Obituaries

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John F. Addison
Date of passing: November 22, 2021
John Addison, age 83, of Bartlett, Tennessee passed away on Monday, November 22, 2021. John was born October 19, 1938 in Osyka, MS to the late Charlie and Annie Lou Addison. John Addison was a faithful servant at Bellevue Baptist Church for over 50 years. John joined Bellevue in 1963 with his wife, Janice and they taught Sunday School class to 6th grade students. After 36 years, they transitioned to the Family of Friends Life Group which he taught for 15 years. John served as a deacon, a Disciple Life Teacher, a Bellevue Baseball Coach, and he served with the Bellevue Foundation. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with Majors in Chemistry and Biology with minors in Mathematics and German. John received a Masters in Chemistry from Memphis State University. He worked at Baxter Laboratories, Velsicol Chemical and began his career at Schering – Plough as a Senior Methodist Chemist in 1966. He was ultimately promoted the Vice President of Quality Control and Technical Service, a position he held until his retirement in 1997. During the 1982 tampering deaths involving Tylenol, he chaired The Expert Technical Committee on Tamper – Resistant Packaging working with the Food and Drug Administration to develop the Tamper – Resistant Packaging Regulations to protect the general public. John had many accomplishments including: serving on multiple advisory boards for educational institutions at every level, serving on the Endowment Fund Committee for Chemistry Scholarships at University of Southern Mississippi, contributing to a Pharmaceutical textbooks and being a Professor at multiple Universities. He and Janice also endowed a scholarship for chemistry students at Southern Mississippi. John is preceded in death by his brother, Charles Addison. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Janice Wells Addison, he is survived by his children; Greg Addison, (Janet), Wayne Addison (Suellen)and Kathy Armstrong (Rex) his grandchildren; Mabry, Ben, Grant, Ryan, Joseph, Nicholas, Mark, Weston and Emily, his siblings; Robert Addison, Margaret Anne Champagne, and David Addison. A visitation will be held Friday, November 26, 2021 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM at Bellevue Baptist Church, 2000 Appling Rd, Cordova, TN 38016 followed by a funeral service at 11:00AM. The committal service will be Friday, November 26, 2021 at 12:00 PM at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 3700 North Germantown Parkway, Bartlett, TN 38133. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory may be offered to Love Worth Finding Ministries (lwf.org) Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.MemphisFuneralGermantownParkway.com for the Addison family.
John Thomas Casey, Sr.
Date of passing: October 30, 2021
John Thomas Casey, Sr., 75, of Bryant, Arkansas went to be with the Lord October 30, 2021. He was born December 12, 1945 in Snowball, Arkansas to the late Charley and Nettie (McElroy) Casey. John surrendered to God’s calling to preach over fifty years ago. He served in many churches, with the most recent being pastor of Vimy Ridge Immanuel Baptist Church. John loved on everyone he knew. He treated others with kindness and made them feel like family. When around John, many have said they could feel God’s presence. John was always willing to serve others, despite what he was going through physically. He was preaching just three weeks ago, always eager to share the good news. John touched many lives throughout his ministry. He performed many wedding ceremonies, sat with the sick, assisted families with funeral arrangements and officiated countless funeral services, offered an ear to hear to those needing counseling, and many other services to anyone needing help. John also had a fun, mischievous side to his personality. He enjoyed playing practical jokes on his family and friends. Some of his pranks included hiding an entire drawer of silverware at the bottom of the chest freezer. He took time to take everything out of the freezer, laid the silverware all out on the bottom, and put all the frozen food back on top, and another one was placing tape on the spray nozzle of the faucet causing water to spew everywhere! John made an amazing Santa Claus. No matter where he went, people would stop and stare at him, wondering if maybe Santa did exist! Many would ask to take pictures with him, whether he was at Wal-Mart or a restaurant. John often visited schools, clubs, children’s homes, and nursing homes with his children often assisting as elves. John practiced the golden rule. He taught his children to love others and to be kind. He showed them how to do nice things for others, expecting nothing in return. As a result of his genuine care and compassion, his children and grandchildren often brought their friends to their home to meet him. He always reminded his children that as long as he had a roof over his head, they did too. Preceding John in death are his parents; brothers: Charles Casey and Doug Casey; and sisters: Patricia Rains, Mozelle Yancey, and Corrine Payne. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife of thirty-two years, Sandra Casey of Bryant, Arkansas; four children: John Casey, Jnr. of Bryant, Arkansas, Shauna Casey-Veazey of Benton, Arkansas, Bob Casey and wife Lori of Jacksonville, Arkansas, and Jessica Casey-Bennett of Alexander, Arkansas; seven grandchildren: Ashton Grace Veazey, Leslie Anne Veazey, Madalyn Grace Casey, Katie Lynn Veazey, Hunter Austin Bennett, Haley Michelle Casey, and Joey Thomas Casey; two sisters: Robbie Nell Raver of Harrison, Arkansas and Mary Jo Griffin of Snowball, Arkansas; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends who love John and will miss him always. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 PM, Thursday, November 4, at Smith-Benton Funeral Home, 322 N. Market Street in Benton, Arkansas. Funeral service, officiated by Bro. Don Chancellor and Bro. Clarence Shell will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, November 5 at Vimy Ridge Immanuel Baptist Church, 12214 Germania Road in Alexander, Arkansas. Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, November 6 at Witts Springs Cemetery in Witts Springs, Arkansas. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
