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Obituaries and Death Notices


    Young Fort Smith Man's Car Overturns Near Mountainburg.
    Fort Smith, Ark., Dec. 10.-AP-
    State Senator Fred Armstrong, 35, president pro tem of the upper house during the 1937 session, was killed last night when his automobile left U. S. Highway 71 a few miles north of Mountainburg and overturned.
    A companion, Miss Orrnell Littleton, 27, of Fort Smith, suffered a fractured pelvis and cuts and bruises in the crash. Attendants at a hospital here, who reported her condition this morning as serious but not critical, said she was resting comfortably.
    Born in Oklahoma City, Jan. 19, 1903, Mr. Armstrong received his early education in the Fort Smith public schools. He later studied at Centre college, Danville, Ky.; Centenary college, Shreveport, La., and Cumberland Law school, Lebanon, Tenn., and was admitted to the bar in 1927.
    He had served Fort Smith as assistant city attorney and Sebastian county as representative in 1929 before being elected to the senate in 1933. The legislator had been chairman of the upper house's public service corporations committee and was a member of several other committees. He had served two terms in the senate and was re-elected in the Nov. 8 general election.
    Mr. Armstrong was a delegate to several democratic state contentions. He was a member of the Baptist church and of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
    He was a brother of Henry Armstrong, regional Works Progress Administrator director and chairman of the county democratic committee. Other survivors include his mother, a second brother, Norris, of Danville, Ky., and a sister, Ruth, member of the Fort Smith high school faculty.
    Miss Littleton was brought to a hospital here where she was reported not seriously injured. A former resident of Little Rock, she had been employed here several weeks by the National Bituminous Coal commission.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times; Dec 10, 1938]

    Governor Sends Sympathy
    Little Rock, Ark., Dec. 10.

    Gov. Carl E. Bailey today extended sympathy to the family of State Senator Fred Armstrong of Fort Smith who was killed last night in an automobile accident.
    In a telegram to Henry Armtrong, regional WPA director and brother of the senator, the governor said:
    "I am so sorry. Fred had made a substantial and worthwhile contribution to the advancement of the state and society and had in prospect a continuation of a brilliant career. My respects and sympathy to you and your mother."
    [Northwest Arkansas Times; Dec 10, 1938]

    CENTRAL CITY, AR– BILLY ROOSEVELT BALL, 77, of Central City, Ark., died Wednesday, December 16, 2009, in Central City, Ark.
    He will have direct cremation with a memorial service at a later date. Burial is under direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren, Ark.,
    He was retired from Chrysler Motor Company as an assembly line worker. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the Air Force. He was of the Presbyterian faith.
    Mr. Roosevelt is survived by his daughter, Bonnita Hubbard, of Pikeville, Ky.; son, Billy Ball, of Olney, IL; sister, Betty Jo, of Iowa, and special friend, Mrs. Ruby Stewart, of Central City, Ark.
    [Olney (IL) Daily Mail, December 17, 2009]

    Willie Barling, 23, grandson of the founder of Barling, Ark., killed by a truck at that town. Frank Swartz, Paris, Ark., was held after a chase of several miles.
    [Hope Star, Hope, Arkansas, 26 Dec 1930 - Transcribed by Courtney Birkes]

    WICHITA, KS – MINNA B. BULLER, 95, of Greenwood, Ark., former McPherson resident, retired hotel clerk, died Friday, Sept. 21, 1990. Service 2 p.m. Thursday, Crestwood Memorial Park Cemetery, McPherson.
    Survivors: daughter, Mildred Schierling of Inman; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren. Memorial has been established with the Pink Bud Nursing Home, Greenwood, Ark. Ball & Son Funeral Home.
    [Wichita Eagle, The (KS) - September 24, 1990]

    Mrs. Florence Bourland Dies--Funeral Thursday
    Mrs. Florence Richardson Bourland, widow of T.D. Bourland, died Wednesday at 1 p.m. at her home, 723 North Thirteenth Street. She had been in failing health for some time.
    The Funeral will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Edwards Funeral Home, with Dr. W.B. Miller, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Van Buren, officiating. Burial will be in Forest Park.
    Mrs. Bourland is survived by two cousins, Mrs. Earl T. Allen, Little Rock, and Harry B. Shibley, Van Buren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
    Note: she was the niece of Mrs. W.H.H. (Esther Cook) Shibley of Van Buren and the daughter of James M. and Nancy (Godfrey) Richardson of Knoxville, Illinois.
    [From the Van Buren newspaper, unknown date; submitted by "janettesworld"]

