Alene Crabtree, 84, died Saturday, April 5, 2003 in Fort Smith. She
was born on May 30, 1918 in Crawford County, Arkansas.
Mrs. Crabtree was the longtime coach of the Alma Airedalettes basketball
and track teams. She began her career as girls athletic coach in Mountainburg
and Mansfield before beginning her tenure in Alma in 1947. During her career
in Alma, she compiled a record of 668 wins and 291 losses. Her basketball
teams won two state championships, one state runner-up, six state semifinals
and appeared in the state tournament in 24 seasons. Coach Crabtree won
numerous county conference and Joe T. Robinson tournaments. She had 25
players selected as all-state basketball players. Her track teams were
equally as successful, winning two state championships and setting numerous
state records, some of which still stand today.
Coach Crabtree was a founder of the girls basketball all-star game,
including coaching in the first game. For her entire career she was a driving
force behind the emergence in Arkansas of girls’ basketball. She was a
past president and chair of the Arkansas State Girls Athletic Committee.
Her career was filled with honors and awards, including being named the
Arkansas Outstanding Girls Basketball Coach in 1978, the Arkansas Outstanding
Girls Track Coach in 1978 and 1980 and the Arkansas Girls Coach of the
Year in 1978 and 1984. In 1986 she received the Curtis King Award from
the Arkansas High School Coaches Association and in 1995 she was inducted
into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame. After her
retirement in 1984, the Alma School District renamed the gymnasium in which
she had spent her illustrious career the “Alene Crabtree Gymnasium,” the
only facility in the Alma School District to be named after an individual.
Mrs. Crabtree is survived by her husband, E.J., a daughter, Joyce Adams
of Alma, a granddaughter, Pam Adams of Fort Smith and a grandson, Bert
Adams of Fort Smith.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Alene Crabtree
Gymnasium at Alma High School. Internment will be at Forest Park Cemetery
in Fort Smith.
Pallbearers will be Tony Cherico, Charles Dyer, Richard Fimple, Jim
Gregory, Eulis Pridgeon and Frank Vines. Honorary pallbearers will be all
of the “Crabtree Girls.”
Memorials will be made to the Coach Alene Crabtree Scholarship Fund,
c/o the Alma Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2359, Alma, AR 72921.
Bobby Dewayne Massey, 49, of Alma died Tuesday, April 7, 2003, at a
local hospital. He was a cook and of the Baptist faith.
Survivors include one sister, Loretta Sheffield of Alma; and two brothers,
David Massey of Fort Worth, Texas, and Clyde Massey of Fort Smith.
Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Gracelawn Cemetery
arbor. Burial will be at Gracelawn Cemetery under the direction of Ocker
Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Nellie Marie Parks, 83, of Van Buren died Sunday, April 6, 2003, at
a local hospital. She was a member of Pleasant Valley Church of Christ
and a homemaker.
Survivors include two sons, Charles Earl Parks and Paul Allen Parks,
both of Van Buren; one sister, Hasseltine Wilson of Van Buren; five grandchildren
and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Ocker Memorial Chapel in Van Buren.
Burial was at Gill Cemetery under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Clay Parks, Jason Parks, Jimmy Wilson, Kenneth Wilson,
George WoodardManuel Senteno and Randy Coleman.
Pearl Titsworth, 85, of Van Buren died Thursday, April 3, 2003, at
a local nursing home. She was a self-employed beautician and a member of
Kibler Baptist Church.
She is survived by her husband, Glenn; two daughters, Sharon Newman
of Fort Smith and Jayne Withers of Fort Worth, Texas; two sisters, Violet
Organ of Fort Smith and Dee Creekmore of Van Buren; a brother, Dallas Crabtree
of Holtville, Calif.; and two grandsons.
Funeral service was held April 7 at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home in
Van Buren with burial at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith.
Pallbearers were Eual and Glenn Titsworth, Rick Green, Jim Arnold,
Richard Organ and Berry Collins.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Harry E. Talbott, 76, of Van Buren died Friday, April 4, 2003, at a
local nursing home. He was retired from Buckner-Fleming Products Co. He
was an Army veteran of World War II and attended Concord Baptist Church.
Cremation will be under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van
Buren. No service is scheduled.
He is survived by two daughters, Joy House of Van Buren and Peggy Jones
of West Harrison, Ind.; four sisters, Janette Hoskins, Christine Townsend,
Freda and Faye Preston, all of the Mitchellsburg, Ky., area; seven grandchildren
and two great-grandchildren.
Gary Bruce Burkett, 53, of Fort Smith died Saturday, April 5, 2003,
in Fort Smith. He was a self-employed mechanic, of the Pentecostal faith
and an Air Force veteran.