Jean Justice Pilcher
Date of passing: October 17, 2021
Jean Justice Pilcher, 95, of Little Rock, AR., went to be with the Lord Sunday, October 17. She was born March 17, 1926, in Little Rock, AR. to Walter Edward Justice and Mary Lacy (Young) Justice. She is survived by a daughter Robin Young of Little Rock; son Rex Pilcher (Mery) of Little Rock; seven grandchildren: Christine Young, Catherine Evans (Cody), Caroline Rasmussen (Daniel), Jonathan Young (Molly), Hannah Pilcher, Marissa Pilcher, and Robert Pilcher; five great-grandchildren: Cameron and Conner Evans, Isabella and Tyler Kate Rasmussen, and Hudson Young. She was predeceased by her husband Robert Pilcher. Together they created a warm, loving home and served the Lord in churches and other ways throughout their 52 years together. She graduated from Little Rock High School in 1944 and Ouachita Baptist University in 1948 with a B.A. in Music. After graduating she was an organist at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock for several years. She briefly taught elementary and junior high school music. After getting married she was the registrar for the Baptist School of Nursing. But her great love and gifting was as a choral director and worship leader. She was the music minister at St. Paul’s Methodist in Little Rock, Forest Highland Baptist in Little Rock, and First Baptist in Little Rock from 1976-1989. She helped lead the church to love the Lord and love worshipping. She led the choir and music ministry in presenting the Living Christmas Tree programs to the city during the holidays. With Jerry Johnson, she led multiple youth choirs on mission trips across the United States that changed lives of many in her choir and those they ministered to. She was the founding director of the Singing Women of Arkansas, later Master Singers Women’s Chorus. She directed the group from 1974-2009 as they sang in churches and at other events across the state and in Germany. She was a leader on the committee that compiled the Baptist Hymnal, 1991 edition. She loved people and had a way of connecting with people, inspiring them to do their best, and maintaining those relationships over time. Being a choir director and lover of worship at heart she always envisioned a choir as part of her funeral service, and we will honor that. Whether you sang with her choir or know her or of her and want to worship this way you’re invited to be in the choir. The choir will meet this Saturday at 12:45 p.m. at First Baptist LR. Dr. Tom Bolton will direct the choir. Tom was a professor at OBU, Worship Minister at FBC LR, and then Dean of the Music School at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. If you can participate please email a response to tbolton728@gmail.com and indicate your voice part. Thanks and Glory to God! A graveside service will be Friday, October 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Forest Hills Cemetery. A visitation will be at Roller Chenal Funeral this Friday, October 22 from 5:00 7:00 p.m. And a memorial service will be held this Saturday, October 23 at First Baptist Church, Little Rock, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Division of Music at Ouachita Baptist University or to First Baptist Church of Little Rock, AR.
Terry Brown
Date of passing: October 2, 2021
Bro. Terry Brown, age 73, entered into the peace of God’s presence in the early hours of October 2, 2021, at his home in Pope, MS. Terry was born February 23, 1948 in Clarksdale, MS to the late R.E. and Bettye Black Brown, he attended Clarksdale High School, Mississippi State University, Mississippi College, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. Brother Terry and Patricia, his loving wife of fifty-four years, served the Lord faithfully together in pastoral ministry for decades in Mississippi and the Arkansas Delta. He also served through the years as Vice-President of World-Wide Church Planters, ministering multiple times in Moldova in Eastern Europe and in Mexico. He was currently serving as pastor of West Acres Baptist Church in West Helena, AR. Terry loved to learn and loved to laugh. He loved his family deeply and they loved him. Most importantly, Terry loved the Lord with all his heart, his soul, and his mind. With a steadfast faith, he studied the Word of God and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ continually. He now sees and knows in full what his earthly mind could only know in part. Praise be to God. Terry was preceded in death by his parents, R.E. and Bettye Brown. He leaves behind his wife, Patricia Chandler Brown; their daughter, Shannon Brown Ellis (John Paul) of Pope, MS; son, Brian Brown (Judy) of Jackson, TN; four grandchildren, Lauren Brown Morris (Wil) of St. Louis, MO; Lindsey Brown Paris (Clay) of Jackson, TN; Katie Ellis of Pope, MS; Luke Ellis of Pope, MS and also a student at Mississippi State University; and one great-granddaughter, Presley Morris of St. Louis, MO. He also leaves behind his sister, Dianna Brown Jones (Charlie) of Morton, MS along with brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, and many dear friends who loved him.
