Mr. Reed Thomas
Mr. Reed Marvin Thomas, age 102, a resident of De Queen, died Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in Crystal Falls Healthcare in De Queen.
He was born May 23, 1905 in Kenton, Tennessee to James Clark and Anne Elizabeth Reed Thomas. He was a building contractor, a member of the First United Methodist Church of De Queen, De Queen Rotary Club and Oddfellow Lodge.
Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife of 72 years, Belle Godwin Thomas of De Queen; one son, Gerald E. Thomas of Texarkana, Arkansas; two daughters, Carolyn Stovall of Woodbridge, Virginia and Sandra Dunn of De Queen; six grandchildren, Jason Thomas, Gae Campbell, Dwana Hooper, Michael Stovall, Kala Dunn and Rose Ann Dunn and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral Services for Mr. Thomas will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 20, 2007 in the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Doug Dorris officiating. Burial will follow in the Mt. Ida Cemetery.
"It was a fine spring day, May 23rd, 1905 when Jim and Anne Thomas welcomed their fifth and final child into the family home nestled in the mountainous region of Kenton, Tennessee. He was named Reed, taken from his mother's maiden name.
Three months earlier on February 23rd, a service club was established in Chicago, Illinois by a man named Paul Harris. Reed would grow up to become a member of the De Queen Rotary Club and was recognized several times by the club for his outstanding volunteer service and generosity to the community through the local club and to the world through Rotary International.
In 1905 there were 45 United States of America. Many children died during their first few years of life making the average life span of an American citizen 47 years. Teddy Roosevelt was President. There were 8,000 cars on the roads and 144 miles of pavement nationwide. The maximum speed limit was 10 mph in most towns. But a race car in Daytona Beach, Florida set a record speed of 100 mph!
There were more people living in Tennessee where Reed was born than in California. 14% of homes had a bathtub, 8% had a telephone. 95% of births took place at home like Reed's. One in five American homes employed at domestic servant, but not Reed's family.
1905 was the year the Russian Revolution began. The world's largest diamond, 3,106 carets, was discovered in South Africa. The first Helicopter was tested in France. Here in Arkansas, the first race was held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs and the coldest day in the state's history was recorded at Pond, AR on February 13 at minus 29 degrees!
Several noteworthy people were born that year also including, Tommy Dorsey the orchestra director; Howard Hughes; Christian Dior the French fashion designer; actresses Claudette Colbert in France; Greta Garbo in Sweden; as well as Jean Arthur and Myrna Loy here in the USA. Actors that were born in 1905 include Andy Devine; Rochester Anderson from the Jack Benny show; and Henry Fonda. But they all died in the same century they were born in. Perhaps if they had drank as much Dr. Pepper as Reed did they could have lasted 102 years!!
When Reed was born only 20% of Americans could read and write and only 6% had graduated from high school. But in 1910 his family moved to Kress, Texas where he attended Taylor School for two years before moving to De Queen, Arkansas in 1912. This is the place he called "home" for the past 95 years. He attended Bakers School for two years, then his folks built a new home in 1914 east of town on what is now called 'Red Cut Road' and he attended Mt. Pleasant School for awhile. During his 5th - 8th grade years he came into De Queen for classes.
When asked about his school experiences his response was, "I played hooky some, slept during class, probably only got about a sixth grade education." Even so, he made sure all three of his children and six grandchildren received a college education. In 1919 at age 14 he began working full-time and continued to do so for the next 58 years, retiring at age 72.
His first job was driving a team of horses to haul wagon loads of gravel from Rose Hill and other area gravel pits to build roads. After a year of that he spent the next two years doing farm work for this dad and other farmers. In 1922 at age 17 he moved to Smackover, Arkansas where he worked in the oil fields and came home to De Queen on week-ends to attend church with his family. Then in 1924 he went out west near Amarillo, Texas where he helped build the power plant at Electra City.
