The Arkansas Leader

Obituaries – May 1, 2021Free Access

Joe Y. Cunningham Jr.

Retired Major Joe Y. Cunningham Jr., 88, of Jacksonville passed away on April 26 in Little Rock.

He was born Oct. 12, 1932, in Hayti, Mo., to the late Elizabeth (King) and Joe Y. Cunningham Sr. In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his two sisters, Alice Smith and Patricia Kennedy.

Joe enlisted into the United States Air Force on Jan. 8, 1951, during the Korean War as a left gunner on the B29 Super Fortress. A door of opportunity opened for him to train as a pilot. He took it as an Eagle and became the youngest pilot to command the KC97s at that time. He flew B-47s and B-58s during the Cold War and the F-4 in Vietnam.

He retired Jan. 31, 1971, after 20 years of honorable service to his country. After retiring, Joe owned a restaurant and later worked as an accountant. He was an avid golfer and loved the days he was able to fly his single engine aircraft.

Joe never met a stranger and loved all the attention his vibrant personality commanded. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, as well as anyone lucky enough to have met him. 

Joe is survived by his two daughters, Debora Lee Joyce and Frances Elizabeth Beard; four grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and three brothers, James A. Cunningham, Douglas McArthur Cunningham and Ronald Lynn Cunningham.

No services are scheduled at this time. Cremations arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home, 501-982-2136.

Harold Drenth

Harold Hiram Drenth, 98, of Bentonville passed away April 27 at Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville.

He was born Feb. 8, 1923, in Boyden, Iowa, the son of Alex and Anna Drenth.

He was a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Houghton College and spent over 40 years in full-time ministry, where he was the pastor of seven different churches in 18 states. During his time in the ministry, he went on six mission trips, headed five church building programs and served as a moderator for three Baptist Associations. He also was clerk of four Baptist Associations in Virginia, as well as serving on the North American Baptist Mission Committee. He was fascinated with engineering and loved collecting, repairing and restoring antique clocks. He was known for his outgoing personality and witty sense of humor.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Janice Drenth; two sons, Timothy and Darold Drenth; and brothers, Don and Ervin Drenth.

Mr. Drenth is survived by his sister, Louise Noll of Luverne, Minn.; brothers, Orville Drenth of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Stanley Drenth of Sioux Falls, S.D.; a daughter, Karen (Roger) of Prairie Grove; a son, Alex (Tammi) Drenth of Indianapolis, Ind.; four grandchildren, Rodney (Lisa) Roling of Cabot, Robert (Missy) Roling of Little Rock, Jennifer (Matt) Randall of Greenwood, Ind., and Cathy Drenth of New York, N.Y.; great-grandchildren, LaShainea (Rob) Pollander, Cody (Maddie) Roling, Tim (Becca) Roling, Oliver Roling, Lucas Roling and Graham Randall; step great-grandchildren, Brandi Goforth and Josh Byrd; and great-great-grandchildren, Grayson Pollander and Cade Roling.

The funeral was held April 30 at First Baptist Church in Lincoln with Pastor Randy Magar officiating. Visitation will be held from 9 till 10 a.m. and under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home of Springdale. A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 5 at Chapel Hill Memorial Park in Jacksonville.

Memorial gifts may be made to Circle of Life, in memory of Harold Drenth, to support patient care and family services at Circle of Life, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, Ark. 72762 or online at

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