James M. "Jim" Simpson, Jr.
May 6, 1929 - February 4, 2012
James M. (Jim) Simpson, Jr., 82, of Pine Bluff, died Saturday, February 4, 2012, at his home after a long illness. He was born on May 6, 1929, in Little Rock, Arkansas, son of James and Myrtle Simpson. He moved to Pine Bluff as a toddler after his mother’s death and was reared by his maternal grandparents, John W. and Carrie Robinson. Although his name was never legally changed, his grandparents enrolled him in church and grade school as Donald Robinson where he was affectionately called “Duck” by his friends and “Sonny” by his family. These were the names he used in school and early work years in Pine Bluff, and the nicknames were used by longtime friends and family throughout his life. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, he joined the US Navy under his legal name of James M. Simpson, Jr.
Jim was a World War II/Peace Time Navy Veteran. He served in the Navy for 45 months and was in the Inactive Reserve for 4 years. During a 9-month period, he served in the Navy Seabees on the Aleutian Island of Adak. Following that assignment, he was transferred back to the regular Navy and spent the majority of his remaining years of service aboard the USS Oakland, with the last 4 months being served at the Tongue Point Naval Station, Astoria, Oregon. Jim received the WWII Victory Medal, Japanese Occupation Medal, Chinese Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal.
Following his military service and under the GI Bill, Jim enrolled in Arkansas State Teacher’s College (now UCA) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He worked as an insurance claim adjuster in Louisville, Kentucky, for 3½ years before returning to Arkansas to work in the same occupation in El Dorado and then back in Pine Bluff.
In 1965 when the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville started its evening Law School division in Little Rock and while continuing to work as an insurance adjuster, Jim enrolled and commuted year round until his completion of his Juris Doctorate in 1970. He practiced law in Pine Bluff for 16 years. During a period of that time he also served as municipal judge of Redfield, Arkansas.
In 1986 he was employed by Arkansas Power and Light (Entergy Arkansas) as a corporate attorney until his retirement in September, 2002.
Jim was a member of First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the Jefferson County Bar Association. He served on the Board of Directors of Pine Bluff Boy’s Club (Seabrook Family Christian Center), serving one year as president. He was a 32nd Degree Mason and a lifetime member of VFW Post 4455. Jim never met a stranger, was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes, and enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing pool, and golf.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Bobby) Baim Simpson; four children: Jim (Debra) Simpson, III of Pine Bluff; John (Deborah) Simpson of Pine Bluff; Donald (Susan) Simpson of O’Fallon, Missouri; Annette Simpson (Collin) Roddey of Springdale, Arkansas; five grandchildren: Jason (Devan) Simpson of Pine Bluff, Sarah Simpson (Adam) Howell of Bonney Lake, Washington; James M. Simpson, IV of Pine Bluff, Lyle Simpson of O’Fallon, Missouri; and Eli Roddey of Springdale, Arkansas; and four great-grandchildren: Jamie Michelle Simpson of Pine Bluff; Mackenzie and Cassidy Howell of Bonney Lake, Washington; and James M. (Jay) Simpson, V of Pine Bluff; one sister, Jimmie Lee Simpson Nichols of Pine Bluff, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and prenatal great-granddaughter, Ashlynn Elizabeth Howell of Bonney Lake, Washington.
Visitation will be at Ralph Robinson and Son Tuesday, February 7, 2012, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Funeral will be Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at 10:30 AM at First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, with Reverend Matt Norton officiating. Interment will be in Graceland Cemetery.
His family thanks the special ladies at Hospice Angels.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 6501 South Hazel, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603.
Gwendolyn Peyton White
September 28, 1925 - February 14, 2012
Gwendolyn Peyton White, 86, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, passed away Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Born September 28, 1925, in Rison, Arkansas, she was a daughter of the late Edgar Lee and Hallie V. Goudy Peyton. She was reared and received her education in Pine Bluff, graduating from Pine Bluff High School in 1944.
In 1947, she married William “Gene” E. White in Pine Bluff. They spent over forty-five years together until his death in 1995.
Mrs. White was a secretary for the Cotton Belt Railroad (now Union Pacific) for thirty-nine years retiring in 1988. She and her husband were also the owners of The Chicken Basket Restaurant in Pine Bluff, for over thirty years.
She was a member of the American Business Women’s Association, holding several positions throughout the years and was awarded Woman of the Year in 1973. She was a member of Forrest Park Baptist Church of Pine Bluff.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, William “Gene” E. White, Sr.; her brothers, James H. Peyton, E.L. Peyton and Charles E. Peyton.
Survivors include her sons, William “Bill” E. White, Jr. and Gary Peyton White both of Pine Bluff, Arkansas; her sister, Doris Peyton Childs, of Albion, Michigan; four grandchildren, Tammy Brickey, Joey White, Brandy Falls, Gary Peyton White, Jr.; twenty great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A graveside service will be held 1:00 PM, Friday, February 17, 2012, in Memorial Park Cemetery
with Reverend Elwin Ollar officiating by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Robinson’s. The family will gather at the White home at 3906 South Linden Street, Pine Bluff.