Rev. Bruce Murphy
Date of passing: September 13, 2021
Fred Bruce Murphy, age 93, passed away on September 13, 2021. He was born in El Dorado to Marjorie and Fred Murphy, June 13, 1928. To cherish his memories are his wife of 70 years, June Maxine Murphy and five children, Bruce (Teresa) Fred (Leanne), Tim (Rita), and Todd Murphy and Tammy Murphy Jones (Steve). He married June McMahan in 1952 then set about to become a theologian, pastor and role model parent raising five children. The relationship between Bruce and June was a partnership to bring God’s will to the lives of their congregations, communities and children. They succeeded and conducted a dual leadership family. He was chosen by God to be a man of God at a young age and graduated from Ouachita Baptist College in 1951, Fuller Theological seminary in 1956 and Southwestern Theological seminary in 1958. He then devoted the rest of his life to collecting and healing souls for Jesus. His ministries were in small rural Arkansas communities where he had huge impacts on growing, building or improving churches. The churches he pastored were in Huttig, Arkansas (1958-1965), Stephens, Arkansas (1965-1970) and El Dorado Second Baptist Church (1970-1993). He continued to be interim pastor at churches throughout south Arkansas including Strong, Huttig, El Dorado, Stephens and preached by invitation at innumerable other locations. His preaching style was welcoming, full of comedy and laughs, but then focused on explicating the Gospel by directly personally translating from the original biblical manuscripts. A fluent reader and translator of ancient Greek and Hebrew, his congregations were treated to a style that left no chance for not understanding exactly what God through the author intended. He fervently believed that your head should be in the Word of God every day and you should commit to memory the verses so impactful to your situation. He memorized thousands of verses and in many cases could recite entire chapters of the Bible. He took his message to the mission field with trips to Africa and Russia at a time when foreign missionaries were not welcome. Fred Bruce Murphy’s biggest hobby was fulltime enjoyment of his kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren of which he was hugely successful. His direct family includes 45 descendants, who have been meeting every Sunday morning digitally on Zoom for the last 72 Sundays. He was a brilliant role model patriarch and preached at these meeting to his family including those from newborn to 88 years. His messages about “The Son of man” and “The Word was God” touched everyone during the pandemic. He closed every message with the words, “Amen, amen and I need to hear it one more time, amen”
Dr. Deborah Holder
Date of passing: August 23, 2021
Dr. Deborah I. Holder, age 64 of Texarkana, Texas went to be with her Lord Jesus on Monday, August 23, 2021, at a local hospital. Dr. Holder was born on May 10, 1957, to parents Buddy and Ona Irene Smeltzer in Texarkana, Arkansas. Deborah loved teaching and education. She took on extra roles as a wife, mother, and church servant to attain her educational degrees, finally obtaining an EdD. in healthcare administration in 2010. She taught nursing at Texarkana College, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, and at Panola College in Center, TX as an instructor for over twenty years. She loved her work, her students, and was beloved by all of those she taught. In her free time, she enjoyed decorating, gardening, photography, and shopping. She was a wonderful woman with a servant’s heart whose greatest joy in life was taking care of those who surrounded her. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She had a special gift of discernment, allowing her to support and counsel many who came to her. She served faithfully as a pastor’s wife and taught Bible classes for many years. Like many in her family, she had a gift for music and often sang at church services and events. Her life was her family, her church, and her calling. She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau Kapp Psi, the National League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Texarkana, AR and the family of God. She was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents. Left to cherish her memory is her husband of forty-five years, Dr. David G. Holder of Texarkana, Texas; two sons and one daughter-in-law, Samuel and Melody Holder of Rockwall, Texas, Caleb Holder of Texarkana, Texas; six grandchildren; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Carolyn and Mike Lee of Texarkana, Texas, Rita and Chuck Sawyer of Seattle, Washington; one brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Kayla Smeltzer of Texarkana, Arkansas; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins; and a host of special friends. Funeral Services were held on Monday, August 30, 2021, at Trinity Baptist Church, Texarkana AR, with Reverend Tom Bruce officiating. Memorials may be sent to Texarkana College Nursing Scholarship Fund, 2500 North Robison Road, Texarkana, TX 75501 in Deborah’s name or you can click on this link https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/forms/foundation-donation/
Cynthia Smith, wife of Pastor Jarvis Smith
Date of passing: August 21, 2021
