Bertha Alyce Swift, 82, of Van Buren died Tuesday, April 1, 2003, at a local hospital. She was a member of United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Order of the Eastern Star, Ladies Oriental Shrine and Nebka Court No. 68, high priestess in 1989090 and past worthy matron of DeSoto, Texas, chapter. She was an artist, homemaker and widow of George T. Swift.
Survivors include one daughter, Cynthia Johnson of Van Buren; three sons, Hollis Scott of Fort Smith, John Swift of Portland, Ore., and Paul Swift of Crescent, Minn.; one sister, Freda Powers of Jefferson City, Ill.; one brother, Otto Schupbach of Victoria, Texas; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Clarksville, Tenn., under the direction of Sykes Funeral Home. Local arrangements were by Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Viewing will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday.
William Skadden, 89, of the Fern Community died Wednesday, April 2, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a retired seismologist for Hilyard Drilling Co., Army veteran of World War II, member of the American Legion and attended Fern Assembly of God Church.
Survivors include one daughter, Karen Skadden of Jackson, Miss.; one son, Frank Skadden of Mountainburg; one brother, james Skadden of Houston; one grandson, William A. Skadden of Alma; and one great-grandchild, Noble Skadden of Alma.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Edwards Van-Alma Chapel. Burial will be at U.S. National Cemetery
in Fort Smith under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home.
The family will visit with friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home.
Robert “Bob” Thorbjornson, 76, of Van Buren died Tuesday, April 1, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a retired truck driver for Yellow Freight Lines, Army veteran of the Korean War, member of Van Buren Masonic Lodge No. 6 and lifetime member of the American Legion Post No. 31. He was the widower of Irene Thorbjornson.
Survivors include one daughter, Sandy Gregory of Van Buren; one son, Dicky Zellers of Fort Smith; one sister, Dorothy Mellinger of Cutbank, Mont.; one brother, Omar Thorbjornson of Quartz Site, Ariz.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Graveside service was held April 4 at Forest Park Cemetery
in Fort Smith under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home.
Jesse A. Tash, 1-month old son of John and Lisa Tash of Van Buren, died Tuesday, April 1, 2003, at a local hospital.
Other survivors include two sisters, Treasia Kay Tash of Alma and Janey Adella Tash of the home; two brothers, John Allen Tash of Van Buren and Jonlee Andrew Tash of the home; paternal grandparents, Tresia and Stanley Partain of Van Buren; material grandparents, Ricky and Janice Wallace of Mountainburg; and maternal great-grandmother, Pat Kasher of Alma.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren. Burial will be at Baxter Cemetery
in Kibler under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Terry Tash and Teddy Wallace.
Joe Don Gregory
Joe Don Gregory, 54, of Rudy died Thursday, March 27, 2003, at a local hospital. Mr. Gregory was the retired Chief of Police for the City of Alma, a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Alma and was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He also served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict.
He is survived by his wife Ann; two sons and daughters-in-law, Jody and Tammi Gregory and Creed and Chris Gregory, all of Rudy; his parents, Giles and Nedra Osborne and Joe and Billie Jo Gregory; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Les and Vernice Odom; one brother, Keith Osborne of Owasso, Okla.; two sisters, Tannie Gregory of Dyer and Carla Baker of Fort Smith; and five grandchildren, Brittany, Kevin, Kari, Colton and Cassie.
Funeral service was held March 31 at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home Chapel with burial at Newberry Cemetery
Active pallbearers were Mike Allen, Craig Belt, B.W. Conley, Richard Jones, Jerry Pittman and Shannon Gregory. Honorary pallbearers were Raymond Winfrey, Tommy Hill, Bill McDonner, John Ballentine, Robin Kuykendall and Bill Hunter.
Ardella Willis, 73, of Kibler died Wednesday, March 25, 2003, at a local nursing home. She was a member of Alma Full Gospel Outreach Church, retired from Fort Smith Rim and Bow and widow of Vurn Willis.
Survivors include four daughters, Jean Wilkey and Mary Lou Bowles, both of Kibler, Sue Bowles of Alma and Brenda Rockwood of Van Buren; four sons, Claude Willis and James Willis, both of Kibler, Everett Willis of Ozone and Bill Willis of Van Buren; two sisters, Imogene Hobson of Van Buren and Ilee Wilmon of Alma; 16 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held March 28 at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren. Burial was at Hogan Cemetery
near Clarksville under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were her grandsons.
