Alene Crabtree, 84, died Saturday, April 5, 2003 in Fort Smith. She was born on May 30, 1918 in Crawford County, Arkansas.
Mrs. Crabtree was the longtime coach of the Alma Airedalettes basketball and track teams. She began her career as girls athletic coach in Mountainburg and Mansfield before beginning her tenure in Alma in 1947. During her career in Alma, she compiled a record of 668 wins and 291 losses. Her basketball teams won two state championships, one state runner-up, six state semifinals and appeared in the state tournament in 24 seasons. Coach Crabtree won numerous county conference and Joe T. Robinson tournaments. She had 25 players selected as all-state basketball players. Her track teams were equally as successful, winning two state championships and setting numerous state records, some of which still stand today.
Coach Crabtree was a founder of the girls basketball all-star game, including coaching in the first game. For her entire career she was a driving force behind the emergence in Arkansas of girls’ basketball. She was a past president and chair of the Arkansas State Girls Athletic Committee. Her career was filled with honors and awards, including being named the Arkansas Outstanding Girls Basketball Coach in 1978, the Arkansas Outstanding Girls Track Coach in 1978 and 1980 and the Arkansas Girls Coach of the Year in 1978 and 1984. In 1986 she received the Curtis King Award from the Arkansas High School Coaches Association and in 1995 she was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. After her retirement in 1984, the Alma School District renamed the gymnasium in which she had spent her illustrious career the “Alene Crabtree Gymnasium,” the only facility in the Alma School District to be named after an individual.
Mrs. Crabtree is survived by her husband, E.J., a daughter, Joyce Adams of Alma, a granddaughter, Pam Adams of Fort Smith and a grandson, Bert Adams of Fort Smith.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Alene Crabtree Gymnasium at Alma High School. Internment will be at Forest Park Cemetery
in Fort Smith.
Pallbearers will be Tony Cherico, Charles Dyer, Richard Fimple, Jim Gregory, Eulis Pridgeon and Frank Vines. Honorary pallbearers will be all of the “Crabtree Girls.”
Memorials will be made to the Coach Alene Crabtree Scholarship Fund, c/o the Alma Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2359, Alma, AR 72921.
Bobby Dewayne Massey, 49, of Alma died Tuesday, April 7, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a cook and of the Baptist faith.
Survivors include one sister, Loretta Sheffield of Alma; and two brothers, David Massey of Fort Worth, Texas, and Clyde Massey of Fort Smith.
Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Gracelawn Cemetery
arbor. Burial will be at Gracelawn Cemetery
under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Nellie Marie Parks, 83, of Van Buren died Sunday, April 6, 2003, at a local hospital. She was a member of Pleasant Valley Church of Christ and a homemaker.
Survivors include two sons, Charles Earl Parks and Paul Allen Parks, both of Van Buren; one sister, Hasseltine Wilson of Van Buren; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren. Burial was at Gill Cemetery
under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Clay Parks, Jason Parks, Jimmy Wilson, Kenneth Wilson, George WoodardManuel Senteno and Randy Coleman.
Pearl Titsworth, 85, of Van Buren died Thursday, April 3, 2003, at a local nursing home. She was a self-employed beautician and a member of Kibler Baptist Church.
She is survived by her husband, Glenn; two daughters, Sharon Newman of Fort Smith and Jayne Withers of Fort Worth, Texas; two sisters, Violet Organ of Fort Smith and Dee Creekmore of Van Buren; a brother, Dallas Crabtree of Holtville, Calif.; and two grandsons.
Funeral service was held April 7 at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in Van Buren with burial at U.S. National Cemetery
in Fort Smith.
Pallbearers were Eual and Glenn Titsworth, Rick Green, Jim Arnold, Richard Organ and Berry Collins.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Harry E. Talbott, 76, of Van Buren died Friday, April 4, 2003, at a local nursing home. He was retired from Buckner-Fleming Products Co. He was an Army veteran of World War II and attended Concord Baptist Church.
Cremation will be under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren. No service is scheduled.
He is survived by two daughters, Joy House of Van Buren and Peggy Jones of West Harrison, Ind.; four sisters, Janette Hoskins, Christine Townsend, Freda and Faye Preston, all of the Mitchellsburg, Ky., area; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Gary Bruce Burkett, 53, of Fort Smith died Saturday, April 5, 2003, in Fort Smith. He was a self-employed mechanic, of the Pentecostal faith and an Air Force veteran.
Graveside service was held April 8 at Baxter-Burkett Cemetery
near Kibler under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home of Fort Smith.
