Leader Blues

Monday, January 21, 2008

OBITUARIES >> 4-22-09


Mary Ellen Higgins, 96, of Jacksonville died April 20. She was the widow of Leonard Burks and John Higgins.

She is survived by her children, Frances and husband Jim Perdicaris of Jacksonville, Mary and husband Will Deal of Conway, and William and wife Rosemary Burks of Jacksonville; grandchildren, Tressa Laurent of Shreveport, La., Michael Boggs of Nashville, Ga., Kerri Boggs of Nashville, Ga., and James and wife Nikki Perdicaris of Jacksonville; and great-grandchildren, Stephanie and Brittnee Laurent, and Johnathon and Ashley Perdicaris.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Cliff Hutchins officiating. Interment will follow at Fairplay Cemetery in Benton. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 at the funeral home. Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.


William J. “Bill” Walters, 84, of El Paso passed away April 18 at his home. He was born March 12, 1925, in Hollywood, Calif., to William J. and Zereta Estaver Walters. He grew up in Chicago.

He graduated from the University of Illinois. He proudly served his country in the Navy during World War II, receiving the Purple Heart as well as other medals. He retired from Brown Shoe Co. in 1988 after 32 years. He was an avid golfer and he loved playing cards but his passion was spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He also loved his German shepherd, Lady.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Jack Walters.

Survivors include his loving wife of 50 years, Joann Robertson Walters of El Paso; four daughters, Carli Zygowicz and husband Stan of Belvedere, Ill., Nancy Johnson and husband Phil of Reinbeck, Iowa, Cathy Hill and husband J.D. of El Paso, and Pam Howard and husband Jack of Sherwood; one son, Bill Walters and his wife Donna of Cabot; 16 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one niece, and two nephews.

The funeral is at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 in the chapel of Wood Bean Funeral Home with Rev. LeRoy Wood officiating. A private interment will follow in Rest Hills Memorial Park in North Little Rock. Donations may be made to White County Hospice or the Humane Society of Independence County.


Harry Kenneth Morphew, 82, of Cabot passed away on April 21. He was born Sept. 22, 1926, in Morton to the late Joseph A. and Melissa Morphew. He was preceded in death by his parents and eight brothers and sisters.

Survivors include his wife, Jewell Magdalene Morphew; three children, Joe Dan Ray, Jimmy Ray and Nancy Holman, all of Cabot; one brother, James Morphew of Cabot; one sister, Lura Summers of Memphis, Tenn.; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren, and many other family members and friends.

A time of visitation is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22 at Thomas Funeral Service in Cabot. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 at Mt. Springs Baptist Church with interment immediately following at Chapel Hills Cemetery in Jacksonville.


Roy Chudy, 89, of Hickory Plains was called to his heavenly home on April 19. He was born Dec. 27, 1919, in North Little Rock to Joseph and Laura Chudy.

Roy grew up and lived in North Little Rock for most of his life. In 1944, he married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Rush. He served in World War II. He was always proud to have served his country.

Roy retired from Chicopee Manufacturing Company in North Little Rock. He was involved in so many activities. He was a volunteer archery instructor at the North Little Rock Boys Club and he was president of the Archery Association.

Roy was always involved in something, such as hunting, fishing, raising quail, archery tournaments, beekeeping and especially gardening. Roy loved to raise a huge garden and take his produce up to the post office to give it all away. Roy attended Hebron United Methodist church of his community.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jean Rush Chudy; one great-grandson, Noah Madru, and six siblings.

He leaves to cherish his memory one daughter, Lu Madru and husband Tom of Hickory Plains; a grandson, Dustin Chudy and wife Erika of Little Rock; granddaughter, Krystle Hobart and husband David and a great grandson, Elijah Hobart of Mabelvale, as well as many friends and cousins.

The family would like to thank Tina Davidson, his very special caretaker, and Arkansas Hospice of Cabot for all their loving help and care.

A graveside service to celebrate his life was April 21 at Hickory Plains Cemetery. Arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.


Albert Ronald Smith of Cabot went to be with the Lord on April 16. He was born July 2, 1921, to the late Emmett Eugene and Lela Grace Carrol Smith. He served as a gunner in the Army Air Corps from 1941 to 1948. He was a 50-year Mason and member of Mt. Pleasant Ward 99, and was retired from the Rock Island Railroad where he was employed for several years as a brakeman.

He was an active member of First Baptist Church of Cabot for 40 years, where he served as a deacon, taught Sunday school class and was a head usher. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. His presence will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Flota Daniels; his brother, Hudson Smith; his granddaughter, Tiffany Morden; his grandson, Adam Goforth and his son-in-law, Dr. Jerry Chapman.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Elsie Reid Smith. Other survivors are three daughters, Reida Robinson and her husband Gary of Las Vegas, Nev., Sandra Goforth and her husband Rickie of North Little Rock, Diane Chapman and her late husband Dr. Jerry Chapman of Cabot; two brothers, E. Eugene Smith and his wife Elwanda of Conway and Doyle B. Smith and his wife Wanda of Little Rock; three granddaughters, Lark Buckingham of Little Rock, Amanda Jones and her husband Scott of Sherwood and Melanye Weir of Cabot; one grandson, Jace Chapman of Houston; six great-grandchildren; six nieces, two nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral was April 20 at First Baptist Church of Cabot. Interment followed at Sylvania Cemetery. Arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.


Marvin Edward Stracener, 70, of Cabot passed away on April 18 after a long and courageous battle against cancer.

Marvin was a member of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and he retired from Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America in Searcy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Lottie Stracener of Gravel Hill, and a grandson, Seth Edward Stracener of Kingsport, Tenn.

Marvin is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nell Webb Stracener; three sons, Steve Stracener and hiswife Sheree of Kingsport, Tenn., Scott Stracener of Cabot, and Stan Stracener and his wife Stacy of Cabot; six grandchildren, Stephanie and Spencer Stracener of Kingsport, Tenn., Ashley, Baylee, Cole and Brookly Stracener of Cabot; and one sister, Vela Strayhorn and husband Clarence of McRae.

Memorials may be made to Faith Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 1475, Cabot, Ark. 72023 or to the American Cancer Society.

The funeral was April 21 at Faith Missionary Church of Cabot with burial at Romance Cemetery. Arrangements were by Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.