Obituaries

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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.
Vicki Bedford
Date of passing: May 17, 2021
Vicki Hutchison Bedford passed away Monday, May 17, 2021 at Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale, Arkansas. She was born April 28, 1955 in Fayetteville AR to Dale Ormand Hutchison and Yvonne Baker Hutchison. Vicki was a faithful Christian, a devoted wife and mother, and a gifted church musician and composer. She played the piano with skill and grace, sang beautifully, and composed or arranged numerous songs and hymns glorifying the Lord. She played and sang in churches and auditoriums across the country and internationally for revivals, camp meetings, special occasions, Bible studies, speaker events, conferences, and symposiums. Her music touched and inspired countless lives around the world. She performed with renowned gospel groups including The Merits and the Arkansas MasterSingers, and was honored to be a member of the prestigious American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Her compositions were selected for distribution by several of the largest church music publishers in the world and her music has been performed by choirs and ensembles in local and global venues. She was preceded in death by her father and a great-granddaughter Abby Lynn Benish. Survivors include her loving husband Jack Bedford; her mother Yvonne; her sister Colette Schenewerk and her husband Philip of Farmington AR; her brother Russell of Farmington AR; her daughters, Rhonda Bedford Adams and her husband Charles of Tampa FL, Karla Bedford Long and her husband Danny of Farmington AR, and Connie Bedford Campbell and her husband Craig of Russellville AR; her son Ronny Bedford and his wife Lisa of Houston TX; ten grandchildren, Amanda Adams, Allison and Joshua Henson, Cassy and Rusty Story, Stacy and Alex Floyd, Wesley and Hayley Long, Amy and Nik Kirby, Cody and Megan Campbell, Andrew and Morgan Campbell, Gracie Campbell, and Caleb Campbell; four nieces, Kate and James Quadrizius, Brynn Hutchison, Laura Reynolds, and Suzanne Schenewerk; her nephew Will Hutchison; twelve great-grandchildren, Sullivan Henson, Savannah Henson, Rahely Floyd, Linley Floyd, Westin Floyd, Hudson Story, Harper Story, Millie Long, Benton Long, Campbell Kirby, Kai Campbell, and Andrew Campbell; two great-nieces, Miriam Quadrizius and Lydia Quadrizius; and two great-nephews, Wesley Quadrizius and Peter Quadrizius. A memorial service was held on Friday, May 21, 2021, at University Baptist Church in Fayetteville AR.
Bill Aldon Dixon
Date of passing: April 18, 2021
Bill Aldon Dixon passed away on Sunday, April 18, at the age of 83. Bill was born July 19, 1937 in Habersham, Georgia as the only child of William Ellis Dixon and Audrey Sosebee Dixon. After high school, Bill attended Truett-McConnell Junior College and Carson Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Bill spent two years teaching Biology at Truett-McConnell before studying at George Peabody College and receiving a Master of Arts in Education. Bill assumed he would spend his career teaching but was surprised by an invitation to join Ouachita Baptist University as Dean of Students. Bill and Snookie moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 1970. During his administrative career, Bill was co-founder of a national professional organization (BASA) with forty-two Baptist-related colleges and universities participating. Bill retired from Ouachita in 2003 as the Vice President for Student Services, but remained for three additional years with the International Program. Bill was an active member of First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia where he was a Deacon, committee member, teacher, etc. In 1988, he was also one of the organizers of AMOR (Amazon Mission Organization) which was founded to take mission groups to remote regions of the Amazon Basin. He was honored by BASA and by Truett McConnell University as Alumnus of the year. Bill is survived by his wife of 56 years, Snookie Dixon and three sons; David (Dana) of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Chris (Misti) Dixon of Amity, Arkansas, Humoy Ravshanov of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and five grandchildren, Hannah Dixon, Erica Dixon, Samantha Dixon, Olivia Dixon and Sawyer Dixon. Celebration of life service to be held Sunday April 25th at First Baptist Church Arkadelphia. Visitation from 3:00 to 4:00 with service to follow. Memorial gifts may be made to Ouachita Baptist University, The Bill and Snookie Dixon Endowed Scholarship for International Studies, 410 Ouachita Street, Arkadelphia, AR 71998.
Millie Gill
Date of passing: April 12, 2021
Millie Gill, 86, went home to be with the Lord on April 12th of 2021 in Grandview, Texas. Millie was a faithful servant for her Lord throughout her life. Millie worked at the Arkansas Baptist News for a number of years where she wore many hats. She played the piano beautifully. She enjoyed reading and cross-stitch and the light of her life was her grandson, Stephen Gartrell. Widowed at a very young age, Millie raised a daughter that she also adored. You were not able to spend more than ten minutes with Millie without hearing about her wonderful family. She was so very proud of all of them. Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Lucretia Gartrell and spouse, Steve; sister, Loretta (Jim) Tidwell; grandson Stephen (Erika) Gartrell and great granddaughter, Leslie Gartrell, as well as several nieces and nephews and numerous friends. A private memorial will be held in Joshua, Texas on May 8. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Millie’s memory to the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, 10 Remington Drive, Little Rock AR 72204.
