Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

OBITUARIES >> 10-27-07

Jake Wheeler

Jake Wheeler, 55, of Beebe died Oct. 25. He was born April 18, 1952, at Hazen to James and Bettye Perry Wheeler.
He was retired from Community Bank as a collections officer.

He is survived by two daughters, Joy and husband Doug McIntire of Peoria, Ill. and Jennifer Wheeler of Cabot; two granddaughters, Courtney and Abigail McIntire of Peoria, Ill.; one brother, Bobby Wheeler of Jacksonville; and two sisters, Melinda Gore of Lonoke and Lisa Johnson of McRae.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.

Funeral will be at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 at the funeral home with burial in Hazen Cemetery.


Nora Massey

Nora Friedrich Massey, 94, of Beebe died Oct. 25. Nora was born Feb. 12, 1913, at Gerard, Kan., and moved to Arkansas at the age of four.

She was retired from Redmond Motors and Franklin Electric, and was a member of Stoney Point Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Coleman Massey; her parents, John and Myrtle Friedrich; and by her twin sister, Cora Richards; sister, Pearl Woods and by baby brother, John, Jr. Friedrich.

She is survived by one daughter, Mary Ann and husband Larry Massey; grandson, Mitch Helms; great-grandsons, Chanc Helms and C. J. Shireman, all of Beebe; granddaughter, Mellissa and husband Ricky Deese of North Little Rock; grandson, Dennis and wife Jackie Shireman; great-granddaughters, Denise and Brianna Shireman and great-grandson Casey Shireman, all of Marion; one sister, Johnell Mitchell of Little Rock; nephew Robert and wife June Richards and their daughter, Robin of Beebe; other nephews and nieces, Bruce Mitchell and Denna Mitchell, Ruth Beck and J. R. Woods.

Family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.

Funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at the funeral home with burial in Stoney Point Cemetery.


Lilburn Autry Jr.

Lilburn Hardy “L.H.” Autry, Jr., 78, died Oct. 25 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born March 25, 1929 in Burdette. He was a dedicated teacher and educator and a devoted public servant his entire professional career.

He was a counselor of the disabled at Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center. He also was director of Rehab Services for the Blind for the state of Arkansas. He continued his career at the University of Oklahoma as Director of a Management Training Program in Continuing Education.

He was an extremely creative man; an artist and musician who loved to play and hear music. He enjoyed painting and loved to give his artwork to friends and family. He spent hours working in his shop and could build or fix anything. He loved feeding the birds and his pets always held a special place in his heart. He was a member of Lonoke Baptist Church and loved to be around friends and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, L.H. Autry, Sr. and Lucile Autry and an infant daughter, Dianne.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Betty Autry of Lonoke; children, Rosanne Florence and husband Michael of Lonoke, David Autry and wife Colleen of New York City; sister, Mollie Rose Molnar and husband Gene of Springfield, Mo.; granddaughter, Megan Florence of Lonoke, numerous cousins and many beloved family friends.

A memorial service will be held Monday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at Lonoke Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Lonoke Cemetery. The family will receive friends Sunday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the Arkansas Alzheimer’s Association, 10411 W. Markham, Ste. 130, Little Rock, Ark., 72205 or the Lonoke Scholarship Foundation, 221 W. Holly, Lonoke, Ark., 72086 or a charity of your choice.


Frances Sykes Jr.

Frances J. Sykes, Jr., 72, of Jacksonville died Oct. 24.

He was born July 5, 1935 in New Orleans, La.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Mae Sykes; his sisters, Mary L. Mitchell and Elaine Butts and a brother, Billy Richmond.

He proudly served in the Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars and was a flight instructor for load masters and retired after 24 years.

He was a volunteer at Jacksonville High School, a member of Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic Church and was the most caring and giving man you could ever meet.

He is survived by four daughters Melody Neff of Arizona, Leta Cribb of North Little Rock, Cathy Peters of Jacksonville and Shelia Occhino of Arizona; and a son, Mark Sykes of Vilonia as well as two step-sons Rod Steinsick and Frank Steinsick and step-daughter Tina Connelly, all of North Little Rock; three sisters, Rita Blancher of Virginia, Teresa Spretz and Clare Rapp, both of Louisiana; 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

A funeral mass for Sykes was Oct. 26 at Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Jacksonville with Father Les Farley officiating.

