Frederick A. Wulfekuhler
PINE BLUFF -- Frederick August Wulfekuhler, 87, died Saturday, March 4, 2006, at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.
Born July 29, 1918, in Leavenworth, Kan., he had lived in Arkansas since 1959.
He graduated from Wentworth military Academy's junior college in 1939 and from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1942 with a degree in political science.
He joined the military following college. His last service assignment was manager of Armed Forces Radio Station, WXLO, also known as the "Voice of Shangri-La" during World War II. The station was located on the Aleutian Island, Shemya.
He married Oleatha Jane Clark on June 5, 1943.
Mr. Wulfekuhler began his nearly half-century career in journalism in 1946 when he joined the staff of the Hutchinson News-Herald, later the Hutchinson News, as a reporter-photographer shortly after being released from the Army. In 1957 he was named managing editor of the paper.
In 1959 he purchased Daily Press Inc., and moved with his wife, Oleatha, and their children to Paragould. One of Mr. Wulfekuhler's first additions to the newspaper was an editorial page and an affirmation that there would be "no sacred cows or preferential treatment in news reporting." Prominent citizens and personal friends would receive no favors. His journalistic philosophy was "the truth is our profession" and "Lord, let us be doers, not merely complainers."
In 1974, he moved the Daily Press to a new building and expanded the paper by installing a 24-page Goss Community offset press, along with a typesetting computer system, a first for a daily newspaper in Arkansas.
The Daily Press, during the Wulfekuhler era, was considered one of the best small dailies in Arkansas and won state and national awards for editorial excellence. The University of Missouri School of Journalism rated it the best newspaper under 10,000 circulations in the United States.
Also a community leader, he lobbied successfully for a United Fund, now the Greene County Community Fund, with his friend Ted Rand of radio station KDRS.
He was an active Rotarian for 47 years, serving as president of the Paragould Club in 1971-72. He was also named a Paul Harris Fellow.
He was an avid tennis player and taught many youngsters in Hutchinson and Paragould how to play. He coached the Hutchinson High and Hutchinson Junior College tennis teams to state championships and coached the Paragould High School tennis team when it won two state championships.
Mr. Wulfekuhler and his family were active members of First United Methodist Church of Paragould from 1959 to 1992. He taught the Men's Bible Class, served as church lay leader for 25 years, and was a certified lay speaker. He and Oleatha also served as the church's lay delegates to annual conference for 10 years.
He received the President's Award from the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors in 1989 for "his outstanding contributions to Arkansas journalism;" the same year he sold the Daily Press and retired from the newspaper business.
He exercised leadership in state and national newspaper organizations. He served as a board member of the Mid-South Press Institute for eight years, was a Southern Newspaper Association board member for three years and president of the Arkansas Press Association in 1979, after 19 years on the board of directors. He was a member of the National Press Association, Arkansas Press Association, American Society of Newspaper Editors and National Newspaper Photographer's Association.
In 1992, he moved with Oleatha to Hot Springs Village. In 2004, the couple moved to Pine Bluff.
Mr. Wulfekuhler is survived by his wife, Oleatha; daughter Susan Wulfekuhler of Eugene, Ore.; son Kurt Wulfekuhler and wife Birgitta of Albuquerque, N.M.; daughter Jan Smalling and husband Robert of Warren; daughter Gail Bellingrath and husband Mac of Pine Bluff; daughter Kristin Lile and husband Robert of Loveland, Colo.; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorials be made to the Endowment Foundation of Greene County, The Fred and Oleatha Wulfekuhler Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1345, Paragould 72451.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Monday, March 6, at Heath Funeral Home in Paragould.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, at First United Methodist Church of Paragould, followed by intermenty at Linwood Cemetery. All are invited to attend.
Lester Thomas Bryant
PARAGOULD -- Lester Thomas "Peck" Bryant, 91, of Paragould died early Sunday, March 12, at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center.
He was a loyal husband, father, uncle, grandfather and friend, consistently giving himself to those around him.
Peck was born July 15, 1914, in Rice, the son of John Thomas and Mary Magaline (Blair) Bryant. On Oct. 5, 1935, he married Emma Bernice "Niece" Lands. One son, Jimmy Ray Bryant was born April 27, 1937, in Light.
During his lifetime he had many different careers. He farmed, and then joined the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission before World War II sent Peck, Niece and Jimmy to Coronado, Calif., in 1942. There he was stationed as a patrolman for the Navy. Later he served on the island of Guam.
Around 1946 Peck returned to Greene County and resumed a job with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. He later worked for the Arkansas State Police in the Weight and Standard Division. Around 1954 Peck became the night chief of police in Paragould. In 1958 he began work for Emerson Electric Motor Division in Paragould, from which he retired in 1980. He was of the Baptist faith.
Peck and his son, Jim, were two of the founders of the Greene County AAU basketball team and two founders of Paragould School District's first girls pee-wee basketball program. He was an avid fan of Arkansas State University and Williams Baptist College sporting events. He was especially fond of Lady Indian basketball.
