Jackson T. "Jack" Stephens
Jack Stephens was born on August 9, 1923 in Grant County, Ark., the youngest of six children. He died early Saturday afternoon at his Little Rock home. He grew up on a farm near Prattsville during the great Depression. Coming from humble beginnings, the hard times and his parents taught him the values of self-reliance, diligence, integrity and hard work. His father, A.J. Stephens once told his young son, "It's no disgrace to be poor, it's a disgrace to stay poor." His father also advised, "Success is not a destiny to be reached, but the quality of the journey we make."
The advice from his father stayed with him throughout his life. In his younger years Jack Stephens worked on the family farm behind a mule drawn plow and picking cotton. By age 15, he held summer jobs as a bellhop and shoeshine boy at the Barlow Hotel in Hope, Ark. He added the delivery of telegrams to his duties when he realized he could do so after his normal hotel shift was finished.
A bright student, Mr. Stephens attended public schools in Prattsville and graduated high school from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tenn. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. (Class of '47.) Poor eyesight prevented Mr. Stephens from active duty in the Navy so he took a job offered to him on his graduation day by his brother W.R. "Witt" Stephens. With a simple handshake in his room at Annapolis, Mr. Stephens agreed to join his brother in Little Rock at a municipal bond house.
Witt was outgoing, a natural salesman. Jack was quiet, unassuming and studious. A decade later, in 1956, Jack became an equal partner with his brother and became President and Chief Executive Officer the following year. (1957.) The two brothers acquired the Fort Smith Gas Company and renamed it the Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Company. The pair also acquired an oil and gas exploration firm and named it Stephens Production Company. Both investments proved to be the catalyst for expansion from a municipal bond business to a diversified financial group that became Stephens Inc.
Jack Stephens served as President and CEO of Stephens Inc. from 1957 until 1986 when Stephens Group, Inc. was formed and became the parent company of Stephens Inc. His son, Warren, assumed the leadership of Stephens Inc. at that time. Mr. Stephens became Chairman of Stephens Group, Inc. that year, a title he carried for the remainder of his life.
Over the decades, Mr. Stephens led the company to great heights. Under his leadership, Stephens Inc. invested or assisted in many enterprises including the former Union Life Insurance Company, the former Systematics, Donrey Media (now Stephens Media Group), Dillards, Alltel, Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and many more. Jack Stephens' leadership and business acumen was responsible for the creation of hundreds of businesses in America and thousands of jobs. Many of those enterprises have become Fortune 500 companies, and a number of them are located in his native Arkansas.
In recent years, Mr. Stephens has been recognized for his philanthropy but it is something he did all his life. He once told a reporter, "There are only two pleasures associated with money, making it and giving it away." For over 20 years Jack Stephens has been the principal benefactor for The Delta Project, a program designed to assist and educate underprivileged children in Arkansas' delta. When he sold the Little Rock cable franchise in 1985, he put the profits into the City Educational Trust Fund. For 20 years the Trust Fund has provided scholarships for students and incentive awards for innovative teachers. His gift of $48 million built the Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute on the campus of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and financed the purchase of equipment for the institute as well as support programs and research.
The Stephens family has been a life long supporter of the Arkansas Arts Center and Jack Stephens donated a portion of his personal art collection to the Center as a permanent display. The Stephens Gallery currently boasts the works of Degas, Monet, Picasso, Wyeth and more. The Stephens display, valued at $22 million at the time of the gift, has been recognized as one of the most important art collections in the country. It is perhaps the finest art collection in the nation for a city the size of Little Rock. Mr. Stephens was also the lead contributor for the construction of a new 30, 000 square foot wing at the Arkansas Arts Center.
The Episcopal Collegiate School, the campus of which bears his name, occupies 31 acres near downtown Little Rock. The total amount of this gift has never been made public but Mr. Stephens donated the money to purchase the land that comprises the campus. In April 2004, he donated $20 million of the announced $30 million endowment for the school. His son Warren and Warren's wife, Harriet, donated the remainder of the gift. Mr. Stephens also donated $20.4 million for the construction of the Jackson T. Stephens Special Events Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). The facility will become the home court for the UALR Trojan basketball team.
The list of contributions to his community also includes a $5 million endowment to Harding University, establishment of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, and the Bill and Skeeter Dickey Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Athletic Department.