    GREENWOOD, Ark. -- JOSEPH EUGENE (GENE) BURBAUGH, 64, of Greenwood, a former resident of Oak Hill, died Wednesday (Feb 4, 1998) at home. Mr. Burbaugh, an Army veteran of the Korean War, was born in New York, and moved from Oak Hill to Greenwood in 1988. He was an auto mechanic for Volusia Construction, Daytona Beach, and was a former crabber on the Indian River. He enjoyed fishing.
    Survivors include his wife, Martha; a son, Joseph, Booneville, Ark.; four daughters, Carol Burbaugh, Ohio, Pamela Goff and Faye McConnell, Booneville, and Katrinka Lee, Barnsdall, Okla.; a stepson, David Sayre, Barnsdall; a stepdaughter, Terri Lynn, Texas; two brothers, Merle, Missouri, and Eurotis, New Smyrna Beach; a sister, Roberta Akre, Oregon; 23 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. Roberts Funeral Home, Booneville, is in charge.
    [Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) - February 7, 1998]

    SPRINGFIELD, IL-- COL. DALE D. DESPER, USAF, 69, of Springfield died at 12:25 p.m. Friday at Memorial Medical Center.
    He was born on April 17, 1918, in Sebastian County, Ark., the son of John J. and Eva May Desper. He married Emma Cochran. Col. Desper was a veteran of World War II.
    Surviving are his wife, Emma; one son, David of Gilroy, Calif.; one daughter, Mrs. Robert (Diane) Jardine of Marago, Calif.; seven grandchildren; two brothers, Joe "Mickey" of Edison, N.J., and Richard of Watertown, Mass.; and two sisters, Mrs. Theodore (June) Bryles of Chicago and Mrs. Ruth Williams of Taylorville.
    Remains will be cremated. Burial will be in Camp Butler National Cemetery at a later date.
    Connolly-McClure Funeral Home, Taylorville, is in charge of arrangements.
    [State Journal-Register, The (Springfield, IL) - May 9, 1987]

    Peggram Douglass (nee McConnell) was born Secember 22, 1806, in Blount County, Tenn. She united with the presbyterian church in the year 1824 and was married to Wm. Douglass in 1827.
    Mr. Douglass settled in Sebastian county, Ark., in 1852, where he lived until he died in 1864. His widow, Aunt Pegga, as she has long been known, died at the residence of her son-in-law, J.C. Yaden.
    In her death, her children and 4 grand children, lose the advice of a christian mother and the church a consistent and devoted member.
    [Fort Smith Elevator; Nov. 15, 1889]
    FORT SMITH, AR--The funeral of MRS. ELLA DRASH will take place from the family residence at 612 North 3rd Street Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. The burial will be in Oak Cemetery.
    Mrs Drash died Saturday night (March 5, 1910) at Hugo OK, after a long illness.
    She was twenty-four years of age. In addition to her husband she leaves two daughters, Edith aged three, and Marguerite, aged five. She also leaves her parents, one brother, Newton Bennett, two sisters, Mrs Harry Palmer of Muskogee, and Miss Pearl Bennett of this city.
    [Southwest American, Ft Smith AR, March 8, 1910; transcribed by Gene Phillips]
    ST. PETERSBURG, FL-- WALTER A. FAUSS, 72, of Fort Smith, Ark., died Saturday (Nov. 12, 1994) at Seven Rivers Community Hospital. Born in Wolf Lake, Ill., he was a winter visitor to Crystal River.
    He was a retired Army sergeant first class who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fort Smith. He was a Protestant.
    Survivors include a son, Terry, Dayton, Texas; a daughter, Donna S. Digger, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; two brothers, Ralph, Alamo, Texas, and Fred, Crystal River; three sisters, Florence Davis, Naomi Miles and Delores Hannah, all of Murphysboro, Ill.; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
    Wilder-Fountains Funeral Home, Homosassa Springs.
    [St. Petersburg Times (FL) - November 15, 1994]

    RICHMOND, KY--Businessman JACKIE PAUL FRAZIER died Sunday at his home at 229 Pleasure Drive, apparently of a heart attack. He was 50.
    Frazier was the owner of the Sub Center on Main Street and co-owner of Sharon's Hallmark Cards in University Shopping Center. He had held an interest in those businesses for about seven and six years, respectively. He was a member of Richmond Kiwanis Club and Red House Baptist Church in Madison County.
    Frazier, a native of Sebastian County, Ark., was the widower of Barbara Sue Raypholtz Frazier. Surviving are a son, Steven Earl Frazier of Richmond; a daughter, Lisa Frazier of Richmond; a brother; and a sister.
    Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Curry, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. today and after 8 a.m. Wednesday.
    [Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) - October 28, 1986]
    Funeral services for Edward Charles Gibbs, 77, who died in Fort Smith May 23, were held Tuesday afternoon at Pyeatte's Funeral Home. The Rev. Victor Coffman of Fort Smith officiated. Burial was in Oak Hill cemetery.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times; May 29, 1946]

