Passages: fall 2020

Nancy Ruth Mullaney Chapman (’44), 97, of Dallas died July 12, 2020. She met her husband in Pattie Cobb Cafeteria in 1940. They married in 1941 and, when he felt led to become a minister, she grew to fully embrace her role and responsibilities as a minister’s wife. They shared an urgent call and strong love for those who did not know the Lord. Many years of local church of Christ ministry were spent in Kansas City, Kansas; Athens, Georgia; and Port Arthur and Dallas, Texas. Through First Century Way of the Cross Ministry, a charitable organization the couple created, they were instrumental in planting and strengthening churches across the South and Midwest. When the ministry established a nursing home in Fort Worth, Texas, to assist elderly ministers and others in need, she became a certified dietary manager to lead that department. Their final work was as advocates to address the inner-city Dallas needs of both aging members and the homeless population attending Main Street Church of Christ (formerly Peak and Eastside), where they worshiped. She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Adair Pinckney Chapman Jr. (’43); and a son, Adair III. She is survived by two children, Nancy Jan Chapman-Green (’69) and Larry Lynn (’82), two granddaughters; and four great-grandchildren.

Mary Belle Garner Helsten (’47), 94, of Columbus, Ohio, died May 1, 2020. She and her husband did mission work in Germany for six years before moving to Searcy. She taught fourth and fifth grade at Harding Academy for 28 years. She was known for reading The Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time to her class each year. After living in Searcy for 51 years, she and her husband moved to Columbus, Ohio, to be near their daughter. She was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Robert (’46). She is survived by two children, Robert (’73) and Patricia Petrella (’75); four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

Betty Spruell Bates (’48), 91, of Memphis, Tennessee, died June 28, 2020. She was an educator who served Harding Academy of Memphis for 27 years. She taught English for several years and then served as vice president for curriculum and instruction. She was a longtime member of White Station Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Claude. She is survived by two daughters, Donna Kent (’75) and Claudia Boswell (’77); five grandsons; and six great-grandchildren. 

Joseph Henry Mitchen(’48), 93, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, died May 7, 2020. He earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Louisiana State University. He worked for Winchester R+D and Ethyl corporations. His job as a research chemist at Ethyl allowed him to travel to Europe, Asia, India, South America, and Australia. He served as a pulpit minister and helped plant congregations in New Haven, Connecticut; Port Allen, Louisiana; and Baton Rouge. He served as an elder for churches in South Baton Rouge and South Corpus Christi, Texas. He was preceded in death by a son, Michael. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Jane Zazzi (’48); six children, Diana Jones (’68), Linda Brooks (’75), Susan Collins, James, Richard and Charles; 16 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren. 

Maxine Grady Shepherd (’49), 92, of Searcy, died July 27, 2020. In 1947, she helped clear the ground to start Camp Wyldewood, where she taught classes for campers and gave swimming lessons for 10 years. She taught school while earning her degree and was Harding’s first female physical education teacher and women’s intramural director.  She taught in many places in Arkansas, including Paris, Newport, McCrory, Beedeville and Fort Smith. She taught at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee; and also Ogden, Utah; Lubbock Texas; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Dickson, Tennessee. She retired at 72. She and her husband spent summers in Arizona teaching Navajo children. In 1999, the couple joined Sojourners Church of Christ Mission and traveled the country in an RV with groups doing volunteer work at small churches, children’s homes and Bible camps until 2014, when she could no longer travel. They then moved to Searcy and worked with World Bible School. She was a member of West Side Church of Christ. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Doug; and a son, Michael. 

Ermal Eugene “Gene” Catterton (’50), 92, of Mayfield, Kentucky, died May 4, 2020. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Philippines. He earned a Master of Science in Education from Arkansas State University in 1954 and a Master of Science from University of Arkansas in 1963. He taught mathematics and science for 13 years in Weiner, Hickory Ridge and Wynne, Arkansas. He completed his years with Wynne Public Schools as the coordinator of federal programs, retiring in 1987. He lived in Wynne for 42 years where he was active with the Kiwanis Club and chaired the Red Cross blood drive for 17 years. In 1984, he was honored as a Wynne Distinguished Citizen. His deepest love was for God, and he served as an elder at Wynne Church of Christ for nearly three decades and four years at the University City Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida, where he lived from 2002-08. He and his first wife visited 49 states and several foreign countries, mostly during their years with Sojourners, a Christian service organization. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Fayrene Imboden (’50). He is survived by his second wife, Barbara Holland; three daughters, Judy Thomas (’71), Holly Allen (’73) and Gena Granberg (’79); nine grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.