Cynthia Arnet Fitzpatrick Smith was born to Shelton Fitzpatrick and Ruth Emma Smith Fitzpatrick on January 4, 1964 in West Helena, Arkansas. She was the second eldest of three children. She attended Eliza Miller Junior High School and Central High School. She also attended Phillips Community College in Helena, Arkansas where she studied to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, a career in which she would dedicate over two decades of her life. Cynthia gave her life to Christ at an early age at the Greater First Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Arthur Hughes. There she was the church pianist, as well as a member of several choirs. She would later become a member of the Second Baptist Church under the leadership of her dear husband of 31 years, Reverend Jarvis Smith. Cynthia enjoyed playing the piano, and she used to her talents generously in service to the Lord. She was a faithful member of the Gospel Souls, along with her dearly departed cousin Cedric “Boonie” Pride, Jr, her beloved cousins Berenda Pride and Angela Stewart, and her dear friend Lita Moore-Johnson under the leadership of the late Ms. Lillie Mae Warren. Cynthia, recently, became a faithful member of the Arkansas Valley Baptist Choir, where she enjoyed singing with fellow members of the Southern Baptist Association. Cynthia played for numerous churches in the community and across the country. Cynthia, affectionately known as “Sissy,” was a light to the community. Everywhere she went, she enjoyed making others laugh. She inspired others, no matter where she was, through her gift of singing. Her favorite words were “Come on girls. Let’s sing something!” She uplifted those who were down with her warm and loving spirit. Whether it is in Walmart, her daily brunches at Lacy’s with Ms. Era Mae, or sitting behind the piano—she will truly be missed. She was preceded in death by her mother; Ruth Emma Fitzpatrick Smith, great-grandmother; Alice Jimmerson, grandmothers; Nettie Smith, Aritha Bailey Curry, grandfathers; Willie Leroy Fitzpatrick, Jesse Norton, one brother; Mark Fitzpatrick, two grandchildren; Ja’Kevion Reese, Tristan Hayes and many more close aunties, uncles and cousins. She leaves to cherish her memories— her husband, together for thirty-one years; Reverend Jarvis Smith, her four children; Andrea Dolphin, James Reese, Keairra (Jalin) Morris, Jakala (Sheriff) Garba, her father; Shelton (Polly) Fitzpatrick, one brother; Reverend Vincent (Sandra) Bell, two sisters; Ruby Aretha Fitzpatrick, Demetria Lavette Fitzpatrick, one god-daughter; Teresa Moore Hughes, three cherished friends; Era Mae, Thressa Sims, Leban McCray, eleven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and host of cousins, nieces, and nephews. isitation will be held Friday, September 3, 2021 at Second Baptist Church, 167 Park Street, West Helena, Arkansas from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Second Baptist Church, 167 Park Street, West Helena Arkansas at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow immediately at Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexa Arkansas. We will follow CDC guidelines: mask, hand sanitizer, temperature checks, and the social distance standard of 6ft apart. Mrs. Smith’s service may be viewed live through ZOOM
Jessie (Wood) Johnson
Date of passing: August 21, 2021
Jessie Lee Wood Johnson departed this earth to join her Heavenly Father on August 21, 2021. She was born in Blytheville, Arkansas to parents, R. W. and Roberta Wood on October 16, 1938. She was raised in Pine Bluff and attended public school there. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Wendell Wood and twin siblings, Jim Wood and June Wood. She is survived her husband of 61 years, Harold Johnson; son, Rick Johnson; daughter, Kristal Conine and husband, Bill; grandchildren, Alix Johnson, Cliff Conine, and wife, Leanna, Matt Conine and wife, Amanda, and Morgan Uchtman and husband, Justin; great-grandchildren, Emmalyn Conine, Nora Conine, Hadlee Conine, Abram Conine, Skylar Uchtman, and Eli Conine. Jessie left Arkansas State Teachers College in her senior year to marry Harold and join him on his first Army assignment in Germany. It was there that she developed a taste for travel. During their 20 years in the Army and afterwards they traveled to almost all the states and several countries. She was a dedicated military wife and mother. Upon Harold’s retirement they moved to Arkadelphia where they remained until her death. Family was the center of her life. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. All sports captured her attention, but Ouachita Tiger events were the highlight. Holidays were special to her because it drew family members close. Christmas was the most special and she could always be seen wearing one of her many Christmas sweaters. She worked as a church secretary in Texas and as an administrative assistant at Ouachita Baptist University. For over 10 years she was an active participant in Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and assisted in responses throughout the United States. She was an active member and volunteer at First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia. A celebration of her life will be held at First Baptist Church at 2:30 PM Saturday, August 28, 2021. Burial will be at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be 1:00 PM Saturday until service at the church. Pallbearers will be Cliff Conine, Matt Conine, Justin Uchtman, Brad Wood, Kevin Wood and Stuart Goudy. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Adult 3 Sunday School Class at First Baptist. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorials be made to the Garner and Garnie Johnson Scholarship Fund at Ouachita Baptist University.