    Edward Charles Gibbs, 77, died in a Fort Smith hospital May 23. Mr Gibbs had been a resident here[Siloam Springs] for 30 years. He is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Ernest James of Fort Smith, a son Capt. Charles Gibbs in the Army, a sister, Mrs. Millie Lare of Flint, Mich., and a brother, Harry Gibbs, of Los Angeles. Funeral arrangements are awaiting the arrival of Captain Gibbs who is coming from Germany by plane. The body is at Pyeatte's Funeral Home.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times; May 29, 1946]

    Wichita, KS– AMOS L. HOLT, 92, retired chef, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 1997. Service 2 p.m. Saturday, Northside Church of Christ, Greenwood, Ark.
    Survivors: son, Jerry of Kiowa; brother, Gilbert of Greenwood, Ark.; sisters, Bertha Smith of Pea Ridge, Ark., Inez Farrar of Cameron, Okla.; three grandchildren. McConnell Funeral Home, Greenwood, Ark.
    [Wichita Eagle, The (KS) - February 7, 1997.]
    FORT SMITH, AR-- CAROLYN JOANN HUGHES, 66, of Fort Smith left this world to meet her master on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007. After living in the Keetonville, Oklahoma community for many years, she and her husband moved to Fort Smith to be closer to family members. She was a devoted wife to her husband, Jimmy Earl Hughes for 39 years. A beloved daughter to her mother and father, Lillian and John Bell Sr. of Fort Smith, a sweet addition to the Winona and Herbert Hughes family of Arkoma. All preceded her in death. She leaves behind two sons and their family, James Earl Hughes Jr. and Debra of Tennessee and family, Megan, Candy, Cory and Charlie of Tulsa; John Vance and Michelle Hughes and family, Jared, Cassidy, Riley and Page of Muldrow; two brothers, John Bell Jr. and Jimmy Bell, both of Fort Smith; and sister, Lillian Kropp of Fort Smith.
    Arrangements under the direction of Lewis Funeral Chapel, Fort Smith. The body was cremated.
    [Unknown newspaper, c. Nov 2007 --Contributed by Kristy Fox]
    Fort Smith, Ark, Oct 25
    Rufus T. Hunt, 60, well known Little Rock Mason and Legionaire, died in a Fort Smith hospital last night. Hunt, a retired postal clerk, was stricken ill here yesterday. The body was returned to Little Rock for burial.
    [Source: Northwest Arkansas Times October 25, 1949]