During his twenties, Reed spent most of his time in Texas. He worked for the Phillips Petroleum Company which included cooking for a time, then working as a mechanic to maintain plant equipment. From there he helped survey for high line poles near McCamey, Texas and built high line near Stanton, Texas before going to work for the Humble Oil and Refining Company the next few years. During the summers he would return to Kress, Texas where he helped his brother with the wheat harvest.
When his father died in 1933, he came home to De Queen to help his mother. Those were the depression years and most folks had little or no money, but Reed was always ready to help when he heard of a need. So it was only natural that when he heard that Durden Dunn from the Chapel Hill community wanted to marry his sweetheart, Jewel but had no way to get to town, he drove his car out and brought the couple to town so they could get married. Reed probably never suspected that the day would come when he would walk his youngest daughter down the aisle to become the bride of the Dunn's son Rick.
It was about that time that 16 year old Belle Godwin looked out a car window and saw this tall handsome man in his late twenties on his way to a singing convention at the Avon Church and remarked, "That's the man I want to marry some day." She hadn't even met him yet, but her mind was made up! Reed's nephew, Lester Wallace was in that car with Belle and laughed as he assured her that Reed would never marry anyone.
Well, she was right and just twelve days before his thirtieth birthday he took that sweet 18 year old girl for his wife and they shared the next 72 and half years as one. During the next nine years he mostly farmed, raising cucumbers and strawberries. For two years he also drove rural children into town for school. He and Belle went out to California and worked in the shipyards to help the war effort in the early 1940's.
When they returned, he started hauling limestone under the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service program until the late 1950's. He hauled limestone and fertilizer in the Sulfur Springs, Texas area as well as Miller, Polk, Howard, and Little River counties in Arkansas.
During this time, Reed began buying property, including a 367 acre farm west of what is now the Country Club. He raised cattle along with his lime business. He also bought land between 6th and 9th Streets north of Collin Raye Drive and began to develop a residential community. He built some spec houses and some custom built homes, but the finest was the one he built for his own family where he and Belle have lived most of their married life. It was during this time that he was invited to join the Rotary Club. He also built a few commercial buildings. His marriage partner was also his business partner as Belle did the bookkeeping for whatever enterprise he undertook. He liked the home construction best of all his jobs.
Soon after he retired, he encouraged his youngest daughter to run for the office of Sevier County Clerk. He drove her and while she took one side of the street, he took the other and knocked on every door in town and left a brochure. She defeated the incumbent by a narrow margin and has never had an opponent in the 28 years since then.
Reed said, "God has always been a part of my life. There has never been a time when I didn't feel the need for Him to help me make it through the day." He and Belle joined the First United Methodist Church in De Queen in 1952. When the church decided to add an educational building, bids were taken from several contractors, his was the lowest. A competitor made the comment that Reed charged the church about what the materials cost excluding the labor. On his 100th birthday, a plague was added to honor his many years of dedicated service to the congregation.
Reed will be deeply missed by his wife Belle, son Gerald and daughters Carolyn and Sandra as well as grand children Jason, Gae, Dwana, Michael, Kala, and Rose Ann and thirteen great-grandchildren.
His sister, Clella Wallace and his brothers, Walter, Zera, and Buren as well as his parents and a son-in-law have proceeded him in death.
Remarkably, Reed did not start to get old until the last few weeks of his life. He was always active, a great conversationalist, he kept up with current events, enjoyed gardening and maintenance at the Mt Ida Cemetery. His huge lawn with beautiful shrubs and flowers was the envy of many neighbors.
He will be greatly missed by friends at church, Rotary and the Odd Fellows Lodge. Not only will his niece Mildred, and nephew Buren Jr. miss him, but also a host of Belle's family who have respected him all their lives.
It is believed that Reed Thomas was the oldest active Rotarian, having attended weekly meetings regularly past his 102nd birthday."