Mr. Stephens's love of sports (football and golf in particular) led to a $10 million gift to the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation in Annapolis, Md. The donation funded the recent renovation at the Navy Marine Corp Stadium near the campus which has been renamed Jack Stephens Field. The gift is the largest ever made to the Naval Academy.
When asked by the PGA TOUR if he would support the launching of a new program to teach golf and its values to children by creating affordable and accessible golf facilities, Mr. Stephens surpassed their expectations with a $5 million donation to help start The First Tee. The program serves children who have not previously been exposed to the game of golf.
Mr. Stephens loved the game of golf and once told a reporter, "Golf is a great teacher in life. The same skills needed to master this game are the same skills needed to master life, a life full of unseen obstacles and excitement."
In 1962, Mr. Stephens was invited to become a member of the Augusta National Golf Club. Mr. Stephens served as its fourth Chairman (1991-1998) with the responsibility of overseeing the golf club and the most prestigious tournament in golf, the Masters. After turning over the duties of chairman to Hootie Johnson in 1998, Mr. Stephens was named Chairman Emeritus.
Mr. Stephens won numerous awards and recognitions during his lifetime. He was honored with the Horatio Alger Award in 1980 and he was the first recipient of the J. William Fulbright Award given for international trade development in 1989. Mr. Stephens served on the board of the Little Rock Boys Club, The Quapaw Council of The Boy Scouts of America. He served 10 years on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law Degree and a University of Arkansas Distinguished Alumnus citation. He was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame, the Arkansas State Golf Hall of Fame, and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Jack Stephens was a proud and loving father and grandfather. He is survived by two sons: Jackson T. "Steve" Stephens, Jr; Warren Stephens, and his wife, Harriet Stephens; six grandchildren: Caroline Stephens, Jackson T. Stephens III, Mason Stephens, Miles Stephens, John Stephens and Laura Stephens; two great-grandchildren: Sydney Stephens and Bruce Stephens, Jr.; and two adopted children: Kerry LaNoche and James Stephens. Mr. Stephens is also survived by two sisters: Jewel Mays of Prattsville, Arkansas and Wilma Thornton of Searcy, Ark.
A memorial service followed by visitation will be held at 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 27 at Episcopal Collegiate School, located at 1701 Cantrell Road. Ruebel Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
The family requests that memorials be considered in lieu of flowers to one of the following organizations: Episcopal Collegiate School, Jackson T. Stephens Campus, 1701 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201; Arkansas Arts Center, 501 East 9th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202; First Tee of Arkansas, #1 First Tee Way, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204; First Tee of Fort Smith, 5800 Geren Road, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72916; or the Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205.
Jack Stephens was an original American success story with roots deep in the soil of his home state of Arkansas and his other great devotion, the Augusta National Golf Club. His life was filled with many successes and his compassion, commitment and dedication resulted in an extraordinary journey that touched many lives.
Winifred MacElree Baskins
Winifred MacElree Baskins, age 79, of Little Rock, died April 3, 2005. She was born in Kiel, Wisconsin on June 18, 1925 to the late Rev. James and Harriet Garrard MacElree. She was a Naval Nurse having served during the Korean Conflict. Mrs. Baskins was also a member of Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.
She is survived by her husband, William Baskins; her 5 children, Bruce Baskins of Little Rock, Winifred Nowlin of Little Rock, Julia Bunten of Little Rock, Doretta Downs of Atkins, and Barbara Mateus of Marysville, California; 5 grandchildren, Rosalina Mateus, Anna Barnwell, Linda Capps, Andreas Mateus, and Ricardo Mateus, and 2 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday at Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church with Rev. Floyd Whatley officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Morrilton, Arkansas. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home.
Mary Irwin Anderton Canaday
Mary Irwin Anderton Canaday, 98 of Little Rock, died April 4, 2005 in Louisville, Kentucky. She was born October 29, 1906 in Franklin, Virginia, the eldest of five children born to Oscar and Gertrude Anderton. Her father, an educator, moved his young family to Knoxville, Tennessee where Mary was educated. She graduated from Knoxville High School and in 1928, was graduated from the University of Tennessee and awarded Coed Athlete of the University of Tennessee, having been the only female to letter in four collegiate sports. In 1932, she wed college sweetheart, Paul O'Neal Canaday and they moved to New York City to begin their married life. Paul advanced in the utility industry to become Chief Operating Officer of Middle South Utilities Corporation, now Entergy Corporation. In 1958, they moved with their two daughters to Little Rock, where Mr. Canaday was Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Power and Light Company, now Entergy Arkansas.