Roy Pruitt
Date of passing: August 20, 2021
Vernice Leeroy “Roy” Pruitt was born June 29, 1942 in the hills of Conway County at Cleveland, Arkansas. The son of the late Charles Westley Pruitt and the late Betty Mae Lowder Pruitt, Roy was the youngest of four children born to this marriage. The family later moved to Moro where he received his primary education before transferring to Brinkley High School, graduating in 1962. July 8, 1964 was a life changing time in Roy’s life. He and his high school sweetheart, Donna Sue Griggs, were united in marriage at the home of Rev. Earl Ward at Zent, Arkansas. Having known each other since grade school, they became better acquainted during high school when Roy drove the School bus that Donna rode everyday. Over the next 57 years this marriage was blessed with three children, 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. After high school, Roy began working for Wagner Electric. He eventually moved on to being a letter carrier for the US Post Office where he remained until his retirement, 31 years later. In March of 1964, Roy enlisted in the local National Guard, Co. C (-) 2/153 Infantry. He received his basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana and reached the rank of Specialist Four E-4. For the past 39 years, Roy has been an active member of the Brinkley First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon. He was a member of the Gideons and volunteered with Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief. In his leisure time he enjoyed doing woodworking, carpentry, gardening and traveling. Friday afternoon at his home in Brinkley, August 20, 2021, the Lord called Roy to his Heavenly home, at the age of 79. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Eula Beth McCoy & Eunice Curtis and his half-brother, Verlon Chandler. Survivors: His wife of 57 years Donna Sue Griggs Pruitt Daughters: Sherry Vaughan and husband, Dr. Mark Vaughan of Bartlesville, OK Vonda Reynolds and husband Bobby Reynolds of Conway Son: Dewayne Pruitt and wife Dana of Searcy Grandchildren: Micah (Cait) Vaughan, John-Mark (Ashita) Vaughan, Seth, Amberly, Lukas, Adrienne, Abby, Olivia Vaughan, Jacob (Brittany) Pruitt, Macayla (Gary) Cook, Kaitlin (Todd) Frakes, Logan and Sydney Carter Great Grandchildren: Saegan & Rowan Pruitt, Alton, Gideon & Anna-Cait Vaughan Sister: Clara Burch of Hamburg
Crystal Angel Byrd
Date of passing: August 16, 2021
Crystal Angel Byrd of Mountain Home, Arkansas, passed away August 16, 2021, in Mountain Home, Arkansas at the age of 45. She was born November 3, 1975, in Rockford, Illinois, and grew up in Black Rock, Arkansas, the daughter of Lucinda Rush Booth. She married Shannon Byrd on May 25, 1996, in Batesville. Angel lived in Mountain Home since moving from North Little Rock in 2017. She was a member of the Arkana Baptist Church. She enjoyed singing, watching Hallmark movies, and especially loved spending time with her family. Angel is survived by her husband, Shannon Byrd of Mountain Home, AR; mother, Lucinda Lou (Bryan) Smith of Black Rock, AR; son, Landon Keith Byrd of Mountain Home, AR; sister, Christine Elizabeth (Bradley) Scott of Bono, AR; brother, Steven Lee Booth of Bono, AR; and several nieces, nephews, step-siblings, and other extended family. Angel worked for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention as a ministry assistant on the Church Planting Team, 2014-2016. Visitation will be Friday, August 20, 2021, from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm, at Arkana Baptist Church. A Funeral Service will be 2:00 pm, Friday, August 20, 2021, at Arkana Baptist Church, with Pastor David McClung officiating. Burial will be in the Galatia Cemetery, Norfork, Arkansas. Due to current restrictions, masks are required. Memorials may be made to Arkana Baptist Church.
Alyce Faulkner
Date of passing: August 5, 2021
Alyce Lee Moon Faulkner, 73, of North Little Rock, went peacefully to be with her Savior Jesus Christ, Thursday, August 5 at 5:31 p.m., at her home, surrounded by loved ones. Alyce was born Oct. 31, 1947 in North Little Rock. Alyce was preceded in death by her parents, Percy Earl Moon and Neva Ann Carson Moon, and grandson Matthew Thomas Faulkner. Alyce is survived by her husband of 51 years, T. Mackey Faulkner of North Little Rock; children: Jennifer Faulkner of North Little Rock, Rebecca Murchison (Cliff) of Sherwood, Joshua Faulkner (Tursa) of Little Rock, Michael Faulkner (Lizeth) of Austin, and godchildren Marvin Jones (Alison) of West Plains, Mo.; grandchildren: Abby Linn of Benton, Jacob Jones (Kellum) of Eugene, Ore., Emily Ray (Truett) of Kansas City, Mo., Micah J. Linn (Emma) of Sherwood; Josh Jones (Hunter) of Little Rock, Israel, Ivy, Imre, and Ila Faulkner of Little Rock, Layah and Myles Faulkner of Austin; and godgrandson Joah Jones of West Plains, Mo. Alyce was love and laughter. She showed grace and mercy to everyone she met. She was a prankster and was spontaneous – the instigator of many last minute road trips and practical jokes. Alyce loved to garden and decorate. Her grandchildren were her sweetest joy. She loved people more than things. Alyce was a godly daughter, mother, grandmother, cousin and friend. Her purpose in life was to be the light of Jesus to the world. Alyce worked as the advertising representative for the Arkansas Baptist News until her retirement in December 2009. Her tagline was “Joyful, content, redeemed and thankful!” There will be a Celebration of Life Party Friday, Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at Friendship Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 10150 Brockington Road in Sherwood.
Bruce Parker
Date of passing: August 1, 2021
Bruce R. Parker, 73 of Hot Springs, Arkansas, entered into glory with his Heavenly Father Sunday, August 1, 2021. Born October 28, 1947, in Upland, PA, to the late Joseph W. and Ruth Irene (Smedley) Parker. Bruce was a Vietnam Veteran and retired from Reynolds/Alcoa after 44 years. He was a Christian and Baptist. He was presently employed at First United Methodist Church as a security guard. Bruce is survived by his wife of 39 years, Faye Parker. Children: Nathaniel Parker, Melissa (and Jason) Hudnell, Scott (and Tammy) Atchley, Grandchildren Parker and Claire Hudnell, Brother-in-law Cal (and Patty) Jones. Siblings include: Sandy, Ron, Ricky, Bobby, and their families. Bruce leaves behind many friends at church and around town. A visitation will be Thursday, August 5, 2021, from 6-8 PM, at Gross Funeral Home. There will be no services. Memorials may be made of the individual’s choice.