Mrs. Lois Marie Fant
Mrs. Lois Marie Fant, age 86, a resident of De Queen, died Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She was born June 14, 1921 in McCurtain County, Oklahoma to Joseph and Rosie Morphew Hammett. She was a homemaker and a member of the First Assembly of God Church in De Queen.
Mrs. Fant was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Lloyd Fant on January 22, 1991.
She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Bob and Shari Fant of Springdale, Arkansas and Don and Barbara Fant of North Little Rock; one daughter, Nelda Fant of De Queen; five grandchildren, Heather Lonneman, Andra Smith, Ronda Johnson, LaDonna Kolling and Kevin Fant; 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Funeral Services for Mrs. Fant will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20, 2007 in the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Bob Fant, Rev. Ray Reynolds and Rev. Robert Fox officiating. Burial will follow in the Redmen Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 19th at the funeral home
Mr. Billy Andrews
Mr. Billy Andrews, age 80, a resident of De Queen, Arkansas, died Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in the De Queen Medical Center, De Queen, Ark.
He was born to William Jennings and Georgia Mae Stroud Andrews at Ranger, Texas, on October 5, 1927. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the Air Force. He was a member of the De Queen Church of Christ, and a retired oil field roustabout for J. P. Jamison Oil Company, Silver, Texas. He enjoyed fishing, and gospel singing.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ora Lee Clements Andrews of De Queen, three sons and daughter-in-law, Billy Glen and Charlene Andrews of Neosho, Missouri, Daniel Wayne Andrews and Robert Andrews, both of De Queen; three grandchildren, Sandi Andrews of Neosho, Missouri, Kevin Andrews of Gulf Port, Miss.; and Tiffany Overby of Pecos, Texas; three great-grandchildren, one brother, Kenneth Andrews of Belen, New Mexico, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Graveside funeral services for Mr. Billy Andrews will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 19, 2007, in the Millwee Cemetery, with Van Ledbetter, Minister, officiating, under the direction of Chandler Funeral Home, De Queen. The Family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, October 18th.
Mrs. Annie Smith
Mrs. Annie Smith, age 49, a resident of Lockesburg, Arkansas, died Monday, October 15, 2007 in the Wadley Regional Medical Center, Texarkana, Texas.
She was born to Lee Efford and Norma Gale Ross Walker at Apalachicola, Florida on March 26, 1958. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lockesburg, and was a loving wife, and mother, as well as a homemaker. She enjoyed her family, fishing, and was very active in school activities.
She was preceded in death by her father, Lee Efford Walker and her father-in-law, Robert L. Smith.
She is survived by her husband, R. A. “Andy” Smith of Lockesburg, two daughters, Rachel Smith and Nicole Smith both of Lockesburg, her mother, Gale Browning of Bridge City, Texas, three brothers, Jerry Walker of Panama City, Fla.; Joel Walker of Clute, Texas, and Ivan Walker of Carrabelle, Florida; two sisters, Margie Yurko of Panama City, Fla.; and Denise Brannan of Mauriceville, Texas. She is also survived by her husband’s family, her mother-in-law, Carolyn Smith of Lockesburg, Ark.; three brothers-in-law Morgan Smith of Kingsville, Missouri, Matt Smith of Lockesburg, and Ray Smith of Genoa, Arkansas, one sister-in-law, Lynn Tollett of Lockesburg, Ark.; and a host of unts,uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Funeral Services for Mrs. Annie Smith will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 18, 2007, in the First Baptist Church of Lockesburg with Rev. Jack Gilliland officiating. Burial will follow in the Coulter Cemetery, Lockesburg, Arkansas, under the direction of Chandler Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, October 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Delmer Albert Cook
Delmer Albert Cook, age 80, a resident of the Beacon Hill Community near De Queen, AR died Friday, October 12, 2007 in Dierks, AR.
He was born April 1, 1927 in Hastings, OK to Elmer and Fannie Morea Taylor Cook. He was a retired minister for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He was a member of the Beacon Hill SDA Church and a US Army veteran.
He was preceded by one son, Eddie Cook.