Francis Burl Curtis (’50), 90, of Searcy died June 6, 2020. He received a master’s from Harding School of Theology in 1975. For 17 years, he and his wife worked in the mission field in South Carolina where he preached for five congregations, planting three of the five. Side by side, they conducted home Bible studies, campaigns, Bible camps, Vacation Bible Schools, and owned and operated a Christian book store. They conducted more than 100 Bible teacher workshops in 12 states. They also operated Curtis Kindergarten in Searcy, caring for preschool and kindergarten students for more than 30 years. During his lifetime, he wrote hundreds of articles published primarily in Carolina Christian magazine and Gospel Light. He was passionate about his work with Truth for Today World Mission School, where he served on the board of directors. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Evelyn Hayes (’53); four children, Larry (’77), Rebecca McLain (’79), Beth Hoofman and Kevin (’94); 14 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. 

Lewis Erwin Yingling (’50), 94, of Searcy died April 4, 2020. During World War II, he was a corporal in the Army Air Corps and was part of the occupation forces in Bavaria, Germany. He had a broad career including Kroger, HUD, White County Hospital, Kensett and Judsonia Housing Authorities, plus his own home design business. He was a song leader at Sylvan Hills Church of Christ and most recently a member of West Side Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dot Munger (’48); second wife, Helen McLeod; and a son Phillip. He is survived by two sons, DeWitt (’76) and J.D. (’82); and five grandchildren. 

Joe Nell Flynt (’51), 91, of Greenway, Arkansas, died Feb. 17, 2020. 

Hugh D. Newcomb (’51), 90, of Meridian, Idaho, died March 30, 2020. He attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, where he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. After two years, he realized it was not the profession for him. One of his patients persuaded him to come work in the oil fields. He worked for Fluid Packed Pump Co. for the next 32 years as a salesman and area manager, finishing out his career as a production manager in Los Nietos, California. Retirement brought him to Boise, Idaho, to be near grandchildren. He worked retirement jobs at Producers Lumber Co., Plaza Suite Hotel and Idaho Banking Co. A natural storyteller, he wrote a book, A Collection of Stories out of Arkansas, which he enjoyed promoting and selling. He also wrote columns for small newspapers in southwest Arkansas. He was a member of Linder Road Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary Jo Walker (’51), who died June 21, 2020; three children, Linda James (’70), Gary (’72) and Kathy Harris (’75), who died July 12, 2020; a sister, Billye Newcomb; seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. 

Mary Jo Walker Newcomb (’51), 90, of Meridian, Idaho, died, June 21, 2020. She was a devoted wife and mother, seamstress, and a member of Linder Road Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Hugh (’50). She is survived by three children, Linda James (’70), Gary (’72) and Kathy Harris (’75), who died July 12, 2020; seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. 

Valle Horton Richmond (’52), 90, of Searcy, died July 5, 2020. She was the consummate housewife. She enjoyed her involvement in book clubs and the Red Hat Society, was a reader to visually impaired individuals, served as a teacher’s aide, and was a host to foreign exchange students. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Clarence Jr. (’50); four children, Beth Hendrix (’74), Robin, Melanie Roseberry (’79) and Charles; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. 

Guy Roger Vanderpool (’56), 86, of Nashville, Tennessee, died Oct. 21, 2019. He earned an M.A. in diplomatic history from George Washington University. After graduating from Harding, he was drafted and joined the U.S. Army’s Counter Intelligence Corp. After his term in the Army, he worked as an analyst for the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, where he spent his 35-year career. While a Department of Defense employee, he served under nine U.S. presidents and received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for “distinguished and unselfish service, loyalty and devotion.” After retiring in 1996, he started a second career teaching. As a visiting professor at Lipscomb University, he taught the history of Russia, China and international relations. He was a member of Woodmont Hills Church. He previously taught Sunday school classes at Bowie Church of Christ in Maryland where he served as an elder. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joanne Edmondson; two children, Laurie Anglin and Guy; three brothers, Harold (’58), John (’58), and Roy (’60); five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. 

Gilbert Allen Truitt (’57), 93, of Sitka, Alaska, died July 10, 2020. He earned a Master of Arts in education from Arizona State University in 1972. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Juneau and Fort Richardson, Alaska. He returned to Mount Edgecumbe, his high school alma mater, in 1957 where he taught history and physical education, was basketball coach, activities/academic director and administrator until retiring in 1990. The activities center on the MEHS campus is named for him. He was honored with five MEHS yearbook dedications and was the first student athlete to be inducted into the Mount Edgecumbe Hall of Fame. He also was involved in youth baseball as a coach/manager for many years and was a basketball referee for 18 years. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, a meritorious award from the University of Alaska Southeast, a citation and commendation from the Alaska legislature, and a Sitka street is named after him. The Alaska School Activities Association inducted him into the very first cohort of the ASAA Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2009, the Alaska Federation of Natives named him “Elder of the Year,” and in 2018, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska presented him with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. For several years, he wrote a column, “Gilnettings” for the local paper. He was inducted into Harding’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017 as a distinguished coach/alumnus. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Guilford; three children, Phil, Ken and Laura; and nine grandchildren. 