Elvis Wayne Smith
Date of passing: July 31, 2021
Elvis Wayne Smith, 80, of Conway, AR, transitioned from this life July 31st, 2021, after a hard, tough battle with several illnesses. He was born May 9th, 1941, in Little Rock, AR, to L.V. and Bessie Smith. He was a member of Woodland Heights Baptist Church. He was a Baptist minister in churches at Temple Baptist Church (Benton, AR), Keo Baptist Church (Keo, AR), Cocklebur Baptist Church (Ward, AR), and associate pastor at Wooster Baptist Church (Wooster, AR) and Friendship Baptist Church (Vilonia, AR). He received a diploma from Boyce Bible School, an extension of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He loved telling others about Jesus. He served in all of the offices at one time or another at Spring Lake Baptist Assembly. Elvis proudly served in the US Navy and was a strong Razorback & Dallas Cowboy fan. Elvis was preceded in death by his parents, son Martin Dane Smith, older sister Jeanette Vaughn Cobb, and younger brother James Edward (Pedro) Smith. Left to celebrate his life are his wife of 58 years, Annie R. (Punkin) Martin Smith; sons Doug Smith (Kelly) and Chad Smith (Traci), and the love of his life 5 grandchildren: Marli, Mason, Jonah, Caleb and Sarah; his surviving siblings Becky Bar, Dale Smith (Sherry), and Terry Smith (Trena); several nieces and nephews; as well as sisters-in-law Pam Smith and Louise Folsom. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Compassion Center of Little Rock, AR. His Celebration of Life service was held on Friday, August 6th.
Mark Rutherford
Date of passing: July 26, 2021
Mark Alan Rutherford, 60, of Bay, was a loving husband, father, son, and brother. After a hard-fought battle, he finished his race and was called home on Monday, July 26, 2021 at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro, AR. Mark was born May 19, 1961 in Rantoul, IL to George and Sue Rutherford. Growing up as an Air Force “brat”, Mark had the privilege of living in different locations around the globe and forming lasting relationships across the country. Mark attended Ouachita Baptist University where he earned a double major in theology and drama. During this time, he was involved in a drama ministry team, which is where he first met his future wife. He then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, and prepared to begin his lifetime of ministry. Mark later returned to school to pursue his teaching degree, followed by an additional graduate degree in Educational Leadership, Principalship. Throughout his life, Mark always had a heart for serving others. He served in the Army Reserves as a Chaplain for many years and retired with the rank of Captain. Mark also worked as a youth minister and church pastor in various communities and Southern Baptist churches throughout Arkansas for over 25 years. His last few years were spent as a member of Highland Drive Baptist Church, where he continued to serve in other capacities, leading small groups and filling the pulpit for the pastor when needed. He continued his service in the field of education, teaching math for 15 years to students in 5th-8th grades at Blytheville and then Trumann Schools. Even in his personal life, Mark enjoyed spending time in service of others. He led and participated in many mission trips, from local projects to international missions, and was always eager to lend a hand wherever needed. Mark also served as a mentor to many and as a father figure to several over the years. One of his greatest joys was spending time with his family. Mark loved, and was deeply loved, by his family. Mark was preceded in death by his father, George Wayne Rutherford. He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Chris Rutherford of Bay, his mother Sue Rutherford of Jonesboro, his children Rebecca (Daniel Chace) of North Providence, RI and Josiah of Jonesboro, and his brother Michael (Kathy) of Houston, TX. He is also survived by several “extra” kids, and countless others that he inspired through his ministry and teaching. A celebration of his life will be held at Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro on Sunday August 1, 2021. Visitation will begin at 2pm, with a memorial service to follow at 3pm.
Dr. Max Briley
Date of passing: July 21, 2021
Dr. Max Briley, 74, of Gosnell, Arkansas, passed from this life on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at the NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro. Born in Waynesboro, Tennessee to Max and Ruth Duncan Briley, Max was a 1965 graduate at Blytheville High School. He had a love for baseball and was the American Legion’s most valuable player in the state tournament in 1965. After graduation, Max attended Ouachita Baptist University, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. His love for baseball never wavered as he went on to play four years of baseball and made all conference every year at Ouachita Baptist University. He also attended Arkansas State University where he received a degree in administration. After college, Max was an educator in the Gosnell School District for 30 and a half years. He took on many roles such as a teacher, administrator, and coach. In 1993, he felt called to go to seminary and do God’s work. He attended seminary at Luther Rice College and Seminary where he received his Doctorate’s degree. Upon retirement from education, he entered full time ministry. Max was the associate pastor at Gosnell Baptist Church for 11 years before becoming the pastor at North Tenth Street Baptist Church where he has pastored for 22 years. Under his pastoral leadership he has seen the church grow in numbers, faith, and Christian maturity. He has had the privilege of leading many souls to their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ and influenced their lives greatly. Max was a true man of God whose life touched people of all ages. He inspired throughout the various aspects of his life that a person could accomplish any thing if they would just try with all their heart. His belief was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” Max was preceded in death by his parents. Max is survived by his wife of 52 1/2 years, Claudia Ann Leggett Briley of the home,; children, Matt and Tonia Briley of Murfreesboro, Arkansas, Adam and Holly Briley of Harrisburg, Arkansas; grandchildren, Bethany and Andrew Cook, Cole Briley, Casen Briley, Macey Briley; brother, Gary and Jill Briley of Austin, Texas and sister; Deanna Briley of Nashville, Tennessee; brother and sister in laws, Ted and DeeAnn Leggett, Russell and Carla Leggett and sister and brother in laws Susie and Craig Anderson and a host of friends. Funeral services were held Monday, July 26th at 11:00 in the Cobb Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Eddie Clemons and Dr. Steve Miller officiating.