Entombment followed in Chapel Hill Mausoleum.  Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.


Alfred Allison

Alfred Allison, 92, of Sheridan formerly of Beebe, went to be with the Lord Oct. 23. He was born Dec. 30, 1914, in Lonoke County to William and Elsie Allison.

He leaves to cherish his memories three daughters, Barbara Shellnut and husband Ralph of Sheridan, Mary Best and husband Berl of Branson, Mo., and Ann Hartline of Springfield, Mo.; four grandchildren, Kathy Frost and husband Darrell of Booneville, Carol Crump and husband Jim of Knoxville, Karen Best of Branson, Mo., and Ed Smoot of Phoenix, Ariz.; five step-grandchildren, Darrin Shellnut and wife Tamara of Beebe, Dana Moore and husband Jeff of Bauxite, Dewayne Shellnut of Sheridan, Adam Crump of Mt. Vernon, Ill., and Melissa Crump of Carbondale, Ill.; three great-grandchildren, Joshua Frost of Jackson, Tenn., Lindsey Andrews and husband Ben of Russellville and Corey Martone of Knoxville; eight step-great-grandchildren, D.J. Shellnut of Livingston, La., Dixie Shaffer and husband Michael of Searcy, Sean Keen and Scotty Shellnut of Sheridan, Zachary and Haley Moore of Bauxite, and Dallas and Shelby Carson of Beebe; one great-great-grandchild, Kylie Frost of Jackson, Tenn.; two brothers, David Allison of Xenia, Ill., and Billy Allison of Reading, Pa.; one sister, Ida Atterberry of Flatrock, Ill.; many beloved nieces and nephews and wonderful care-givers, Evelyn Rutherford and Carol Ham.

Funeral services were Oct. 26 at Beebe First Assembly of God. Funeral arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.


Charles Franks

Charles Thomas “Tommy” Franks, 59, of Lonoke died Oct. 23 at Lonoke.

He was born April 3, 1948 in Dyess. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kathy Thomason Franks; one daughter, Lesley Ann Faulkner of Little Rock; twin sons, John Phillip Franks and his wife Kristy, and Joseph Bartley Franks of Lonoke; three grandchildren, Kylie Smith and twins Karson and Kate Franks; his mother and stepfather, Emil and James Blackard of Lonoke; three sisters, Peggy Bewley of Scott, Mary Moore of Ward, and Carol Ann Scott of Lonoke; one brother, Craig Blackard of Lonoke; three nieces and five nephews; two great nieces; two great nephews and his beloved terrier, Jack.

Tommy was a graduate of Little Rock Central High School. He was proud of his profession as a journeyman lineman, beginning his career with Arkansas Power and Light Co. (forerunner to Entergy).

After marriage, he and his wife dairy farmed in the Wattensaw community for several years.

For the past 10 years, he has worked for Diversified Electric Contractors in various areas of California.

In 1999, he was chosen to be the lineman picked from California to go to Chicago for “bare hand” training.

Tommy was devoted to his family, loved adventure, was an avid reader, a talented wood worker and an inventor.

One of his interests was dirt track racing. A number of years ago he rebuilt a car and drove it from Arkansas to California.

He became a grandfather recently and was known as “Grumpy.” A tall, handsome man, Tommy was known among his wife’s family as “The Marlboro Man.”

Funeral services were Oct. 25 at Wattensaw Baptist Church in Lonoke; interment followed at Wattensaw Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Craig Blackard, Michael Franks, Larry Cash, Danny Hazelwood, Bob Trickey and Randy Zeps. Honorary pallbearers were John Franks, Joe Franks, Tom Browning, Wade Finley and Bill Trickey.

Memorials may be made to Wattensaw Cemetery, c/o Neal Colclasure, 3700 Hwy. 31 N., Lonoke, Ark. 72086. Funeral arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.