Robert Lee Williams (’57), 86, of Jasper, Alabama, died May 18, 2020. He loved Jasper and worked there more than 62 years. Active in the community, he was president of Jasper Kiwanis Club for several years. In addition to his full-time employment, he filled in as a preacher for several different churches of Christ in Walker County. He was a member of Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. His life centered around his faith, family and church. He is survived by his wife, Sally Taylor (’57); three children, Angela Sasser, Steve and Richard; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. 

Doris Jean Loudermilk Dalton (’64), 89, of Searcy, died April 25, 2020. In 1976, she took a position with Harding as a dorm director and remained in that position for 25 years. She attended churches of Christ her entire life. She is survived by two children, Joy Slayton (’98) and Jim; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

Marilyn McElroy (’65), 76, of Weatherford, Texas, died March 5, 2020. She earned her master’s from Eastern Michigan University. She taught for a total of 34 years, beginning in Oglala Community High School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and ending with Warren Woods Public Schools in Warren, Michigan. After moving to Palm Springs, California, she worked in the box office for the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. She also worked with the boy’s basketball program at Cathedral City High School. She was active in several book clubs and volunteered at the Palm Springs Public Library. She moved to Weatherford in 2016 to be nearer to family and was a member of South Main Church of Christ. She is survived by a sister, Kathleen Poznick. 

Roger Eugene “Butch” Carey (’68), 75, of Helena, Montana, died May 27, 2020. After college, he joined the U.S. Army stationed at Pirmasens Army Depot in Germany. After his honorable discharge, he went to work on the family farm at Fort Benton, Montana. He attended Helena College in Helena, Montana, and studied diesel mechanics. He also attended Montana State University where he earned a teaching certificate. He taught school at three different Hutterite Colonies. He earned a Juris Doctor in 1993 from University of Montana Law School. He was admitted to the state bar of Montana and practiced law in Helena until his retirement. He was a member of Morning Star #5 Masonic Lodge and served as worshipful master. He also was a member of Marysville Lodge #51 and York Rite. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jeanette Bach. He is survived by his sister, Cyndi Thornton. 

Carolyn Ann Cowan Hook (’68), 74, of Bentonville, Arkansas, died April 13, 2020. She was a talented artist, painter, crafter and interior designer with a passion for herbal foods and their efficacy for health. A devoted Christian homemaker and minister’s wife, she served as a member of Bentonville Church of Christ for 40 years. She led sixth-grade Bible classes and studied and taught biblical evidence and archaeology. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Walton (’67); two sons, Todd (’92) and David (’95); her stepmother, Virginia Cowan; two siblings, Joe Cowan and Jan Arcidy; two stepbrothers, Paul Parrish and Jon White;
and five grandsons. 

Arthur “Art” Lee Hudkins (’68), 73, of Battlefield, Missouri, died May 7, 2020. After college, he served 14 months in Vietnam as a forward observer for the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division. After his service, he earned a master’s degree in radio and television from Syracuse University. He earned a Juris Doctor from University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law. He worked for the FCC in Washington, D.C., before moving into private practice in Springfield, Missouri, in 1978. He served on the Zoo Board and was legal counsel for Missouri Broadcasters Association as well as Springfield Ad Club. He served as an elder at Sunset Church of Christ in Springfield and in Brookline where he aided in the church plant. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Irene Curtis (’71); three children, Sean (’99), Bryan (’98) and Eric (’98); two “adopted” sons, T.J. Robinett and Matt Seats; and 16 grandchildren. 

Rodney “Rod” Vernon Holland (’69), 72, of Corvallis, Oregon, died March 23, 2020. He obtained a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Western States Chiropractic College, a CCSP from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, and an MBE from the Academy of BioEnergetics. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and, later, in the Oregon Air National Guard. He established his Corvallis chiropractic office in 1979 and practiced until January 2020. In recent years, he authored a book focused on the efficacy of natural medicine. He was a member of Circle Church of Christ in Corvallis where he served 26 years as an elder, teacher and worship leader. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda Brown (’71); three children, Karie Slater, Jason and Travis; a brother, Van; and seven grandchildren. 