James Monroe Wilson
Date of passing: April 2, 2021
James Monroe Wilson, age 90, of Rogers, formerly of Little Rock died Friday, April 2, 2021 at Circle of Life Hospice located in Springdale. He was born December 9, 1930 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas the son of John and Lillian Wilson. He married his wife, Betty Marie Miller in 1953, whom he met while attending Ouachita Baptist University. After graduating, Ouachita, he earned his Masters of Divinity degree from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Following his graduation he pastored churches in Little Rock and Gurdon, Arkansas, then moved his family to Brazil, where he served as a missionary with the International Mission Board for seven years. Following his service on the mission field, he returned to Arkansas in 1970 to serve as pastor of Little Rock’s Baptist Tabernacle, which became Parkway Place Baptist Church when it relocated to western Little Rock. Retiring in 1995, he and Betty served in Germany as missionaries. He and Betty retired and moved to Benton, Arkansas then to Rogers in 2010 to be surrounded by their children and grandchildren. They have been members of First Baptist Rogers since that move. He was preceded in death by his parents and his two brothers, Bruce Wilson and Norton Wilson. James is survived by: his wife of 68 years; Betty Wilson; one son John Wilson and his wife Becky, of Dallas, Texas; two daughters, Debbie Johnson and her husband Gerald of Fayetteville, Victori “Vicki” Wagner and her husband Brice of Rogers, six grandchildren; Jill Goodwin and her husband Clay, Jennifer Richard and her husband Nathan, Ty Wagner and his wife Sara, Brook Smith and her husband Aaron, Rachael Heerwagen and her husband Ryan, and Ben Wilson and his wife Christian; and six great-grandchildren. Memorials may be sent to: Mission Dignity, which helps pastors’ widows with insufficient incomes, or Circle of Life Hospice.
Lewis Gentry
Date of passing: March 25, 2021
Rev. Lewis Orus Gentry, 71, of Prescott, Arkansas passed away on March 25 at Baptist Health in North Little Rock. Lewis was born on Jan. 24, 1950 in Nashville, Arkansas to the late Irene and Robert Gentry. He served as a pastor in the Southern Baptist Church. Lewis married Nina Coats on August 19 1972, the love of his life for 48 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University and a Masters in Divinity from Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary. Lewis became an ordained minister in 1976. He served in the mission field for three years and worked as a pastor for 45 years. He was also a teacher for several years. He is survived by his wife Nina Gentry, his two sons, Philip Gentry (Tarah) of Delight and Daniel Gentry of Chicago, IL, brothers Bobby Gentry (Mapra) of Bentron, John Gentry (Dianne) of Hope, Dennis Gentry (Annette) of Mineral Springs, Gary Gentry of Stamps, Ralph Gentry (Rita) of Saginaw, TX and Anthony Gentry (Angie) of Hope, four grandsons, Tyler Gentry of Monticello, Rhett Gentry of Magnolia, Dawson Gentry of Delight and Andrew Gentry of Monticello, and great granddaughter Adalyn Gentry of Monticello. A memorial service was held on April 3rd at Marlbrook Baptist Church in Blevins, Arkansas
Paul McClung
Date of passing: March 14, 2021
Paul McClung, 80, of Sherwood passed away peacefully March 14, 2021 at his residence. Paul was born in Hartford, Arkansas to the late J.A. and Minnie McClung. He received an MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and pastored churches in Kentucky and Arkansas for 55 years. He also served on the Evangelism team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention for 12 years. He retired from ministry from First Baptist Sherwood in 2009. Survivors include his wife of nearly 55 years, Linda McClung; children: Dave and Christy McClung and Stacy and Carl Jaglal; grandchildren: Sydney, Austin, Carson, and Maggie McClung, Tiffany and Alexa Jaglal, Casey and Jacob Roberts; great-grandson, Amir Stephenson; and sisters: Wanda Millican and Paul’s twin, Thelma Gibson; as well as several extended family members. He was preceded in death by one brother, John McClung, and two sisters, Naomi Parker and Wilma Yocum.
Bro. David Blase
Date of passing: February 23, 2021
David Blase died on February 23, 2021 at the age of 8o. He was born on December 2, 1940 in Decatur, Texas, the son of Charlie and Nora Blase. He attended Decatur Baptist College where he surrendered to preach sixty years ago. He then attended Ouachita Baptist College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He later received his Doctor of Ministry degree, but never wanted people to use that title. In his mind, and in the minds of all who knew him, he was “Bro. David.” He pastored churches in Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas. He served First Baptist Church of Nashville, Arkansas for twenty-five years, and most recently served as Interim Pastor at First Baptist Church, Dierks, Arkansas. For fifty-seven years he faithfully walked hand in hand with the rose of his heart—Anna. He is survived by two sons and their wives—John David and Meredith Blase, and Shawn and Tonja Blase; five grandchildren—Mikaela and Jessie Walker, Will Blase, Sarah Blase, Mikenzie Blase, and Abbey Blase. The grandchildren always affectionately called him “Papa,” and they were the apples of his eye. Other survivors include one brother—Olin Blase; one brother-in-law and sister-in-law—David and Priscilla Taylor; one nephew—Curtis Blase; four nieces and their husbands and families—Kim Blase and her children Kelsey and Josh—Jenny and Robert Cervantes and their children Alexander and Emily and Jet— Rebekka and Austin Sebranek and their children Gabe and Logan and Jake—and Amanda and John Hardaway and their children Jack and Sam and Abby. The words “kind” and “generous” describe David Blase to a T. His family said, “He never met a man he didn’t like.” David and Anna worked as a team to provide for their family and to serve God’s larger family in the churches he pastored. If he could see the wonderful outpouring of love today, He’d without a doubt say, “Oh my soul.” Memorials can be made to First Baptist Church , P.O. Box 438 Dierks, Arkansas 71833

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