He is survived by his companion, Linda Kelley of the home; two daughters, Linda Burkett of California and Samantha Burkett of the home; two sons, Gary Bruce Burkett of New Mexico and Gary Ray Burkett of Texas; his parents, Jessie and Shirley Burkett of Van Buren; two sisters, Lisa Burkett and Sharon Russell, both of Van Buren; two brothers, Billy Burkett of Van Buren and Roger Burkett of Russellville; and five grandchildren.
Evelyn Wade, 92, of Mulberry died Friday, April 4, 2003, at a Van Buren nursing home. She was the daughter of Franklin Randolph Crouch and Lena Whitlock and a member of the Crawford County Genealogy Society. She was the widow of Gurley Wade.
Survivors include nieces and caregivers, Sue Selby of Mulberry and Annette Zehring of Rogers.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Shaffer Funeral Home Chapel in Mulberry with the Rev. Dade Kindrixs officiating. Burial was at New Cemetery
Pallbearers were John Selby, Bryant Renfro, Robert, David and Wayne Whitlock and Jared Zehring.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Evelyn Wade Memorial Fund, c/o Allied Bank of Mulberry.
Rita Arnold Snoddy, 94, of Alma died Sunday, April 6, 2003, in Fort Smith. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Van Buren for more than 50 years.
Memorial graveside service was held April 8 at Forest Park Cemetery
in Fort Smith under the direction of Fentress Mortuary of Fort Smith.
She is survived by three daughters, Mary Pratt of Alma, Rita Davis of Fayetteville and Anita Paddock of Fort Smith; two sisters, Mildred Wolf and Dorothy Jacob, both of California; a brother, Mack Arnold of Oklahoma City; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and the Mulberry Public Library Building Fund.
Jean Geneva Moon Harris Breuer, 87, died March 15, 2003, in California. Born in Rudy, she graduated from Van Buren High School and nursing school in Wichita, Kan. She moved to San Francisco in 1940 and was married 20 years to Michael W. Harris. After his death, she was married to Albert Breuer for 30 years.
Survivors include a daughter, Sharon Harris, and a son, Michael D. Harris, both of San Carlos, Calif.; one brother, Robert Gene Moon of Canyon Lake, Texas; one granddaughter and one great-grandson.
Albert Shipley, 85, of Van Buren died Monday, April 7, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a retired water treatment plant operator in Woodburn, Ore., an Army veteran of World War II and a resident of Crawford County since 1977.
Survivors include his wife, Frances; eight daughters, Marie Garcia and Florence Fillmore, both of Hornbrook, Calif., Barbara Taylor of Camby, Ore., Phyllis Sartnurak and Donna Shipley, both of Fort Worth, Texas, Mary Smith of Vancouver, Wash., Wanda Guenther of Tulia, Texas, and Paula Swarek of Wiggins, Miss.; eight sons, Everette, John and Leroy, all of Vanouver, Ken of Oregon, Levil of Sandy, Ore., Ray of Monta and James Charles of Van Buren; 38 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Hall Cemetery
in Natural Dam under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers were Leroy, Ken, J.C., Edward and Jimmy Shipley and Chris Harris.
Archie Dean Willis, 69, of Kibler died Thursday, April 3, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a member of the Sunnyside Assembly of God Church.
Survivors include his mother, Lennie Willis of Kibler; four sisters, Shirley Corbin of Effingham, Ill., Renda King and Kaye Ellison, both of Van Buren, and Jane Ellison of Alma; and two brothers, Benny Willis of Van Buren and David Willis of Kibler.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Sunnyside Assembly of God Church. Burial will be at Porter Cemetery
in the Hunt Community near Clarksville under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be Gail Ellison, Jerry Ellison, Wayne Ellison, Carl Sears, Wayne King, Charles Willis, Bobby Willis and J.C. Shipp.
Nerene “Mur” Warren, 83, of Alma, formerly of Fort Smith, died Thursday, April 3, 2003, at a local hospital. She was a member of Grand Avenue Baptist Church and a retired telephone operator.
Survivors include her husband, Paul Warren of Van Buren; one son, Nathan Joe Warren of Alma; four brothers, Jimmy Bullington and Steve Bullington, both of Barling, and Delmar Bullington and Hugh Bullington, both of Fort Smith; and three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Barling First Baptist Church. Burial will be at U.S. National Cemetery
in Fort Smith under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be Randall Bullington, Roger Bullington, Eddie Abel, Robbie Abel, Raymond Beckham and Rodney Beckham.