Cleve Dunavant
Date of passing: July 21, 2021
Cleve Dunavant, 93, of Jackson, Tennessee was born March 5, 1928. He went to be with the Lord on July 21, 2021. A longtime resident of Jonesboro, Arkansas and then Jackson, Tennessee, he was a forty one year employee of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. In Jonesboro he was a member of Highland Drive Baptist Church and in Jackson, Englewood Baptist Church. He enjoyed golf and fishing, especially when it was with his family members. Family was his greatest joy. He is survived by his wife of 75 years Lou Dunavant; his daughter Linda Taylor; two sons Ed (Pam) Dunavant and Don (Janet) Dunavant; grandchildren Jason (Misti) Taylor, Sara Beth (Ryan) Porter, Matt (Stacey) Dunavant, Micah (Jeff) Zehner, Adam (Jessica) Dunavant, Michael (Kristen) Dunavant, David (Sori) Dunavant, Eli (Stacey) Dunavant, Zach (DeAnn) Dunavant; and twenty three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one son Joe Dunavant, son in law Ron Taylor, his parents Cleve and Bessie Dunavant, three brothers and three sisters. Services were held Saturday, July 24th at 10:30 at Emerson Funeral Home Chapel and burial at Philadelphia Cemetery.
Jim Edwards
Date of passing: June 8, 2021
James (Jim) Lee Edwards, 80, of Cabot, passed away Tuesday, June 8, 2021. He was born October 31, 1940 in Marion, Illinois to the late Herman Lee and Marjorie June Edwards. Jim was a retired Baptist minister who had served as pastor of several churches in Mississippi and Arkansas. He served fourteen years as an Associational Missionary for the Caroline Baptist Association and retired in 2004 after serving as the Director of Missions. After his retirement, he concentrated on the Intentional Interim Ministry, helping many congregations. Jim was a top-graduating student of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982. He served on the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board for seven years, serving as chairman of the Finance Committee for four years. Jim was also a Lifeway Ministries conflict mediator, a ministry multiplier and deacon trainer. Jim and his wife, Clemmie, trained many deacons and their spouses through the country and Europe. Jim proudly served his country in the United States Navy attaining the rank of Master Chief Personnelman and retired after twenty-one years. During his naval career, he received numerous awards, commendations and medals. Jim retired from his naval career in 1979. Jim married the love of his life, Clemmie Nell Johnson, on December 4, 1960 and together they raised two wonderful sons, Jimmy and Timothy. From their happy and Christ-honoring marriage came five grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. Jim was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, pastor and friend and will be dearly missed by so many people. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Wayne and Thomas Edwards. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of sixty years, Clemmie; two sons, Jimmy Lee (Stephanie) Edwards and Timothy Jay (Susan) Edwards; five grandchildren, Tasha Brooks (Jared) Turner, Zachory Adam (Shayla) Edwards, Jacob Matthew (Ashlea) Edwards, Jessica Blaine (Brian) Elwell and Halle Nicole Edwards; thirteen great-grandchildren, Jimmy “JJ” Glen Rhine, Jr., Masen Walker (Arion) Rhine, Huston Brooks Edwards, Lydia Nell Veazey, Brody Thomas Turner, Blade Elliott Turner, Devon McDonald, Khristian McDonald, Jaiden Elizabeth Edwards, Lillian Edwards, Madeline Edwards, Briana Elwell, and Kensley Grace Elwell; brother-in-law, Howard (Sandra) Johnson, as well as many extended family members and friends. Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, June 12, 2021 at First Baptist Church-Cabot. Interment will follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. The family suggests donations in memory of James Lee Edwards be made to Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home, 10 Remington Dr., Little Rock, AR 72205 or at https://arkansasfamilies.org/. Arrangements by Moore’s Cabot Funeral Home, 501-843-5816.
