James "Tiny" Ferguson, 56, of Brinkley was waved home by life's third base coach on March 5th, 2019. "Tiny" as he was known, was born on January 14th, 1963 to the late Jerry Ferguson and Sarah Randall Ferguson. At 6'7", Tiny was a large man but never used his size to gain an advantage, he preferred to help others and had a gentle soul. For many years Tiny delivered newspapers for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Prior to that, he worked as a machinist and at the donut shop. Whereas Tiny had an impressive collection of various dragons, swords, and modal cars; it was baseball that captivated him the most. Tiny will truly be remembered by his volunteer efforts with the Brinkley Baseball Commission and as a Little League Baseball Coach. Most might not know that it was his brother, Jeff, who first suggested that he and Tiny coach baseball when a family member had a team but no coach. After Jeff began coaching softball, Tiny stayed with baseball and for more than 15 years thrived as a mentor and coach.
Tiny is proceeded in death by his father, Jerry, and one nephew, Travis Nail. Surviving to cherish Tiny's memories are his mother, Sarah Ferguson of Brinkley; three sisters, Sandy (Buddy) Henley of Brinkley, Barbara Nail (Henry Ford) of Brinkley, Kim Stowe of Norfork, VA; and one brother, Jeff Ferguson. Tiny will be missed by many in Brinkley and will be remembered the most every spring when baseball season begins. Honorary pallbearers will be Carvell Butler, Brandon Dooley, Gary King, Brian Linderman, Anthony Ferguson, B.J. Henley, Gerald Henley, and Derek Petty. Tiny's memorial service will be 2:00 pm Saturday, March 23rd at Fowler Funeral Home Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bank of Brinkley c/o Brinkley Athletic Association.
Bettye Sue Moore, 87, of Cotton Plant, passed away February 22nd, 2019. She was born in Woodruff County, AR to the late Rommie Moore and Bessie Parnell Moore on March 21st, 1931.
After losing her father in a tragic accident in 1967, Bettye Sue devoted her life to the Lord and helping her mother. She would continue that devotion of helping and loving others throughout her life.
Bettye Sue always had an affinity for teaching, especially children. After graduating from Cotton Plant High School in 1949, Bettye Sue studied Music Education at the two-year school Arkansas Baptist College and then completed her B.A. at the Arkansas State Teacher's College (now University of Central Arkansas). She later extended her music studies at a Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth.
After getting her degree, Bettye Sue worked at the Cotton Plant High School doing administrative duties. She would later work for Delta Plywood Corporation in Cotton Plant, a business owned and operated by her uncle, Paul Parnell, and then as a bookkeeper for Bobby Robinson’s Seed Plant, also in Cotton Plant.
Bettye Sue was very active, she attended every school and university reunion held until her health no longer allowed it and was well known for her love of music, singing, and performance arts. Bettye Sue often wrote poetry, especially birthday tributes, to family and friends. Bettye Sue served for many years as the Choir Director for the Cotton Plant First Baptist and Wiville Baptist Churches and led the music for revival services at Cotton Plant’s Methodist Church. She also performed for many community organizations and events throughout her life including the Cotton Plant Hypsion Club.
Bettye Sue loved children with a passion and had an outgoing personality with a great sense of humor and a contagious laugh. She taught voice lessons and presented her students in annual recitals at Cotton Plant High School, and conducted a quartet for many years. In 2012 Bettye Sue suffered a serious fall at her home, which resulted in meeting her "late-in-life" family at The Crossing at Riverside in Searcy.
Bettye Sue is preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Paula Jeanne Moore. Those remaining to cherish her memory are several cousins, Lynda Hollenbeck, Hugh Moore, Bubba (Jan) Parnell, Larry Parnell, Joyce (Charles) Reeves, Pat Marshall, Paul (Jan) Parnell and Ronnie (Christine) Parnell; other cousins, Paul, Sue and Jason Campbell, Karen and Joey Brannon, Hayley (Josh) Wilcox with children Brae and Whit, Abbey Brannon (fiancé Trey Bishop), Molly Brannon, Max Brannon, and Allen, Melissa and Lucas Campbell; her family from The Crossing at Riverside, and Stephanie Randall, who became a close friend and confidante during her time in Searcy.
Funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of Cotton Plant, on Monday, March 4th with visitation beginning at 12 noon. Burial to follow at Cotton Plant Cemetery.