Brumice L. Crowder
September 20, 1924 - February 16, 2012
Brumice L. Crowder, 87, of Pine Bluff, died Thursday, February 16, 2012, at Davis Life Care West.
Mr. Crowder was born September 20, 1924, in Ivan, Arkansas to the late Henry Boston and Eddie McCollum Crowder. He was reared and received his early education in Fordyce, where he attended Fordyce High School. He graduated from high school in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Crowder joined the United States Army and served during World War II. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he moved to Pine Bluff in 1958.
Mr. Crowder married Imogene Neves May 17, 1952, in Fordyce, Arkansas.
He worked for International Paper Company in the Pulpmill. He retired after 30 years in 1987.
Mr. Crowder was a member of Shepherd Hill Baptist Church and a past member of Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, past member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4455, the Quarter Century Club, and Morris Hunting Club in Fordyce.
Mr. Crowder is survived by his wife of 59 years, Imogene Crowder of Pine Bluff; a son, Dan M. (Cindy) Crowder of Pine Bluff; a brother, Vernon Crowder of Fordyce; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Joe Willie Crowder, and a sister, Katherine Garner.
The family will receive friends Sunday, February 19, 2012, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, at Robinson’s.
A graveside service is scheduled for Monday, February 20, 2012, 2:00 PM, at Memorial Park Cemetery
with Reverend Nathaniel Bolden officiating by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors.
Memorials may be sent to the American Diabetes. Association, 320 Executive Ct, Suite 104, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, or to the donor’s favorite charity.
Jack E. Lewis
June 4, 1939 - February 17, 2012
Jack E. Lewis, 72, of Pine Bluff, died Friday, February 17, 2012, and turned his face toward Heaven.
He was born June 4, 1939, in Williamson, West Virginia, son of Jack and Sylvia Adkins Lewis.
Mr. Lewis was reared and received his early education in West Virginia and graduated from Ironton High School in Ironton, Ohio in 1957. He attended the University of Wisconsin on an athletic scholarship, and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1970.
He served in the United States Army for 23 years, retiring in August of 1979 with the rank of Major. Early enlisted service included Special Forces, Rangers, and with the 101st Airborne Division. As an officer, Jack served as an advisor to the South Vietnamese military and earned the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. Jack’s tenure in the Army included two tours in Vietnam and several honors earned, including the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Combat Infantry Badge. After military retirement, Mr. Lewis worked for Halliburton Services for several years.
He moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1987.
Mr. Lewis attended the First Assembly of God in Pine Bluff.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Those who will forever hold him in their hearts include his wife, Sherry Rice Lewis of Pine Bluff; son, Bradley Michael Lewis of Grand Chain, Illinois; daughter, Lisa Wayve Plunkett of Pine Bluff; three brothers, Ward "Sonny" Lewis (Barbara) of Columbus, Ohio, James Lewis and Thomas Ray Lewis (Nancy), both of Ironton, Ohio; sister, Sharon Goodwin (Edward) of Green Cove Springs, Florida; four grandchildren who were dear and precious to him, Katherine Elizabeth Heird, Alexzandra Elaine Heird, Madalyn Ashley Lewis and Jacob Bradley Lewis; a great-grandchild, Bentley Wade Kendall; a special daughter, Daphne Lynn Lewis, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services in Pine Bluff will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, February 27, 2012 at the First Assembly of God with Reverend Gary Bell officiating. Visitation will be Sunday evening from 3-5 p.m. at Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors.
Funeral services in Karnak, Illinois will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday in the Chapel of Wilson Funeral Services. Graveside services with military honors will follow in Grand Chain Masonic Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Central Arkansas, PO Box 1455, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115.
July 19, 1935 - February 20, 2012
Espy Upshaw, 76, a resident of White Hall, was taken on angel wings to his heavenly home on February 20, 2012. He left his earthly home surrounded by his family and friends. Mr. Upshaw had struggled with severe health issues since 1990, but he fought a good fight and kept his faith throughout.
Born July 19, 1935, in Holly Ridge, Louisiana, he was a son of Thomas E. and Willie Vines Upshaw.
Mr. Upshaw was reared and received his early education in Rayville, Louisiana. He was a graduate from high school in Farmerville, Louisiana. Espy Upshaw married Jean Wood on August 19, 1955, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Mr. Upshaw was employed by International Paper Company for 35 years. He was a power plant operator for the company, until his health forced his retirement in November 1990. He loved working with the men and missed it every day of his retirement.
Mr. Upshaw was a member of First Baptist Church of White Hall, and a member of the Open Door Sunday School Class. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of the White Sulphur Lodge #122 of the Free and Accepted Masons, a member and Worthy Patron of both the Union #40, and the Pines#517 of the Order of the Eastern Star. He loved to work in the yard, but most of all he was a man who loved his family.