During her lifetime, Mary's faith was her sustenance. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, Sunday School teacher, choir member, and holder of many church offices. She was also a school teacher (teaching two of her brothers), homemaker, volunteer, avid duplicate bridge player, enthusiastic traveler, member of the Country Club of Little Rock, and a hands-on grandmother to her seven precious grandchildren, the delights of her life. Her friends and family appreciated her sense of humor, ready smile, hearty laugh, singing, piano playing, independence, inner strength and gusto for life.
Her husband, Paul O. Canaday (d. May 1962), daughter Mary Jane Miller (d. June 2002), parents, and four brothers, Wendell, Charles, John, and Ed Anderton, all precede her in death.
She is survived by her daughter, Anne Jones Sloan and husband Larry of Louisville, Kentucky; granddaughters, Ellen Jones White, Susan Jones Wilson, Mary Ann Miller Callison, Laura Miller, Karen Miller Viefhaus; grandsons, Robert Douglas Jones, III, and David Canaday Miller; two step-grandsons, John Stewart Sloan and Tyler Smith Sloan; fifteen great-grandchildren; seventeen nieces and nephew.
There will be a visitation held at Ruebel Funeral Home from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2005. Funeral services will be held at Second Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8, 2005. Burial will follow in Forest Hills Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, Mary asked for those wishing to make memorials, that gifts be made to the Paul O. Canaday Family Scholarship Fund, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham St., Slot 529, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72205.
Funeral arrangements are by Ruebel Funeral Home.
Lynda McBryde Easter
Lynda McBryde Easter, 64, of Little Rock, died Monday, April 18, 2005. She was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on June 5, 1940 to Lorane Flowers McBryde and the late Cecil Lee McBryde, Sr.
She graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1958 as a national merit scholar and attended Hendrix College in Conway, AR. She received a degree in Medical Technology from UAMS, where she met her husband of 41 years, Dr. Rex M. Easter.
She was a member of St. James United Methodist Church for over 30 years, where she volunteered with Vacation Bible School and Girl Scouts. She particularly enjoyed the third Wednesday Bridge Club and cherished the friendships made over the years. Other hobbies include reading, music and theater. She enjoyed spending leisure time with her family on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, AR and in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Creede, Colorado.
She is survived by her husband, Rex M. Easter, Sr., her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Paul Harrison of Prosper, TX; her son and daughter-in-law, Rex, Jr. and Michele Easter of Sherwood, AR; her mother, Lorane McBryde of North Little Rock, AR; sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Frank Pamplin, III of Bryant, AR; sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Mark Townsend of Pine Bluff, AR; and sister-in-law, Leslie McBryde of North Little Rock, AR. She is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Kelsey Grace Harrison, Ashley Hope Harrison, Thomas Doss Easter, Megan Leigh Easter, and Rex M. Easter, III; 6 nieces and nephews, Mandy McBryde, Amy McBryde, Cecilee Pamplin, Parker Pamplin, Luke Townsend, and Tommy Lane Townsend; and a host of family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Cecil Lee McBryde, Sr. and brother, Cecil Lee McBryde, Jr.
Family Visitation will be at Ruebel Funeral Home in Little Rock from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Funeral Service will be held at St. James United Methodist Church, 321 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, AR at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2005. Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Memorial Park Cemetery, 6707 Dollarway Road, White Hall, AR 71602.
The family would especially like to express our gratitude to Dr. Bill Tranum and staff, Dr. Bill Deaton and Saint Vincent's Radiology Department and Baptist Health Hospice for their outstanding care and consideration on her behalf.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Baptist Health Hospice 11900 Colonel Glenn Road Suite 2300, Little Rock, AR 72210, St. James United Methodist Church 321 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock, AR 72212 and Creede Repertory Theater 124 N. Main Street o PO Box 269 o Creede, CO 81130.
Dr. Henry Dawson Johnson
Dr. Henry Dawson Johnson, age 77 died, April 1, 2005. He was born in Little Rock to James Henry and Frances Irene Wooten Johnson.
He served during the Korean War as a U.S. Naval combat corpsman attached to the 3rd Platoon, E CO., 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
He attended LR Junior College, Hendrix College and graduated in 1956 from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at UAMS with subsequent continuing education in Internal Medicine at Harvard University. He was in private practice as a doctor of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Johnson was on the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, past Chief-of-Medicine at St. Vincent's, Baptist and Doctor's Hospital. He was a member of the American College of Physicians, AMA, Arkansas Medical Association, Pulaski County Medical Society and the American Society of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Johnson was also an amateur magician. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) Ring #29 since 1953. He served as past president and was honored as a lifetime member of the brotherhood. He preformed at annual IBM national conventions, and locally as well.