Frederick Eugene Applegate, 69, of Holly Grove, passed away February 24th, 2019. He was born to the late Fred Applegate and Mable Hendon on March 5th, 1949. Whereas Freddie was born as Applegate, his step-father Jim Brimer raised him from early childhood.
As most residents of Arkansas, Freddie enjoyed fishing and hunting. He is best known as being a man who always gave more than he took, from charity to others in need, Freddie was there to assist in any way he could. It was with that attitude he joined the United States Army in January of 1971. During the ensuing years, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal along with the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medal. Freddie received his Honorable Discharge and began his long career as a Woodsman with Timber King.
Freddie is preceded in death by his parents; two daughters, Angela Renee, and Anna Denise; along with two grandchildren, Jeremy, and Lori. Surviving relatives include a daughter, Lapanda Applegate, one brother, Jimmy (Jamie) Brimer of Almyra; four sisters, Carolyn Weaver of Brinkley, Susie Craig of Clarendon, Neasbeth (Terry) Alexander of Clarendon, and Katherine (John) Grabert of Almyra; along with two grandson, Tommy, and Shelby; and two great-grandsons, Tyler, and Alexander. Freddie will also be missed by a host of other family and friends.
Visitation will be at 1:00 pm with funeral services at 2:00 pm on Friday, March 1st, at Brown Funeral Home, Clarendon. Burial will be at Upper Cemetery.
I.B. WILLIAMS, 100
Isaac Benjamin "I.B." Williams, of Biscoe, always said he would live to 100 years old, and he was correct; his body survived to the age of 100 years, 11 months, and 29 days. I.B. was born in England, Arkansas on February 12th, 1918 and passed away surrounded by family in Des Arc on February 10th, 2019. I.B. never had the opportunity to know his biological parents as his mother died shortly after his birth and his father, Isaac Earl Williams, two years later.
After I.B.'s parents' tragic deaths, his step-sister, Grace Hagler, and her husband, Mark took him to raise along with their two infant children. Over the next century, I.B. was preceded in death by many family members; including, two young sons, Billy Wayne, and Bobby Ray; brothers Earl Williams, Paul Hagler, L.D. Hagler, and Jimmy Hagler; sisters, Delphia Tucker, Eulalah Flynn, Beatrice Harden, Delores Sipes, and Miriam Wessell.
Like most others of his generation, he got married and worked hard for a living. I.B. met his wife, Ima Jewel, at church and after sitting behind her so he could pull her hair, he told a buddy that he was going to date her. The friend told I.B. that Ima's daddy did not allow her to date. Well, I.B. asked to walk her home from church and did not care it took him six miles out of the way. He would be glad he walked the extra miles for the next 81 years, as this is how long he and Ima Jewel were married. They were honored at the Governor's Mansion in 2018 for being the longest married couple in Arkansas and second oldest in the United States.
I.B. believed the secret to a long life was bacon, eggs, and chocolate gravy and having milk at every meal. I.B. had a desire to serve Christ as a Deacon at the Biscoe Assembly of God; he served others in the congregation as the guitarist in the choir. I.B. enjoyed all manners of sports and was a boxer in his youth and his love was for his family. Married on September 4th, 1937, he and Ima Jewel shared the title of "Youngest" and then, years later, "Oldest Couple" in Biscoe Farm Project, as it was known then. Along with his spouse, I.B. leaves behind one daughter, Anita (Jimmy) Avants; one son, Ike (Renee) Williams Jr; three grandchildren, Monica (Ray) Cheek, Katrina Avants, and Valerie Williams; six great-grandchildren along with a host of other family and friends.
Services will be held at Biscoe Assembly of God Church at 2:00 pm on February 15th, 2019 with visitation one hour prior. Burial to follow at Biscoe Cemetery.
LESLIE "NEAL" HENDRIX
Leslie Neal Hendrix, 56, of Brinkley, passed away January 26th, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family. Neal, as he was known by all, was born in Marianna, AR to the late Laura (step-father Sonny) Parrish Hendrix and Verneal (step-mother Frances) Hendrix on July 30th, 1962.