Graveside service was held April 8 at Baxter-Burkett Cemetery near
Kibler under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home of Fort Smith.
He is survived by his companion, Linda Kelley of the home; two daughters,
Linda Burkett of California and Samantha Burkett of the home; two sons,
Gary Bruce Burkett of New Mexico and Gary Ray Burkett of Texas; his parents,
Jessie and Shirley Burkett of Van Buren; two sisters, Lisa Burkett and
Sharon Russell, both of Van Buren; two brothers, Billy Burkett of Van Buren
and Roger Burkett of Russellville; and five grandchildren.
Evelyn Wade, 92, of Mulberry died Friday, April 4, 2003, at a Van Buren
nursing home. She was the daughter of Franklin Randolph Crouch and Lena
Whitlock and a member of the Crawford County Genealogy Society. She was
the widow of Gurley Wade.
Survivors include nieces and caregivers, Sue Selby of Mulberry and
Annette Zehring of Rogers.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Shaffer Funeral Home Chapel in
Mulberry with the Rev. Dade Kindrixs officiating. Burial was at New Cemetery
Pallbearers were John Selby, Bryant Renfro, Robert, David and Wayne
Whitlock and Jared Zehring.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Evelyn Wade Memorial Fund,
c/o Allied Bank of Mulberry.
Rita Arnold Snoddy, 94, of Alma died Sunday, April 6, 2003, in Fort
Smith. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Van Buren for
more than 50 years.
Memorial graveside service was held April 8 at Forest Park Cemetery
in Fort Smith under the direction of Fentress Mortuary of Fort Smith.
She is survived by three daughters, Mary Pratt of Alma, Rita Davis
of Fayetteville and Anita Paddock of Fort Smith; two sisters, Mildred Wolf
and Dorothy Jacob, both of California; a brother, Mack Arnold of Oklahoma
City; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville
and the Mulberry Public Library Building Fund.
Jean Geneva Moon Harris Breuer, 87, died March 15, 2003, in California.
Born in Rudy, she graduated from Van Buren High School and nursing school
in Wichita, Kan. She moved to San Francisco in 1940 and was married 20
years to Michael W. Harris. After his death, she was married to Albert
Breuer for 30 years.
Survivors include a daughter, Sharon Harris, and a son, Michael D.
Harris, both of San Carlos, Calif.; one brother, Robert Gene Moon of Canyon
Lake, Texas; one granddaughter and one great-grandson.
Albert Shipley, 85, of Van Buren died Monday, April 7, 2003, at a local
hospital. He was a retired water treatment plant operator in Woodburn,
Ore., an Army veteran of World War II and a resident of Crawford County
Survivors include his wife, Frances; eight daughters, Marie Garcia
and Florence Fillmore, both of Hornbrook, Calif., Barbara Taylor of Camby,
Ore., Phyllis Sartnurak and Donna Shipley, both of Fort Worth, Texas, Mary
Smith of Vancouver, Wash., Wanda Guenther of Tulia, Texas, and Paula Swarek
of Wiggins, Miss.; eight sons, Everette, John and Leroy, all of Vanouver,
Ken of Oregon, Levil of Sandy, Ore., Ray of Monta and James Charles of
Van Buren; 38 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Funeral service was held April 8 at Hall Cemetery in Natural Dam under
the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers were Leroy, Ken, J.C., Edward and Jimmy Shipley and Chris
Archie Dean Willis, 69, of Kibler died Thursday, April 3, 2003, at
a local hospital. He was a member of the Sunnyside Assembly of God Church.
Survivors include his mother, Lennie Willis of Kibler; four sisters,
Shirley Corbin of Effingham, Ill., Renda King and Kaye Ellison, both of
Van Buren, and Jane Ellison of Alma; and two brothers, Benny Willis of
Van Buren and David Willis of Kibler.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Sunnyside Assembly
of God Church. Burial will be at Porter Cemetery in the Hunt Community
near Clarksville under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be Gail Ellison, Jerry Ellison, Wayne Ellison, Carl
Sears, Wayne King, Charles Willis, Bobby Willis and J.C. Shipp.
Nerene “Mur” Warren, 83, of Alma, formerly of Fort Smith, died Thursday,
April 3, 2003, at a local hospital. She was a member of Grand Avenue Baptist
Church and a retired telephone operator.
Survivors include her husband, Paul Warren of Van Buren; one son, Nathan
Joe Warren of Alma; four brothers, Jimmy Bullington and Steve Bullington,
both of Barling, and Delmar Bullington and Hugh Bullington, both of Fort
Smith; and three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Barling First Baptist
Church. Burial will be at U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the
direction of Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.
Pallbearers will be Randall Bullington, Roger Bullington, Eddie Abel,
Robbie Abel, Raymond Beckham and Rodney Beckham.
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
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.