Dr. Johnson also was an avid golfer and a founding member of Pleasant Valley Country Club. He also attended Trinity Methodist Church.
On December 21, 1952 in Little Rock he married Lucile Robinson, who preceded him in death in October, 1998. He is survived by his children, Joy Johnson Griffin and her husband, Gary of Little Rock and Matt Johnson and his wife, Angela of Arkadelphia, a brother, James Johnson and his wife, Marie of Hot Springs and his grandchildren, Sam Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, Natalee Clark, Sean Johnson and Kyle Johnson.
A visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday at Ruebel Funeral Home followed by funeral services in the Ruebel Chapel on Monday at 11:30 a.m. with Rev. David Bentley officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will include Dr. Bob Anderson, Mr. Jim Henson, Dr. Ron Hughes, Dr. Ben Johnson, Dr. Bill Jones, all of Little Rock, and Dr. Jim Lytle of Batesville.
The Family would like to thank the team members of the Arkansas Hospice Center at Little Rock for all the loving care and support they bestowed upon Dr. Johnson and his family during his lengthy and trying illness; they were such a God send, a blessing to all of us. Memorials may be made to Arkansas Hospice Center at Little Rock, 6 101 St. Vincent's Circle, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205.
Frank Thomas McGehee
Frank Thomas McGehee, 78, died Wednesday, May 25, 2005 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Frank, the son of the late Marshall Hunter and Emma Monk McGehee, was born June 25, 1926, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
He graduated from Culver Summer Naval School in 1942 and Pine Bluff High School in 1944. He then served two years in the U.S. Navy. After graduating with honors from the University of Arkansas, where he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Business Students Association, and Blue Key, he was recalled into service, having received his second lieutenant's commission in the U.S. Army at the University of Arkansas.
In 1950, he married Julia Ann May of Pine Bluff. They were married 29 years.
Frank worked at McGehee Realty and Lumber Co. and as a homebuilder in Pine Bluff, until 1962. The family moved to Little Rock, where he was a broker and mortgage banker. He was especially proud of the new Worthen Bank Building for which he was coordinating bank officer. He retired as a communication officer for the Arkansas State Police after 10 years service.
Frank was an active member, deacon, and Sunday School superintendent at First Presbyterian Church, Pine Bluff, and Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, Little Rock. He was a member of the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church for the past 25 years and a Stephen Minister there.
Frank was preceded in death by his wife of 23 years, Patricia Hayes Brown, two sons, Walter Gregory and Peter Gregory McGehee, his parents, and siblings Hunter McGehee, Jr. and Jamie M. Roberts.
He is survived by his daughter, Julie McGehee Honeycutt and her husband Mike their children, Alexandra Ann and Christina Lee Honeycutt; his son, Frank T. McGehee, Jr., M.D., and his wife Pam, of Fort Worth, Texas, his children William Mitchell McGehee, San Francisco, California, Jillian Jean McGehee, Bryant, Carlyn Francis McGehee, Flower Mound, Texas, and Elizabeth Brinton McGehee, Fort Worth, Texas; a niece and nephew, Katherine Roberts, Little Rock and the Rev. Charles Roberts, Atlanta, Ga.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. Burial of ashes will follow at 3:00 PM in Bellwood Cemetery, Pine Bluff. Arrangements are by Ruebel Funeral Home.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72205, Arkansas Hospice Foundation, Inc., 5600 W. 12th St., Little Rock, AR 72204 or the charity of one's choice.
Elizabeth Fulkerth Mitchell
Elizabeth Fulkerth Mitchell, 78, of Benton, died Saturday, May 21, 2005. She was born in Forrest City to the late Irvin and Mary Burris Fulkerth. She was an educator and a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
She was preceded in death by her husband, The Reverend William E. Mitchell, and a sister, Catherine Runkle. Survivors include her son, William R. Mitchell of Palatine, Illinois, and her daughter, Mary Clare Mitchell of Benton.
There will be a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral officiated by the Very Reverend Henry Hudson. Burial of ashes will follow in the church garth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, or to the charity of donor's choice.
Arrangements are by Ruebel Funeral Home.