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Obituaries - June 12, 2013

Stanley Farmer

The Rev. Dr. Stanley Farmer, 84, of Van Buren died Tuesday, June 4, 2013, after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was a veteran of the Korean War. He served as minister of the Presbyterian churches in Maxwell, Iowa, from 1955-64 and Yellville from 1964-83 before being called to Van Buren Presbyterian Church, where he retired in 1996. Following his retirement, he continued as interim minister in Fort Smith, Berryville, Paris and Ozark. He was one of the founders of the food bank Compassionate Ministries where he served as director and was a dedicated volunteer, loading and unloading cases of food in his old Chevy pickup as long as he was able.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; one daughter, Sarah Earll and husband Bryan of Monrovia, Calif.; two sons, Danny of Bella Vista and Don and wife Anne; and grandsons, Paul and Tim of Bentonville.

A celebration of his life was June 11 at First Presbyterian Church in Van Buren followed by a reception and visitation.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 363 Van Buren, AR 72956 or Compassionate Ministries, 3812 Kibler Road, Van Buren, AR 72956.

To place an online tribute, go to www.lewisfuneralchapel.net.

Ronald Burkett

Ronald Erving Burkett, 70, of Van Buren died Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at his home. He was born Oct. 8, 1942, in Van Buren to the late Orville and Carmen Burkett. He was a retired entrepreneur. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Joyce Burkett.

He is survived by two daughters, Ronda Burkett and fiance Jerry Baty of Van Buren and Renee Burkett and husband Michael Cruise of Van Buren; a sister, Kathy Miller and husband Larry of Van Buren; a brother, Kenneth Burkett of Sacramento, Calif.; 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Graveside service was June 10 at Gill Cemetery in Van Buren under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

Pallbearers were Michael Cruise, Jerry Baty, Rodney Gathright, Kristen Nix, Robert Voth, and Sierra Nix.

To place an online tribute go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.

Bobby Rice

Bobby Bruce Rice, 72, of Van Buren passed away into eternal life on Thursday, June 6, 2013, after an extensive illness. Bobby was born on Dec. 15, 1941, in Fort Smith to Robert Wesley and Anna (Holder) Rice. Bobby had many friends and enjoyed making custom pocket knives and repairing and refinishing guns. In his early years he loved to fish and hunt; he killed his first deer at age 10. In his later years he became an animal lover who didn’t want any of them killed.

He is survived by two children, Bruce Rice and wife Kathryn of Fort Smith and Diane Reynolds of Conway; four grandchildren, Justin Wright and wife Erica; Jennifer McBroom and husband Mark, Kendall Rice and Daniel Rice and wife Elise; two great-grandchildren, Eli McBroom (the apple of his grandpa’s eyes), and Elyah James Wright who will be born in October; two sisters, Barbara McDaniel of Fort Smith and Joan McDonald of Van Buren (his caregiver and confidant).

The family wishes to acknowledge his long-time friend and doctor, Henry Edwards, MD, hospital nurses, Linda Aaron, RN, and Rachel Ball, RN, and all the doctors and caregivers of Peachtree Hospice.

Funeral service was June 11 at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Chapel with interment at Salem Cemetery in Cedarville under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

To place an online tribute go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.

Charles Martin

Charles Martin, 84, of Van Buren died Friday, June 7, 2013, in Fort Smith. He was born April 18, 1929, in Fort Smith, served in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was a driver and salesman for White Dairy.

He is survived by his wife, Patsy; two daughters, Marsha Martin of the home and Vickie Despain of Huntsville; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was June 10 at Gracelawn Cemetery in Van Buren under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

Kenneth Brenton

Kenneth Douglas Brenton, 73, of Alma died Friday, June 7, 2013, at his home. He was born Oct. 17, 1939, in Bismarck, Ark., to the late Ora B. and Floy Brenton. His service to his country with the U.S. Navy included NTC San Diego, Calif., Subase New London, Conn., USS Bugara (SS 331), USS Razorback (SS 394), Comeight Nrlns, La., Naval Advisory Group Viet, Comsubgru One, USS Baya (AGSS 318) and USS Wahoo (SS 565). He was a lifetime member of the Razorback Submarine, Little Rock. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Margaret Naylor, Janice Sanchez, and Barbara Brenton; and a brother, Delbert Brenton.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Brenton of the home; three daughters, Eva Carlson of San Diego, Debra Seward of Port Angeles, Wash., and Katherine Granger of Bemidji, Minn.; five sons, Ted Ragsdale of Eagle, Colo., Terry Ragsdale of Fruita, Colo., Lloyd Ragsdale and Kenneth Brenton of Alma and William Sinniger of San Diego; a sister, Shirley Lobdell of Cedarville; a brother, James Brenton of Malvern; 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Mr. Brenton will be cremated under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

To place an online tribute go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.