Gordon J. Topping
Date of passing: May 26, 2021
Gordon J. Topping, age 77, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on May 26, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Jessie Topping; his sisters Marjorie Topping, Moira Russell, and Christine Pollard; his son Stephen Topping, and his great-granddaughter Karson Kurz. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Ann Topping; his children Carolyn Davis and her husband John, Jackie Stinnett and her husband Jason, Jon Topping and his wife Paula; and his grandchildren, Megan Topping, Paige Topping, Brooke Topping, Sophie Stinnett, Alex Davis, Emily Topping, Olivia Stinnett, Emma Davis, and Madison Topping. From his birth in Glasgow, Scotland on July 7, 1943, and until his death, Gordon nourished those around him with love, faith, and kindness. He had the uncanny ability to reach people in a deep and meaningful way, and he dedicated his entire life to service of the Lord and to others. Gordon gave his life to the Lord at the age of 9. He was called to the mission field as a young man, and served in Senegal, West Africa for 12 years before returning to Scotland. Gordon then traveled the whole of Scotland as a salesman for 3M before returning to the ministry as a pastor in Cowdenbeath, Scotland. In 1988, God called Gordon to the United States, where he pastored at both Second Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR. After many attempted retirements, and a brief stint as a school bus driver, Gordon began working for the Arkansas Baptist Foundation in Northwest Arkansas before returning to pastor at Gum Springs Baptist Church in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Outside of pastoring, Gordon was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. He was the perfect role model for his family on how to follow the Lord and how not to take yourself too seriously, a lesson he learned from his father. He genuinely loved life, people, golf, the Razorbacks, and laughing at himself. Known as Papa to his grandchildren, Gordon spent countless hours at ballgames, dance and music recitals, school events and taking many trips to Cold Stone for ice cream. He will forever be remembered by his family and friends for his unwavering faith, love of music, and his impeccable sense of humor. Funeral services were held at First Baptist Church Rogers on June 2, 2021. Memorials may be made to Gum Springs Baptist Church, PO Box 1472, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761 or Camp Siloam, 3600 South Lincoln Street, Arkansas 72761.
Robert L. “Bob” Carr
Date of passing: May 25, 2021
Robert “Bob” Leo Carr, was a believer in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and went to be with Him in Heaven on May 25, 2021. He passed away peacefully in Melbourne, AR. He married Bertie Lee Gaston in 1951. Bob had 5 children with his first wife Bertie: Timothy, William, Bobbie, Philip, and John. Bob married JoAnn Terry in 1985, after the death of their previous spouses. He is survived by 3 children and 15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren; 2 brothers, John William Carr, Jr. and Ronald Michael Carr; 3 nieces and 9 nephews. He was preceded in death by his Father, John William Carr, Sr.; Mother, Eileen Findley Carr; Sister, Jeannie Marie Carr Roach; First Wife, Bertie Lee Gaston Carr; two sons, William Thomas Carr and Timothy Michael Carr, Sr. and Second Wife, JoAnn Terry Carr. Bob joined the U. S. Marines when he was 17 years old. In 1955 he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant and was the youngest Gunnery Sergeant in the Marines at that time. He served as an Air Traffic Controller in Hawaii. He was a Tech. Sgt. when he was discharged. During his time of service he received three medals: National Defense Service, Korean Service, and Good Conduct W/1. Bob retired from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission where he worked as their Explosive Safety Coordinator, Nuisance Animal Technician, and Secondary Wildlife Officer. The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention commissioned Bob as a chaplain on 10/9/07. He went to Russia twice as a missionary. He volunteered at Grimes Prison in Newport. He was ordained as a Baptist minister by Myron Baptist Church on 9/28/08. Funeral service Wednesday, June 2 at 2:00 p.m. at Eddie’s Family Funeral Home in Melbourne. Burial with military honors will be at Little Rock National Cemetery on Thursday, June 3 at 11:30 a.m. Pallbearers: Rob Carr, Paul Carr, Steven Carr, Phillip Carr, Tyler Carr, Mike Hill. Memorials may be made to: Semper Fi Fund: semperfifund.org or Ronald McDonald House.
Charles A. Hoover
Date of passing: May 19, 2021
Rev. Charles A. Hoover, age 82 of Monticello, joined his Lord and Savior Wednesday May 19, 2021. Beloved family members surrounded him, at his home, when he made his departure to Heaven. He was born August 10, 1938, in Drew County, AR to the late Roie Joe Hoover and Verna Phillips Hoover. He was a retired minister, farmer and had a reforestation service, but never retired from cattle ranching. Charles was a National Guard Veteran and a member of Calvary Baptist Church. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a granddaughter, Amanda Lee Hoover; and two brothers-in-law, Charles Ott and Jimmy Tomboli. Charles found pure happiness in preaching the Gospel, teaching the Bible and thunderously leading the singing of hymns, which he did for over thirty years. His was tireless in his pursuits to lead lost souls to Salvation. He coached little league baseball and football and was a member of the Arkansas Cattleman’s Association. He loved his cows, horses, and his family land, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Working to provide for his family was his passion, but his favorite times were those spent with his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife and favorite cook of 62 years, Billie Jean Harper Hoover; his son, Chuck Hoover and wife Carolyn; his daughter, Jana Edwards and husband Dan; a sister, Jorene Ott; a sister-in-law, Sondra Tomboli; a brother-in-law, Larry Harper and wife Cindy. He is also survived by his pride and joys, which affectionately call him “Pappy”; grandchildren, Michele Roberts and husband David, Joy Watts and husband Matt, Josh Welch and wife Katelan and Brice Hoover and wife Kelsey; great grandchildren, Kaleigh Roberts, Patton Roberts, Preston Welch, Josie Welch and Emersyn Raye Hoover, all of Monticello. Funeral service was held on Saturday, May 22,2021 at Calvary Baptist Church with Bro. Chuck Hoover and Bro. Gary Carter officiating. Online guestbook at www.stephensondearman.com.

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