    Feb. 3, 1937 -- May 20, 1998
    Greenville, AR–REV. JOHN D. KESTER, 61, of Greenwood, Ark. died Wednesday (May 20, 1998) at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, Fort Smith, Ark.
    Rev. Kester was a native of Akins, Okla. He lived in Modesto 18 years and Greenwood, Ark. the last ten years. He was owner of Greenwood Interiors and Senior Pastor of Living Stone Fellowship Church in Greenwood. He was past pastor of Nicut Community Church, Brooklyn Freewill Baptist Church in Ratcliff, Ark., and Palestine Community Church in Witcherville, Ark.
    He is survived by his wife, Barbara Kester of Greenwood, Ark.; children, Sherry Hopkins of Stilwell, Okla., Christene Bates of Huntington, Ark., Ken Kester of Mansfield, Ark., and Ron Kester of Greenwood, Ark.; brothers, Carl Kester of Hindsville, Ark., and Don Kester of Springdale, Ark.; sisters, Faye Lierman, Mildred Kiser and Myrtle Poor, all of Stilwell, Okla.; and 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
    A funeral will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at McConnell Funeral Home, Greenwood. Burial will be at Liberty Cemetery, Greenwood. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at the funeral home.
    [Modesto Bee, The (CA) - May 22, 1998]
    WADSWORTH TWP., OH –FRANK OCEPEK, 80, died June 17, 1990 at his residence. Mr. Ocepek was born in Sebastian County, Ark., and resided in Wadsworth Township 32 years. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving in World War II, and a retiree of the Midwest Rubber Co. He is survived by brothers, Anthony of Wadsworth Township, Edward and Joseph, both of Barberton; sisters, Ann Reynolds of Adamson, Okla., Agnes Lupo of Waycross, Ga.; several nieces and nephews. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment at Greenlawn Cemetery.
    [Akron Beacon Journal (OH) - June 20, 1990]
    MRS. VIRGINIA COLTHARP RICHARDS, aged 66 of Fort Smith, wife of Rev. Charles W. Richards, died Feb 16, (1982). She was a teacher in Pocahontas public schools in 1938 and 1939.
    A native of Newport, Mrs. Richards was a past president of the United Methodist Women and the Parsonettes of the Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Camden Districts of the Methodist Church. She was graduated from Galloway College and the University of Central Arkansas and received her master's degree from George Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. She formerly taught English and French in the public schools of Arkansas and Tennessee.
    Other survivors are a son, William C. Richards of Fort Smith; a daughter, Jacqueline Gentry of Ansbach, Germany and four grandchildren.
    Funeral was at 1 p.m. last Thursday at First United Methodist Church of Fort Smith. Burial was at Roselawn Cemetery.
    [Pocahontas (AR) Star-Herald, Feb 25, 1982; contributed by Freda Roberts]
    Lincoln -
    Ben H. Rogers, 72, of Fort Smith died in Fort Smith yesterday.
    He was born July 26, 1892 at Cane Hill the son of W.F. and Mary E. Reed Rogers.
    Survivors include three sons, William A. of Lincoln, James of Fort Smith, and Frank of Morro Bay, Calif.; a daughter, Mrs. Mary Frances Leothan of Jefferson City, Mo.; 4 brothers, Claude and Aude both of Lincoln, R.K. and Ray both of Fort Smith and a sister, Mrs. Henry Henson of Lincoln.
    Funeral will be at 2 pm Monday at the Presbyterian Church. Burial in Lincoln Cemetery under direction of Luginbuel Funeral Home.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times November 6, 1964]
    Retired Fort Smith Bakery Head Is Dead Fort Smith, Ark., June 11 William L. Shipley, 84, retired bakery owner and longtime Van Buren and Fort Smith business figure, died at his home here yesterday. He was ill three weeks. [Northwest Arkansas Times; Jun 11, 1938]
    Mrs. Margaret A. Simpson
    Huntsville, Oct 25-(Special)
    Mrs. Margaret A. Simpson, mother of B.W. (Dick) Simpson of Eureka Springs, was buried in the Writts Cemetery here at 2pm Sunday.She died in Fort Smith Saturday.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times October 25, 1949]
    Oklahoma City, OK-- J. FOSTER SMITH, age 92, of 1531 NW 29 St., Oklahoma City died Friday, November 26, 1982 after an extended illness. He was born April 30, 1890 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and has been a resident of OKC since 1919, having moved to OKC from Fort Smith. He was a roofing contractor who owned & operated the Smith Roofing Company until his retirement in 1973. He was a member of the Calvary Church of the Nazarene. Survivors include his wife, Marguerite Smith of the home; 2 sons, Edward O. Smith of Tyler, Texas, Joe Smith of Denver, Colorado; daughter, Dorathy Mae Meng of Minneapolis, Minnesota; 2 brothers, Clarence Smith of Fort Smith, Arkansas, William Smith of Little Rock, Arkansas; 8 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren. Services 1 pm Monday at the Calvary Church of the Nazarene in Bethany with interment in Fairlawn Cemetery. Arrangements with Guardian Midtown Funeral Home.
    [Source: The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK) - November 29, 1982 ]
    FORT WORTH, TX - PAULINE SNIDER, 84, a homemaker, died Monday, July 20, 1998, in Fort Worth.
    Funeral: 11 a.m. Thursday at Greenwood Funeral Home. Burial: Greenwood Memorial Park.
    Pauline Snider was born April 11, 1914, in Greenwood, Ark. She was a retired teacher from Greenwood, Ark., and White Settlement. She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church.
    Survivors: Husband, A.D. Snider of Fort Worth; son, Mark L. Snider and his wife, Susan, of Wichita, Kan.; daughter, Mary D. Weller and her husband, Bill, of West Hartford, Conn.; sisters, Marie Witcher of California, Josephine Maestri of Greenwood, Ark., Amelita Lamondola of Janesville, Wis., and Gloria Brown of Annandale, Va.; and grandchildren, Brent Davis of Fayetteville, Ark., Sheila Davis of Fort Worth, Lisa Jones and her husband, Matt, of Kansas City, Kan., and David Snider of Wichita, Kan.
    Greenwood Funeral Home 3100 White Settlement Road, 336-0584
    [Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) - July 22, 1998]