Hilda Nigh

Hilda Hill Nigh, 82, of Van Buren died Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Fort Smith. She was born Jan. 21, 1931, in the Graphic community. She was a beautician and widow of William “Bill” Nigh.

She is survived by a daughter, Karen Tanner of Fort Smith; three sons, Tommy Hill of the Graphic community, Larry Nigh of Kansas and David Nigh of Alma; five grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Graveside service was June 11 at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in Van Buren.

Jimmy Jenkins

Jimmy Lloyd Jenkins, 73, of Van Buren, affectionately known as “Squirt,” passed away Saturday, June 8, 2013, at a local hospital. He was born in Fort Smith. He was retired from the U.S. Postal Service in Fort Smith and the 188th Air National Guard. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He was an avid outdoorsman. He was preceded in death by his mother, Isa Hammons’ and a brother, Pat Jenkins.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. today at Ocker Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Aaron Matthews officiating. Burial and full military honors will be at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 50 years, Joyce of the home; one son, Jim Jenkins and wife Cindy of Van Buren; one daughter, Karen Sebo and husband Mike of Fort Smith; five grandchildren, Kenra Newton and husband Brian, John, Jimmy, Francene and Mandi; two great-grandchildren, Haylee and Cole; one brother, Bill Jenkins; and one sister, Jean Robertson of Little Rock.

Pallbearers will be Greg Beyerle, Sam Beyerle, Jim Jenkins, Barry Ferguson, Mike Sebo and John Jenkins.

Online tributes: www.ockerfuneralhome.com.

Larry Keller

Larry Keller, 64, of Van Buren died Sunday, June 2, 2013. He was born Feb. 3, 1949, in Oklahoma, fabricator for Yaffee Iron and Metal and member of the Black Widows Motorcycle Club.

Memorial service will be held at a later date. Cremation was under the direction of Fentress Mortuary in Fort Smith.

He is survived by two sons, Cody Keller and Seth Keller, both of Fort Smith; mother, Wanda Dillard of Alma; and two grandchildren.

Memorials may be sent to Bost, Inc., P.O. Box 11495, Fort Smith, AR 72917.

Carolyn Rogers

Carolyn Ruth Rogers, 67, of Alma died Sunday, June 9, 2013, at a local hospital. She was born June 9, 1946, in Poteau, homemaker and member of Kibler United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her husband, Roy; a daughter, Gina Flores of Roland; a son, Blake Rogers of Alma; a sister, Beverly Denham of Fort Smith; a brother, Ray Smotherman of Fort Smith; five grandchildren a great granddaughter.

Funeral will be 1 p.m. today at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren with burial at Gracelawn Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Terry and Mikey Earls, Scott Peters, Bill Bartholomew, Eddie Vansell and James Ray Smotherman.

Memorial contribution may be made to the Kibler United Methodist Church, 19 E. Kibler Highway, Alma AR 72921.

James Pitts

James D. “Jimmy Dale” Pitts, 67, of Alma died Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Fort Smith. He was born Feb. 19, 1946, in New Castle, Ind., graduated from Alma High School in 1966 and was a bricklayer and carpenter.

He is survived by a sister, Della Beam of Van Buren; three half sisters, Tanya Joyner of Kilgore, Texas, Rotanda Hay of Minford, Ohio, and Rovella Scalley of Orlando, Fla.; and four half brothers, Charles and Dayne Pitts, both of Minford, Ohio, Earl Pitts of Lucasville, Ohio, and Tim Pitts of Kanagawa, Japan.

A memorial service will be 2 p.m. on Saturday at Pilot Grove Cemetery in Ozark. Cremation will be under the direction of Lewis Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith.

Judy Philpott

Judy Kay Philpott, 53, of Cedarville died Saturday, June 8, 2013, in Tahlequah. She was born July 2, 1959, in Van Buren, cashier for the Cedarville Dollar General and widow of Bennie Philpott.

She is survived by three daughters, Karessa Haley of Rudy, Kim Johnson of Greeley, Colo., and Josie Cowan of Cedarville; father, David Cook of Cedarville; three brothers, David Cook Jr. of Cedarville, Michael Cook of Van Buren and Barry Cook of Alma; and eight grandchildren.

Graveside service will be 10 a.m. today at Hall Cemetery in Natural Dam under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Cowan, Brandon Haley, Casey Johnson and Michael, Barry and Cory Cook.

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