In 2000 Peck was inducted into the Paragould Bowling Hall of Fame, having been a multiple tournament winning bowler for decades. He once bowled a 287, with 10 consecutive strikes. He also served on the Paragould Bowling Association's board of directors. He continued to bowl two nights a week until late 2002.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Niece, in 1991 and his beloved son, Jimmy Ray Bryant, in 2002. He was also preceded in death by his parents, John Thomas and Mary Magaline (Blair) Bryant; brothers, Harvey, Ben and Henry Bryant; and sisters, Della Gray, Edith Gray, Opal Pillow, Beatrice Newsom and Ima Bryant.
Survivors include one daughter-in-law, Lynda Heath Bryant of Paragould; three granddaughters, Kim Bryant of Paragould, Tanya Bryant Ellington of Jonesboro and Melanie Heath Bryant of Paragould; three great-grandchildren, Jordan Lee McBride, Bradley Heath McBride and Jack Ellington; sister-in-law, Betty Staggs Hefflefinger of Humble, Texas; nieces, Tonda Walker, Diane Smith, Sherrie Phipps and Tammie Choppe; sister, Juanita Becker of El Sobrante, Calif.; brother, Pierce Bryant of Pioneer, Calif.; and several nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of Peck's life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Heath Colonial Chapel, with the Rev. Eddie Gene Wright and the Rev. Zach Roberts officiating. Burial will follow in Greene County Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers are Brian Boyer, Jim Bowlin, Kevin Gill, Carol Halford, Jimmy Dan Maddox, Dr. Bennie Mitchell, Bill Tabor and Freddy Turner.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Memorials may be sent to the Peck and Niece Bryant-Emerson Electric Athletic Endowment for Williams Baptist College, 56 McClellan Drive, Walnut Ridge 72476; and the Peck and Niece Bryant Endowment Fund for ASU Lady Indian Basketball, P.O. Box 2219, State University 72467.
Beulah Mae Jaynes Buhler
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Beulah Mae Jaynes Buhler, 65, of Collierville died Thursday, March 9, 2006, at home.
She was a real estate broker for Crye-Leike, an avid canasta player, a gardener and a member of First Baptist Church of Collierville.
Survivors include two daughters, Lucinda Buhler of Nashville, Tenn., and Donna Johnson of Ecuador; a son, Allen Buhler of Collierville; six grandchildren, Brandon Johnson, Ben Buhler, Adam Johnson, Jake Buhler, Hannah Johnson and Caleb Johnson; and one great-granddaughter, Sydney Johnson.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Collierville Funeral Home with burial in Magnolia Cemetery
Visitation will be from 4:30-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be any mission organization of the donor's choice.
Johnny Richardson Cooksey
MARKED TREE -- Johnny Richardson Cooksey, age 59, of Marked Tree passed away at his residence while battling cancer.
He was self-employed and a member of Living Waters Pentecostal Church of Tyronza. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother.
Survivors include his wife Donetta Cooksey of Marked Tree; one daughter, Pebbles Lucy of Dyess; three sons, Jason Cooksey of Little Rock, Timothy Cooksey of Shreveport, La., and Mitchell Long of Harrisburg; four brothers, Joe Cooksey and Tommy Cooksey, both of Marked Tree, Paul Cooksey of Springdale and Walter Cooksey of Rockford, Ill.; five sisters, Charlotte Garrett of Trumann, Virginia Brickly of Payneway, Mary Morgan and Alphia Cooksey, both of Marked Tree, and Pauline Hooper of Hartsville, Ind.; and four grandchildren.
Visitation is from 5-8 p.m. today at Murphy Funeral Home.
Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Murphy Funeral Home Chapel, with Priscilla Riley officiating.
Burial will follow in Nichols Cemetery
in Marked Tree.
Merle B. Davenport
GLEN MILLS, Pa. -- Merle B. Davenport, 86, of Glen Mills, Pa., died Thursday, March 9, in Chester County Hospital.
Born in Paragould to the late William and Nora Ford, she was a Greene County Tech graduate. In 1938 she married Robert Davenport.
Survivors include her husband, Robert R. Davenport of Glen Mills; a daughter, Micky Bergey of Chadds Ford, Pa.; three grandsons; four great-grandsons; one great-granddaughter; and many nieces and nephews in Arkansas.
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. today at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church in Wilmington, Del.
W.M. 'Woody' DePriest
WYNNE -- W. M. "Woody" DePriest, 92, died Sunday.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Agnes DePriest; seven brothers; and two sisters.
Survivors include a daughter, Jo D. Pillow and husband Wright of Mountain View; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Mr. DePriest was a member of First United Methodist Church in Mountain View. He was a retired regional office manager for the U.S. Postal Service.
Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, at Cogbill Cemetery
in Wynne. Memorials Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Wynne, with the Rev. Bill Eason and the Rev. Wright Pillow officiating.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. today at Kernodle Funeral Home in Wynne.