    BLOOMINGTON, IL--The Funeral of EDWARD J. TATMAN, 57, of Greenwood, Ark., formerly of 113 Hammitt Drive, Normal, and Hudson, IL will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home, Bloomington.
    The Rev. John J. King will officiate. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Normal.
    Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home with the rosary recited at 7 p.m.
    He died of an apparent heart attack Saturday morning (Feb. 4, 1995) at Plano, Texas, while visiting relatives.
    Mr. Tatman was born March 1, 1937, at Bloomington, a son of Roy and Mabel Gambon Tatman. He married Normagene Allen Nov. 11, 1961, at Bloomington. She survives.
    Other survivors include two daughters, Cheryl Oliver and Cara Cogswell, both of Normal; two sons, David, Plano, Texas; and Phillip, Phoenix, Ariz.; and two grandchildren.
    His parents preceded him in death.
    Mr. Tatman was a 1955 graduate of Trinity High School. He attended Illinois State University and served in the National Guard. He worked 10 years for State Farm Insurance Cos. and 28 years for The Eureka Co., retiring from its Data Processing and Systems Control department. He was past president of the Hudson Grade School Parent Teacher Association and a member of the Hudson Lions Club and the Lions Club in Greenwood, Ark. He was a former member of Epiphany Catholic Church, Normal
    [Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) - February 7, 1995 ]

    James A. Ward, Sr. Dies At Fort Smith As Result Of Fall
    Fort Smith, Ark., Feb 3 -
    James A. Ward, Sr., 93-year-old retired Fort Smith industrialist died here early this morning. Death resulted from complications after a fall he sustained at his home more than a week ago.
    Mr. Ward retired in 1937 as chairman of the board of the Ward Furniture Manufacturing Co., Which he founded in 1903. He was the owner of the Mountain Inn at Fayetteville, Ark., which is operated under leasing arrangements.
    Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Miriam Ward Goodnow, Fort Smith.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times; Feb 3, 1941]
    Miss Dorothy Wentz of Fort Smith, formerly of Elkins, died in Fort Smith Saturday morning. Mrs. Willie Wentz and children have gone to Fort Smith for the funeral.
    [Northwest Arkansas Times, Aug 14, 1945]

    Carl D. Willis, a member of the staffs of two Boston mayors and former manager of the Orchard Park public housing project in Boston, died Thursday at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, after a long illness. He was 63.
    Mr. Willis came to Boston from Ft. Smith, Ark. soon after graduating from college and met the late Mayor James M. Curley while working at a Tremont street drug store. He joined Curley's staff - the first black secretary for a mayor of Boston - in 1946 and handled citizen's complaints.
    Mr. Willis was appointed manager of the Boston Housing Development program in 1948 and remained there until 1952. That year he started working for the federal government as a business analyst for the Office of Price Stabilization.
    He returned to the city payroll in 1961 as the first assistant director for Civil Defense under Mayor John F. Collins, but soon left that post to become Collins' patronage secretary.
    In late 1963, Mr. Willis was fired by Collins for what Mr. Willis described as "that East Boston thing."
    Mr. Willis, according to published reports at the time, told an East Boston audience at a pre-election rally that year that he "was one of the 78,000 people who voted for a lady with us tonight, and I am proud of her."
    He then pointed out former Boston School Committee member Louise Day Hicks, who was the leading opponent of the NAACP's efforts to get the committee to recognize that de facto segregation existed in the school system at that time.
    Mayor Collins never publicly explained the reason for Mr. Willis' dismissal.
    Mr. Willis rejoined the Boston Housing Authority in 1963 as the manager of the housing projects in the South End. When he retired in March of last year, he was the manager of the Orchard Park housing project in the South End.
    Mr. Willis was born in Ft. Smith, Ark. and attended local schools there. He graduated from the Arkansas A&M College in 1939.
    Mr. Willis was a long-time resident of Braddock street in the South End.
    He leaves his wife, Madeline (Francis) Willis; four sons, Carl D. Willis Jr., David F. Willis, Stephen P. Willis and John M. Willis, all of Boston; a daughter, Carla M. Willis of Boston and a brother, Samuel Willis of Ft. Smith, Ark.
    A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Chisolm funeral Chapel, Boston. Burial will be at the Mt. Hope Cemetery, Mattapan.
    [Source: Boston Globe, The (MA) - January 10, 1981]

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