Leader Blues

Sunday, July 01, 2007

OBITUARIES >> 06-30-07

Thomas Miller
Thomas Wesley Miller, 87, of Beebe went to be with the Lord June 27. He was born July 8, 1919.

He was a veteran of the Second World War, where he earned two Bronze Stars. He was the director of Arkansas Veterans Affairs office in Little Rock for more than 10 years and was instrumental in establishing the Arkansas Veterans Home there.

He was also a volunteer at the VA Hospital for more than 20 years. He was an insurance and real estate agent at Jonesboro for over 25 years.

He was the state director of the 55 Alive driving program for senior adults. He was a member of the Scottish Rite since 1951, a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of American Legion for 60 years and served as state commander and was an officer in the UCT.

An active deacon in First Baptist Churches at Jonesboro, Hot Springs and Pulaski Heights Baptist at Little Rock, Tom was always faithful in bringing his family to church.

He was a member of Calvary Baptist at Little Rock, but recently, he attended First Baptist Church at Beebe with his son and daughter-in-law.

He loved being a greeter at church, loved gospel music, Sunday school and worship. He enjoyed helping other people and spent years at Lake Hamilton where he liked to cut firewood and give it away to friends and family.
He spent many days at Hot Springs, distributing food to needy people. He had a heart for service to others throughout his life.

The love of his life was his wife, Betty Anne, who passed away in November 1997, after 57 years of marriage. They enjoyed traveling together and had made trips to Russia, Europe, Israel and South America.

Nine brothers and sisters also preceded him in death.

He is survived by two sons, Tom B. Miller and his wife Debbie of Beebe and Wesley Miller and his wife Esperanza Palacio of Sebastopol, Calif.; five grandchildren, Faran Hearyman and her husband Marty, Liann Loftin and her husband Toby, twins Benjamin G. Penn and Veronica J. Penn, and Suzanna M. Bailis; three great-grandchildren, Zoe, Lily and Ellie; a sister, Margaret Womack of Jonesboro, and a brother, John E. Miller of Melbourne.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 1 at Westbrook Funeral Home, in Beebe. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Monday, July 2 at Westbrook Funeral Home with burial at 4:30 p.m. in Gray Cemetery in Sage.

Valrie Johnson
Valrie M. Johnson, 90, of Beebe, having led a long and wonderful life, has gone to rejoice her homecoming with her beloved family on June 27. She was born February 22, 1917, at El Paso. She was the daughter of Duncan D. and Linnie B. Blasingame Manning.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, James M. Johnson; four sisters, Eura, Florance, Lillie and Bonnie, and one brother, Harvey.

She is survived by three children, Martha Fagan and husband Bill of Beebe, Mary Wilson and husband Don of Austin, and James Johnson and wife Debbie of Heavener, Okla.; four grandsons, Tony and Mark Fagan, Donald and Justin Wilson, and granddaughter, Heather Trowbridge; six great-grandchildren, C.J. and Caleb Fagan, Winter Fagan, Jacob, Joshua, and Abigail Trowbridge; plus many nieces and nephews.

Thanks to Hospice for the tender care and wonderful support. A special thank you to caregivers, Barbara Cassio and Michelle Fagan.

Family received friends on Thursday at Westbrook Funeral Home, Beebe. The funeral was Friday at Westbrook Funeral Home with burial in Rest Hills Memorial Park, Sherwood.

Memorials may be made to Baptist Health Hospice, 11900 Colonel Glenn Road, Suite 2000, Little Rock, Ark. 72210.

Bobby G. Miller
Bobby Gene Miller, 77, of Lonoke went to be with the Lord June 27. He was a member of Steel Bridge Baptist Church.

He was an Army veteran and a 50-year member of American Legion.

He was former owner of Lonoke Western Auto and was a member of Rolling Hills Country Club for many years.

He served on the board of the country club and president for two terms, and was an avid golfer.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and two sisters.

Survivors include his wife, Jewell Houser Miller; a son, Todd and his wife Missy Miller of Lonoke; a brother, James Miller of Sherwood; a sister, Ann Mixon of Euless, Texas, and many other relatives and friends.

Graveside services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30 at Lonoke Cemetery by Boyd Funeral Home of Lonoke.

Mattie Larkin
Mattie Irene Larkin, 90, of Jacksonville passed away June 27 in her home.

She was born Aug. 28, 1916 in Florence, Ala., to the late James and Mattie Austin Malone.  

She was a homemaker and a member of the Eastern Star.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin Larkin; a daughter, Joanetta Nichols; three brothers, Frank, James, and Tom Malone; and a sister, Florence Combs.   