Mr. Upshaw was preceded in death by his parents, six brothers and seven sisters.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Jean Upshaw of White Hall; two sons and daughters-in-law, Mike and Donna Upshaw of Sheridan, and Mark and Lisa Upshaw of Hot Springs; one son, Doug Upshaw of Hot Springs; one daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Dirk Cottrell of Pine Bluff; one granddaughter, Lindsey Upshaw of Sheridan; one brother, Bill Upshaw of Louisiana; three step-grandchildren; Justin Byrd, Andrew (Stacie) Byrd, and Reid Byrd; four step-great-grandchildren; Andy, Blakely, Evan, and Payton; a special friend, Carol James of Pine Bluff; special pup, Charlie of White Hall.
The visitation will be from 6:00-8:00 PM Tuesday, February 21, 2012, at Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors.
Funeral Services will be at 10:00 AM Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at First Baptist Church of White Hall with Dr. Bob Harper officiating. Burial will follow in White Hall United Methodist Church Cemetery
by Ralph Robinson & Son.
Memorials made be made to the building fund of First Baptist Church of White Hall, 8708 Dollarway Rd. White Hall, AR 71602.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to Hospice Angels for their tender care of Mr. Upshaw and special consideration for the family.
Edna Earle Taylor (Barnes)
July 19, 1918 - February 19, 2012
Edna Earle Barnes Taylor, 93, died Sunday, February 19th at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff. She was the fourth of seven children born to Oscar Gaston Barnes Sr. and Stella Barham Barnes on July 19th, 1918 in Raleigh North Carolina. She was raised in Raleigh, graduated from Needham Broughton High School in 1936 and attended King's Business College. She began her career of federal employment in Raleigh with the Farmers Home Administration in 1940. She transferred to Richmond Virginia in 1944 and worked there until 1951 when she met Elton M. Taylor of Pine Bluff who was recalled to active duty during the Korean War at nearby Fort Eustis, Virginia. They were married July 20th, 1951 at Boulevard Methodist Church in Richmond and moved to Pine Bluff that same year. She transferred her employment to the Pine Bluff Arsenal and worked there until April 1971, retiring with 31 years of federal service.
Mrs. Taylor was a member of the Pearl Burnham Bible Class at First United Methodist Church; Union Chapter No. 40 of the Order of the Eastern Star; the Pine Bluff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and Chapter 287 of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 45 years, Elton M. Taylor; one daughter, Edna Melissa Taylor; sisters, Virginia Barnes Pruitt and Louise Barnes; brothers, O. G. Barnes Jr., and Joseph Barnes.
Survivors include one son, Carlton A. Taylor of Pine Bluff; and two granddaughters, Melissa C. Taylor Verlenden (John) of Little Rock and Whitney R. Taylor of West St. Paul, Minnesota; two brothers, Bobby Barnes of Raleigh, North Carolina, Jimmy Barnes of Louisburg, North Carolina; three nephews, Jerry Barnes (Linda) of Clayton, North Carolina, Rusty Barnes (Pam) of Sims, North Carolina and Jim Barnes (Paula) of Louisburg, North Carolina
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to the staff of Trinity Village Medical Center, Hospice Home Care and Jefferson Regional Medical Center for their help and assistance with Edna's care.
Funeral services will be at 2:00 pm Saturday, February 25, 2012 in the Chapel of Ralph Robinson and Son in Pine Bluff with Reverend David Fleming officiating. Burial will follow in Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be at Robinson's from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, PO Box 8003, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71611, Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, or the donor's choice.
Lucille Cunningham (Wilson)
April 17, 1918 - February 23, 2012
Lucille Wilson Cunningham, 93, of Pine Bluff, passed away, Thursday, February 23, 2012 at White Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Born April 17, 1918 in Grady, Arkansas, she was the daughter of the late William P. and Eva Hendricks Wilson. She was reared and received her early education in Pine Bluff, graduating from Pine Bluff High School in 1936. After high school, she attended Judkins Commercial School.
She became a bookkeeper and worked for Ralph Smith Certified Public Accountant for twenty three years, retiring in 1981.
In 1940, she married Hayden Trotter Cunningham. They spent the next forty years together until his death in 1980.
Mrs. Cunningham was a dedicated member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Alethea Club, and Mary Guild. She was also a member of Delta Theta Tau Sorority.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Hayden Trotter Cunningham, Sr., a daughter, Barbara “Bobbie” Dewey and one brother, Clyde Wilson.
She is survived by her son, H.T. Cunningham, Jr., of Portland, Arkansas, her daughters, Lura Campbell, of White Hall and Susan Faulk, of Springdale, Arkansas, seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 AM, Saturday, February 25, 2012 at Trinity Lutheran Church, with Reverend Dean Clausing officiating. Burial will follow in Graceland Cemetery
by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors. The family will receive friends Friday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Robinson’s.
Pallbearers are Tony Bergeron, Terry Bradshaw, Ben Cunningham, Hayden Cunningham, Allen Shanks and Shane Sutton.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 4200 Old Warren Road, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71603.