Neal was a true southerner who chose the life of a farmer with Henard Farms as a career. He also enjoyed fishing catfish some much that he would double-dip by setting up trot-lines before heading to shore to fish from the bank as well. The fish were not the only thing Neal was known to catch. When he went into the woods, it didn’t matter what game he found, he hunted it. Neal would bring rabbit, squirrel, and deer home to his family with relative ease.
Neal also found a way to serve his fellow Americans. He served in the National Guard which included an overseas engagement to Peru and during the eighties, Neal was a proud fireman in the deep south of Louisiana. His southern ways did not change when it came to music; Neal was a big fan of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd along with recording artist Robert James Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock.
Hard work did not elude Neal even during his battle with cancer. It was known for him to mow and weed-eat right after completing a chemotherapy session. Neal came from a generation where being a man meant something different than it does today. He was proud of that fact.
Neal is proceeded in death by his parents and two sisters, Victoria Zeringue, and Crystal Hendrix. Those remaining to cherish his memory are spouse Sheila Hendrix; four daughters: Ashley (Ben) Haynes, Katie (Joe) Haynes, Leslie (Brandon) May, and Whitney (Terry) Hendrix. Neal also leaves behind one nephew, who he raised as his own son, Steven (Carlisha) Hendrix; and two sisters, Louise (Pete) Oswalt, and Sandra Hendrix; along with seven grandchildren: Ashlyn, Gage, Rian, Ka’lee, Taylyn, Terry Jr., and Logan.
Visitation will be from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at Fowler Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, January 30th with services beginning at 3:00 pm. Burial to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, Moro AR.
ROMEY MAURICE BYRD
Romey Maurice Byrd was born to the late Clinton Byrd and Mamie Jones Byrd in Salem Community, Arkansas on April 10, 1939. He passed away with his loving wife by his side on January 9, 2019, at his home, known as "The Cabin" in Fifty-Six, Arkansas.
Romey was one of the last students to graduate from Moro High School. Once he finished school, he started the last career he would ever know: farming. Romey did not miss much time at his farm but was known to get away to enjoy his favorite pastime, hunting. Whereas he wouldn't refuse to go fishing, Romey was a hunter first. He also loved to drive his tractor and four-wheelers, especially when he had a grand or great-grandchild to take with him. Romey would check rice fields on a dirt bike before the days four-wheelers. In one memorable incident, he was watching rice more than the road and ended up wrecking the bike into the side of a ditch system that was stocked with an alligator to keep the beaver’s population low. He had to pick-up the Honda 250 and get it cranked again to ride home, all with a dislocated shoulder. To sum it up, if it had a motor, he liked to drive it. Romey was also a fan of football, notably the Cowboys and he really enjoyed watching the Yankees play baseball. While he was a true American man who loved the outdoors and sports, Romey was genuinely a home-body. It was in the hills of northern Arkansas where Romey found his home, Fifty-Six. In 1995, Vira and Romey bought and sold and bought more land to start the dream of building "The Cabin". Over the ensuing years, Romey spent more and more time at "The Cabin” in Fifty-Six and it was in the early 2000's when one day he and his wife of 44 years, Vira Graham Byrd, met in the hall of their Palestine home with him carrying a small box in both hands. Romey exclaimed "I'm moving to the hills" and bounded out the door without another word. A week or more went by before he returned to ask Vira, "Aren't you coming with me?"
Romey was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Robert "Robbie" Hamilton; brother, Kenneth Byrd; and sister Clara Sue Jumper. Romey is survived by his wife, Vira; four daughters, Pamela (Russ) Jackson, Maurica (Bill) Dooley, Sharye (Phillip) Burrow, and Annette Hamilton; six grandchildren, Beth (Andy) Hale, Megan (Billy) Tompkins, Josh (Kathryn) Dooley, Alex Dooley, Caleb Jackson, and Jordan Jackson; and five great-grandchildren, Myra and Alba Hale, Noah Tompkins, Beau and Cash Dooley. Also remaining to cherish his memory are, two brothers, Derward (Virginia) Byrd, and A.D. (Bonnie) Byrd; along with two sisters, Letha Wheeler, and Ernestine Wright; along with a host of other family and friends.
Funeral services will be held at Salem Methodist Church on Saturday, January 12th, at 10 a.m. with burial following at Salem Methodist Church Cemetery. Romey's visitation will be at Fowler Funeral Home Chapel, Brinkley on Friday, January 11th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.