He is survived by his wife, Lois Lambeth Cook of Dierks, AR; one son, William “Bill” Cook of the Beacon Hill Comm.; one daughter-in-law, Jackie Cook of Springfield, MO; five grandchildren, Matt, Josh, Jamelle, Marcia and Heather; five great grandchildren.
Funeral Services for Mr. Cook will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 16, 2007 in the Beacon Hill SDA Church with Pastor Henry Reid officiating. Burial will follow in the Beacon Hill Cemetery
under the direction of Wilkerson Funeral Home.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Monday, October 15th at the funeral home.
Mrs. Carla Lynn Young
Ms. Carla Lynn Young, age 51, a resident of De Queen, died Sunday, October 14, 2007 at her home. She was born to Robert D. and Ruby V. Batton Young at Eureka, California, on June 19, 1956. She was a member of the Gillham First Baptist Church, and was a homemaker.
She enjoyed motorcycles, painting, pictures, arts, and crafts.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and a sister, Carole Young in 1985.
She is survived by one son, Clifton Young of De Queen, one daughter, Lisa Young of De Queen, and one brother, Keith Young of De Queen.
Graveside funeral services for Ms. Carla Young will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in the Overturf Cemetery, Gillham with Rev. Homer Frachiseur officiating, under the direction of Chandler Funeral Home, De Queen.
Mr. Dwayne "Bullet" Ashley
Mr. F. Dwayne "Bullet" Ashley, age 42, a resident of Haworth, Oklahoma, died Sunday October 14, 2007 at Foreman, Arkansas, from an apparent heart attack.
He was born to Coy and Linda Sue Lockeby Ashley at Murfreesboro, Arkansas, on August 16, 1965. He was a retired log truck driver, and enjoyed working on C.B's and fishing.
He is survived by his mother and step-father, Linda Sue Kegley and George Rebik of Shinewell, Okla.; his father, Coy Boyd Ashley of Ohio, three brothers, Randy Ashley of Shinewell Okla.; Robert and Donita Kegley of Haworth, Okla.; Cecil and Kerri Kegley of Redland, Okla.; three sisters, Nita and Leslie Cleghorn of Redwater, Texas, Tracy and Danny Robinson of Horatio, and Tina Kegley of Shinewell, Okla.; 8 nieces, 3 nephews, 2 great nieces, 1 great-nephew, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Graveside funeral services for Mr. Wayne Ashley "Bullet" will be held at Wednesday, October, 17 2007 in Blackland Cemetery, under the direction of Chandler Funeral Home, De Queen.
Faye Hamby Bingham
Mrs. Faye Hamby Bingham, age 80, a resident of De Queen, died Saturday, October 13, 2007 in the The Dubuis Hospital of Continuing Care, Texarkana, Texas.
She was born to Robert Otho and Ester Jane Clayton Hamby at Glenwood, Arkansas, on June 30, 1927. She married T. W. "Dub" Bingham in Lockesburg in 1946, and to this marriage, a son and daughter were born. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of De Queen, and enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and cooking.
She was preceded in death by her husband of over 59 years, T. W. “Dub” Bingham, and three brothers, Ervin, Darwin, and Bob Hamby.
She is survived by one son, Michael David Bingham of DeQueen, and a daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Kenny Williams of Foreman, Ark.; two sisters, Chloe Young of De Queen, and Erma Rollins of Benton, Arkansas, three grandchildren, Angela Lands of Atlanta, Georgia, Aaron Harrison of Louisville, Kentucky, and Matthew Harrison of Texarkana, Arkansas, four great-grandchildren, Trevor Williams, Layne Williams, Ethan and Elliott Harrison and a number of nieces and nephews.
Graveside funeral services for Mrs. Faye Bingham will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, October 15, 2007 in the Mt. Ida Cemetery
with Rev. Bill Bingham officiating, under the direction of Chandler Funeral Home, De Queen. The family will be at the funeral home on Sunday, October 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.