmath and Dale for 20 years where she specialized in probate, tax, and developing new attorneys. Some say she should have gone to law school but instead she had a major career change later in life. In 1993 she entered seminary and earned her Masters of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. She then went to be a pastor at Imboden United Methodist Church/Smithville United Methodist Church and then at First United Methodist Church of Trumann.

After her retirement in 2002, Pat continued her service to others by volunteering in many organizations including at the Flo and Phil Jones Hospice House in Jonesboro, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organization, First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro and local hospitals. She also continued her love of travel by traveling around the country and Europe. Her favorite trips were to North Carolina and Hawaii to visit her sons and family.

Pat is survived by her two sons Clayton (Krisy) of Raleigh, NC and Brian (Sean Scates) of Kailua, HI and three adoring grandchildren – Elizabeth, Nick and Jimmy. As well as much other extended family.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 from 9:00-10:00 A.M at First United Methodist Church in Paragould. Funeral services will follow at 10:00 A.M. at the church with Rev. John Fleming officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the American Cancer Society.

Obituary for Teresa (Terri) Miller Powell

Teresa (Terri) Thomas Miller Powell, born July 20, 1941 in Columbia, MO the only child of Stanley Ellis Thomas and Reta Mae Forbis Thomas went to be with the Lord on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Following a blessed and happy childhood and youth, she graduated from Camden (Arkansas) High School in 1959 where her sweet, happy spirit had endeared her to all with whom she came in contact. She adored her parents, loved her friends, delighted to laugh, always smiled, possessed impeccably high morals, and doted on her pets. She was an accomplished baton twirler, having won numerous State and Regional Championships. She was a twirler for the ASTC (now UCA) Marching Band. During her Freshman year (1960) at ASTC, she married Tommy Miller and they would have two children (Tammi and Stan) and would remain married until 1980.

On Easter Sunday, 1981 she and Larry D. Powell were married in the Oaklawn United Methodist Church in Hot Springs, AR and together, they pastored United Methodist churches in Hot Springs, Little Rock, Malvern, El Dorado, and Lakewood (NLR) until retiring in 2005. She was a consummate ”parsonette” singing in choirs, playing handbells, working at the Dorcas House, attending Community Bible Study groups, delivering Meals on Wheels, hosted countless dinners and meetings, visited in hospitals and homes, enjoyed the company of a multitude of friends, and brightened any place or occasion simply by her presence. She had a delicate, tender heart, loving soul, tireless devotion, happy countenance, was extremely polite, never met a stranger, and would never withhold a compliment. She loved needlepoint, reading, being with her pets, and had an exceptional, childlike enthusiasm about Christmas. She loved her family and ALWAYS sent cards for special occasions. She was incapable of being critical, adversarial, or negative. She prayed regularly, read her Bible daily, and believed with all her heart that God would hold her securely in his arms in death just as He had in life. She was, in the words of an old song, ”A Jewel Here on Earth, a Jewel in Heaven.”

She is survived by her husband, Larry of 38 years, her children, Tammi Miller Herren and Stan Miller; two stepsons, Bryan Powell and Wade Powell; 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

A private family graveside will be conducted at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Conway and a Memorial service will follow at 1pm, Monday, June 3rd at Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock with a visitation to follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock.

Obituary for the Rev. William Payne “Dub” Fiser

The Rev. William Payne “Dub” Fiser, 94, departed this earthly life on Saturday, May 18, 2019 in Little Rock under the care of Hospice.

Dub was born July 31, 1924 in Sweet Home, Pulaski County, Arkansas to Robert Payne Fiser and Mable Esther Dixon Fiser. During his senior year at Fuller High School Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war. Dub enlisted in the Army Air Corp in the summer of 1942 after his 18th birthday and was trained first as an aircraft mechanic and then as a Cadet for pilot training. He completed training as a B-24 pilot and was then moved to B-29’s. He was stationed in El Paso, Texas and was standing outside on the flight line early one morning in July 1945 when he saw a huge flash in the Northern sky, the first test of an atomic bomb.

After the war he returned to Sweet Home and tried farming with his father but the boll weevils destroyed their crops two years in a row so he sought other work. He married Golma Irene Daniel on Dec 18, 1948 and they eloped to Benton. He went to work for his uncle Paul Dixon and Harold Balios at Dixon Dairy where he started with delivering milk and then graduated to working in the business office. He had a religious conversion and was called to become a Methodist Minister, attending college at what is now UALR while continuing to work at Dixon Dairy including loading milk trucks at 4 AM. Golma and Dub’s only child, William Payne Fiser, Jr., was born February 18, 1953. Dub attended seminary at SMU Perkins School of Theology in a nontraditional pathway going to summer school for 6 years which meant moving to Dallas every summer. Dub officially became Reverend Fiser in 1958 and was fully ordained in 1964.

During his ministry Dub served many churches, including Brasfield on Cache River; Pride Valley, now Highland Valley; the Hickory Plains Circuit which included Hickory Plains, Johnson Chapel, Cross Roads, Hebron, Old Austin, Bethlehem, and Providence; Tigert in Hot Springs, including Fountain Lake and Morning Star; Elaine, including Mellwood and Wabash Federated Church; Wesley in Springdale, including Mt. Hebron; Rosewood in West Memphis; St. Paul in Jonesboro, including Mount Carmel; and Trinity in North Little Rock. After retiring he served as visitation minister at St. Paul in Little Rock.

Dub was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Golma Irene Daniel Fiser, who passed away in 2010, Georgia Mae Russenberger, his wife who passed away in 2015, his parents, and his younger brother, Thomas Edwin Fiser.

Dub’s legacy will be cherished by his son William Payne Fiser, Jr. MD and wife Gina; his three grandchildren, Rachel Fiser Klotzman and husband Spencer in Victoria, Texas, Christian Cole Fiser and wife Amber in Little Rock, and Elizabeth Payne Fiser in Rogers; his three great-grandchildren, Eliza Claire Klotzman, Christian Cole Fiser, and Hollis Claire Fiser; his two younger sisters, Margaret Elizabeth Langston and Esther May Poulin; and many nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM at Roller-Chenal Funeral home on Chenal Parkway. The funeral service and burial will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:00 AM at Primrose United Methodist Church on Dixon Road. Pallbearers will be Cole Fiser, Spencer Klotzman, David Fiser, Lance Schmidt, Brad Daniel, Austin Calhoun, John Wayne Daniel (honorary), John Scott Daniel (honorary), Harold Balios (honorary), and Drew Illing (honorary). In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Primrose United Methodist Church or the Primrose Cemetery Association.

Obituary for Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark

Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark

Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark, “Cissy”, wife of the late Allen Clark of Hot Springs, Arkansas passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Hillcrest Nursing Care Center in DeSoto, Missouri.

Born February 16, 1954 in Malvern, Arkansas, she was the daughter of the late William Henry and Vivian Kight McMillan. Cissy attended the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff and Hendrix University. Later in life, she found enjoyment with volunteering in the Methodist Church. She channeled this love of the church by becoming a Pastor at Sparkman, Dalark, and Bethlehem Methodist Churches in Clark County. She was also an Associate Pastor at Keith Memorial and L’eau Fraiz Methodist Churches in Hot Spring County.

She is survived by her children, Sean Nichols (Erin) and Candice Nelson (Brian), and a step-son Allen Clark Jr, two granddaughters, Jessica and Briana Nelson and four step-grandsons Riley and Connor Hunter and David and Ryan Clark, her sister, Anne Blackburn (David), as well as her first husband Ervin Nichols.

Services will be private.