Virginia Piercefield, 77, of Alma died Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at a local hospital. She was formerly of Mulberry and was of the Pentecostal faith. She was the widow of Albert Piercefield.
Graveside service was held March 27 at New Cemetery
in Mulberry under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
She is survived by a son, Gary Dale Piercefield of Dermott; a brother, Russell Napier of Ozark; and three grandsons, Chancey Piercefield of Mountainburg and Justin and Joshua Piercefield, both of Mulberry.
Marcus Maurice Rotramel of Cedarville died Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at his home. He was a retired truck driver.
He is survived by a son, Nathan Rotramel of Ozark; a stepdaughter, Lee German of Stafford, Mo.; his mother, Sarah Rotramel of Cedarville; two sisters, Rebecca Shoenborn of Indianapolis and Dorcus Passmore of Jacksonville, Fla.; a brother, Daniel Rotramel of Cedarville; and one grandchild.
Funeral service was held March 31 at Natural Dam Assembly of God with burial at Hall Cemetery
in Natural Dam under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers were Kenny Andrews, Dennis Abbe, Larry LaRue, Mike Wells, Ken Andrews Sr. and Jesse Rotramel Sr.
Bruce W. Driggs, 48, of Uniontown died Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at a local hospital. He was a veteran of the Marines and a member of Uniontown Assembly of God.
The body will be cremated under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; five daughters, Tabitha Lopez and Rachel Driggs, both of Yucca Valley, Calif., Katherine Brown of South Dakota, Nicole Johnson of Van Buren and Marsha Bates of Indiana; three sons, Patrick Driggs of Fayetteville and Robert and Andrew Driggs, both of Van Buren; his stepmother, Cheryl Driggs of Summers; six sisters, Patty Spray, Wanda Waggoner, Cindy Hatcher and Lori Driggs, all of Idaho, Toni Robinson of California and Torie Driggs of Lincoln; 10 brothers, Donny and Jim Driggs, both of California, Tony Driggs of Summers, Gregg, Kevin and John Driggs, all of Oregon, and Kenny, Bucky, Kelly and Jimmy Driggs, all of Idaho; and 13 grandchildren.
The Rev. Vernon S.L. Smith, 85, of Roland died Tuesday, March 25, 2003, in McAlester. He was born Feb. 28, 1918, in Okemah, Okla., was a non-denominational minister for 26 years and widower of Irene Smith. He was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 6 in Van Buren and Disabled American Veterans.
Survivors include four daughters, Verene Parker of Charleston, Ruth Hinshaw of Leosburg, Mo., Evelyn Sanders of Hazelwood, Mo., and Elizabeth Priest of Tempi, Ariz.; three stepdaughters, Nancy Wilson and Mary Redden, both of Roland, and Veroqua Yaffee of Fort Smith; one stepson, N.W. Bowling of Roland; one sister, Velma Joliff of Tulsa; two brothers, Raymond and Hubert Smith, both of Tulsa; 54 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held March 28 at Lewis Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith. Burial was at Okemah Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 92 W. Sunbridge Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72703.
Virginia Ray Reed, 83, of Mulberry died Monday, March 31, 2003, at her home. She was born Oct. 12, 1919, in Mulberry. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Mulberry, homemaker and widow of Troy Ellis Reed Sr.
Survivors include two daughters, Janis Yother of Van Buren and Martha Harris of Oklahoma; one son, Troy E. Reed Jr. of Mulberry; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in Mulberry. Burial will be at New Cemetery
in Mulberry under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Alma.
Pallbearers will be Jeff Marvin, James Roe, Jim Hamilton, Jimmy Moore, Ron Hutain and Paul Ray.
The family will visit with friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Ocker Funeral Home, 917 Highway 64 East, Alma.
Earl Ray Oliver, 64, of Alma died Friday, March 28, 2003, at his home. He was a retired rancher and a member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Nellie; a son, Donald Oliver of Alma; two sisters, Betty Hamilton of Alma and Donna Hamilton of Van Buren; and four grandsons, Charles, D.J., Matthew and Jordan Oliver.
Funeral service was held April 1 at Ocker Funeral Home Memorial Chapel in Van Buren with burial at Yoestown Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Chuck and D.J. Oliver, Ricky and Henry Hamilton, Bill Brock and Jeff Painter. Honorary pallbearers were Bill Dewitt Jr., Harold Oliver, Frank Neal, Joe LaRocca, Ted Martin, Ben Taylor, Ed Gibbs, Francis Davis, Leslie Thomas Sr., Jimmy Gooch and Don Newton.