Survivors include three grandchildren, Kimala J. Forrest of Jacksonville, Rochone R. and wife Cathy Nichols of Arlington, Texas, Carletta I. Wilson and husband Jerry of Jacksonville, seven great-grandchildren; Aramy Forrest, Qualenta Forrest, Cortessa Wilson, Jerica Wilson, Jeremy Wilson, Ashley Nichols, and Adreanna Nichols; one great-great-grandchild, Areiya Goodman-Forrest; sister, Lillian Lyles of Jacksonville; brother, Billy Malone of Jacksonville, Fla., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 30 at Moore’s Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville.  Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Park.

Matthew Spradlin
Matthew Aaron Spradlin, 20, of Beebe went to be with the Lord June 27.  

He was born Aug. 26, 1986 at Searcy to David and Tonia Spradlin.

He was a 2005 honor graduate of Beebe High School.  He attended ASU and graduated with an associates degree in May with plans to attend UALR in the fall.  

He was a member of Stoney Point United Methodist Church.  

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bob and Anna Caldwell of Floyd.

He is survived by his parents, David and Tonia; a sister, Laura Spradlin Bedwell and her husband, Michael Bedwell; his grandparents, Charles and Anna Spradlin of Beebe; and two nieces, Ashten and Chloe Bedwell of Vilonia, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Family received friends June 29 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe with burial in Stoney Point Cemetery.

Rickey Whitlock
Rickey Ray Whitlock, 46, of Beebe died June 27.

He worked in the oil field industry in Texas and also owned a detail shop at Beebe.

He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Thomas Whitlock; a brother, Terry Lynn Whitlock; his grandparents, Raymond Max Whitlock and Charlie and Minnie James.

He is survived by a son, Ryan Whitlock of Cabot; a daughter, Cameron Jewett and her husband Randall and grandson, Landon of Sheridan; his mother, Martha Whitlock of Beebe; his grandmother, Flora Mae Whitlock of North Little Rock; three sisters, Denia Williams of Floyd, Ronda Vines of Cabot and Lyndi Whitlock of Beebe; special friends Vickie Sullivant of Grapevine and Steve and Arnold Richardson of North Little Rock and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe with burial in New Floyd Cemetery.

Pauline Benton
Pauline G. Benton, 88, of Beebe died June 29. She was born Sept. 14, 1918, at McRae to the late Ernie and Emma Taylor Crisco.

Pauline’s joy in this world was attending church, her Home Extension Club activities, where she served as president, and quilting. She retired from Vickers Manufacturing in Searcy. She always gave of herself, always thinking of others first.

She was preceded in death by her beloved son, James Benton; brothers, Doyle and Jack Crisco; and sisters, Blanche Cook and Mary Alice Crisco, all of McRae.

She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Bernie Benton of Antioch; daughters, Marie Webb and husband Bill of White Buff, Texas, and Lynda Pickard of Ft. Smith; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother, Emmett Crisco of McCrory, and a host of friends who loved her.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe. Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1 at Antioch Church with burial in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens in Beebe.

Riley Decker
Riley Sordis Decker, 74, of Cabot died June 26 at his home. He was born April 7, 1933 in Leachville to the late Cordis Elmer and Fannie Pauline Baker Decker.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Jerry Wayne Decker and two sisters, Mary Reeves and Ruby Harrell.

He is survived by two daughters, Linda Zigler of Cabot and Janice Bise of Jacksonville; five sons, Larry Decker and Terral Decker of Kentucky, Ronnie Decker of Austin, and Curtis Decker and Riley Decker, both of Heber Springs; three grandsons, Walter Decker of Kentucky, Chad Zigler of Cabot and Matthew Decker of Austin; three granddaughters, Stephanie Decker Madison of Kentucky, Christina Zigler of Cabot and Heather Decker of Austin; four great-grandsons, Adam Decker and William Decker of Kentucky, Dylan Jackson of Austin and Ian Gill of Austin; a great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Decker of Kentucky; three brothers, Gene Decker and Jim Decker of Michigan and Robin Decker of Manila; three sisters, Sue Lester of Manila, Lovie Woldring of Michigan and Brenda Bratton of Atkin; many nieces and nephews and lots of friends.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at Moore’s Funeral Home in Jacksonville with Rev. Walter Decker officiating. Entombment will follow in Chapel Hill Mausoleum.

Jerry Thompson
Jerry Dean Thompson, 74, of Searcy died June 26 at Searcy. He was born Nov. 28, 1932, at Fairview.

He was a retired master electrician. He attended school at Fairview and graduated from Beebe High School where he played basketball. He was in the Air Force and was a Methodist.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, W. J. and Blanche Thompson; daughter, Kimberly Jackson and brothers, Billy J. and Harry Thompson.

Survivors include daughter, Monica and husband Reggie Neis of Belton, Texas; sons, Rodney and Bradley Thompson; sister, Sharron Clark of Lonoke; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home of Beebe. Memorials may be made to Hester Cemetery Fund, c/o Bill Hester, 1201 Commons Drive, Jacksonville, Ark. 72076.