PARAGOULD -- H. Francis Bland Jr., 86, of Paragould, a well known Northeast Arkansas businessman and civic leader, died Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.
Born at Paragould, he was a 1936 graduate of Paragould High School and a 1940 graduate of Hendrix College, where he earned a chemistry degree.
Having help start a Little League program in 1951, where he was the first coach, and a Babe Ruth program in 1954, he also helped raise funds and built new baseball and softball parks at Paragould, with the parks being named Francis Bland Community Baseball Parks. He was voted into the Babe Ruth Hall of Fame in January 2000.
He was Citizen of the Year for Paragould Rotary Club in 1954 and for Kiwanis Club in 1989. He served as president of Rotary Club from 1954-55, Paragould School Board from 1954-64, Arkansas Soft Drink Association in 1956 and Greene County Historical and Genealogical Society from 1994-1995.
He was the recipient of Crowley's Ridge College Spirit of America award in 1983 and Paragould-Greene County Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Member award in 1996.
He was founding member and chairman of the municipal Parks and Recreation Commission; chairman and president of Mellow Moon Bottling Co. of Paragould, bottler of 7-Up and RC products; chairman of the Eight-Mile Creek flood control program since 1974, which was renamed Francis Bland Floodway in November 1999. He had served on the board of directors of Dr Pepper Bottlers' Association and as Sunday school teacher and board member of First United Methodist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Winnie Landrum Bland of the home; two daughters, Donna Williams of Crossett and Denise Bednar of Frankfort, Ill.; two sons, Herb Bland and John Bland, both of Paragould; one sister, Mary Lou Williams of Paragould; nine grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert Sr. and Alvina Bland, and one brother.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, with the Rev. David Moseley and the Rev. Joel Cooper officiating. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery
under the direction of Heath Funeral Home of Paragould.
Visitation will be from 9:30-11 a.m. Friday at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Lipscomb Room of the Greene County Library, First United Methodist Church or a charity of the donor's choice.
NEWPORT -- Ruby Christal Fletcher, 93, of Newport died Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Newport.
She was born in the Remmel community and worked as a cook at Newport High School for 25 years. She was a member of the Church of Christ at Remmel.
Survivors include two sons, William D. Fletcher and Cloyce Fletcher, both of Newport; one daughter, Patricia Ann Fletcher of Newport; one brother, Bob Christal of Newport; three sisters, Oma Cooper of Newton, Kan., Jean Allen of Wichita, Kan., and Betty Brewer of Fort Collins, Colo.; three grandchildren, Darrel Fletcher, Robbie Fletcher and Ross Fletcher; and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Emel Fletcher; her parents, Richard and Clara Koettel Christal; three brothers, one sister; one grandson; and one great-granddaughter.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Jackson's Newport Funeral Home, with J.L. May officiating. Burial will be in McCall-Remmel Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Darrel Fletcher, Robbie Fletcher, Ross Fletcher, Dean Miller, Raymond Venible Jr. and Steve Michaels.
Honorary pallbearers will include Bruce Fletcher, Ashli Fletcher and Conrad Fletcher.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
HARRISBURG -- Eula Estelle Fortson, 85, of Harrisburg died Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Jonesboro.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Jackson's Harrisburg Funeral Home.
MONETTE -- Betty Sue Gathright Garrison, 82, of Monette died Wednesday, Feb. 9, at St. Bernard's Medical Center of Jonesboro
A native and lifelong resident of Monette, she was a Navy veteran of World War II, a homemaker and a member of Monette First Baptist Church.
Survivors include two daughters, Jan Garrison of Monette and Teresa "Teri" Edgar of Paragould; two grandsons, Dennis Green of Argyle, Texas, and Kevin Reagan of Atlanta; and one stepgrandson, Chase Green of Argyle.
She was preceded in death by husband, Homer Garrison; her parents, W.A. and Robbie Gathright; two brothers; and one sister.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Monette Cemetery
with the Rev. Jerry Reed officiating.
Nephews Dennis Gathright, Gene Gathright, Tommy Gathright, Johnny Gathright and Allan Gathright will serve as pallbearers.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. today at Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.
CHAMPAGNE, Ill. -- Barbara Hogan of Champagne, formerly of Harrisburg, died Wednesday, Feb. 9, at Maywood, Ill.
Arrangements will be announced by Weston Funeral Service of Harrisburg.
Bonnie Marie Holcomb Miller, 89, of Jonesboro died Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Craighead County Nursing Center.
She grew up in the Buck Donic area and attended the Buck Donic School. She was a farmer and a former employee of Brewer Brothers Midway Service Station. She had lived in Jonesboro since 1988. She was a past member of the Buck Donic Church, the First Baptist Church of Cardwell, Mo., the Calvary Full Gospel Church at Cardwell and the Fairview Baptist Church of Jonesboro.
Survivors include her husband, Charles C. "Coach" Miller of the home; three sons, Joe A. Miller of Jonesboro, Jerry L. Miller of Las Vegas and Glenn D. Miller of Spokane, Wash.; one daughter, Bonnie Jean Brown of San Diego; two brothers Leslie Holcomb of Cardwell and Vernon Holcomb of Paragould; one sister, Lurlie Todd of Cardwell; 10 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Luther and Ida Bell Toombs Holcomb; one brother; and one sister.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cardwell Cemetery, with Dr. Roger Brown officiating. Burial will follow under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home of Jonesboro.
Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be given to the Northeast Arkansas Breast Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 4055, Jonesboro 72403.
CHEROKEE VILLAGE -- Frances C. Repshas, 89, of Cherokee Village died Tuesday, Feb. 8, at her daughter's residence at Warren, Mich.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel of Highland.
HARRISBURG -- Iris Roberts, 86, of Harrisburg died Wednesday, Feb. 9, at St. Bernard's Medical Center.
Arrangements will be announced by Weston Funeral Service of Harrisburg.
ASH FLAT -- Catherine Marie Rolli, 92, of Ash Flat died Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Eaglecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Ash Flat.
Born at Dayton, Ohio, she worked many years as an inspector for General Motors Corp. She was a Baptist.
Survivors include two sons, Phillip Rolli of Ash Flat and Ernest Rolli of Brookville, Ohio; one daughter, Phyllis Grump of Dayton; two sisters, Evelyn Beard of Dayton and Alvera Mills of Worthville, Ky.; 11 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and 20 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Rolli, and her parents, Charles and Laura Lairmore Milby.
Burial will be in Brookville, Ohio, at a later date.
Tri-County's Cherokee Chapel of Highland is in charge of arrangements.
LITTLE ROCK -- Robert Wayne "Bob" Stanfield, 58, of Little Rock died Monday, Feb. 7, at Little Rock.
He was born at Little Rock and was employed by Wal-Mart for 15 years where he was a supervisor. He was a 1964 graduate of Newport High School and later attended Hendrix College as a premed student majoring in zoology. He was an Air Force veteran and served in the Vietnam War. He later attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he obtained a degree in accounting.
Survivors include one brother, Van Hederick Stanfield of Newport, and one sister, Joy Stanfield McDaniel of Bald Knob.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Wayne Barlow Stanfield Jr., and Hazel Alda Moody Stanfield.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Walnut Grove Cemetery
with the Revs. Dave Jackson and Clayton Hales officiating.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. today at Jackson's Newport Funeral Home.