Deborah “Debbie” Kathryn Parkey Latimer (’70), 71, of Searcy died July 4, 2020. She was a long-time business education teacher at Searcy High School. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jackie. She is survived by her daughter, Holly (’96); and a granddaughter.

Wayne Scott (’70), 71, of Ennis, Texas, died June 12, 2020. He received a master’s from Harding School of Theology in 1977. He worked as a campus minister at Henderson County Junior College in Athens, Texas, and then spent six years teaching Bible at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1983, he became a partner in the bookkeeping firm, Oldroyd and Scott, in Corsicana, Texas. He received his CPA license in 1997. His accounting career included 24 years as controller at Berry Chrysler Motors and three years as CFO for Prairie Pet Ingredients. He served as an elder and Bible teacher at several churches, the last at the church of Christ on Country Club Road in Ennis. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Oldroyd (’70); two sons, Tim (’93) and Ryan (’97); a sister, Kathy Leonard; and three grandchildren. 

Kathy Newcomb Harris (’75), 67, of Boise, Idaho, died July 12, 2020. She earned a degree in medical technology from University of Arkansas. She worked as a med tech for several years before staying home to care for her daughters. She served as president of Boise State University Bronco Athletic Association where she headed the department’s fundraising. She ran and walked several marathons and half marathons. She was a member of Cole Community Church leading women’s Bible studies and going on mission trips. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Randy (’75); two daughters, Gretchen Arguedas (’04) and Darcie Altree; two siblings, Linda James (’70) and Gary Newcomb (’72); and one grandchild. 

Beverly Ann Bucy Frizzell (’77), 64, of Harrison, Arkansas, died Aug. 13, 2020. She was a teacher and administrator in schools in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. She retired as elementary principal at Valley Springs, Arkansas, after 20 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Terry. She is survived by three children, Jena Estes, Terry and Jamie Hedden; her father, Jess Bucy; a sister, Carol Knight (’74); seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Norman Fisher Hale Sr.(’79), 80, of Searcy died July 20, 2020. Before becoming an educator, he served in the Army National Guard. He taught vocational agriculture and carpentry before becoming an elementary principal. He served as vice president of finance for Northeastern Christian Junior College. He also spent many years as a preacher in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. He was a retired EMT from Bald Knob Ambulance Service. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Browning (’62); three children, Gerri Lilly (’84), Norman Jr. (’90), and Judy Hall (’89); a sister, Arlene Everett; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. 

Thomas W. Schmidt (M.A.Ed. ’81), 72, of Dayton, Ohio, died July 24, 2020. He received an M.Div. from the Athenaeum of Ohio. He was ordained on May 15, 1999, at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Cincinnati, by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. He retired from active ministry on June 30, 2018. 

Rhonda Gail Porter Ingalls (’81), 61, of West Fork, Arkansas, died March 22, 2020. During her 25-year teaching career, she taught elementary school in Spokane and Seattle, Washington, and Anaheim, California, before moving back to West Fork after her husband’s U.S. Coast Guard retirement. She taught special education and elementary education in the public school systems of West Fork, Winslow and Greenland. She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Kenneth; two daughters, Rebecca Lehew and Rachel (’16); her father, Junior Leon Porter; and three brothers, Ronnie, Randy and Rusty Porter. 

Ron Mashburn (’84), 58, of Sherwood, Arkansas, died March 21, 2020. He was a residential building contractor. He loved gun collecting, hunting, fishing and coaching. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Karen; two children, Ryan and Alexa Grace; his parents, Curtis and Doris; a sister, Lisa Elfrink; and a granddaughter. 

Raymond “Ray” Lacy (’85), 77, of Kensett, Arkansas, died May 8, 2020. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, retiring as sergeant first class. Remembered for his sense of humor, he enjoyed his radio program and found joy in deejaying events and radio shows. He was a deacon at Judsonia Church of Christ. He is preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Ruth Ann Newton. He is survived by his three children: Scott (’94), Chris (’88) and Avriel Brown (’98); a sister, Joyce Cummings; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Nathan Lee Malone (’87), 58, of Oklahoma City died January 20, 2020. While at Harding, he played tennis and was two-time all conference in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference and two-time all NAIA District 17. He recently played in the 7.5 division at the USTA League National Championship Tournament representing the Missouri Valley Region. He spent several years training horses and then moved into sales where he won numerous awards in sales and sales management at Purina Mills, Frontier Auto Group, and Chappell Supply and Equipment. He ended his career as director of tennis at Hidden Trails Country Club in Oklahoma City. He is survived by his mother, Mary Ann; two sons, Kobie and Collin; and two sisters, Glenda (’78) and Voni Ribera (’79).

Vicki Martin McMinn (’87), 55, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, died June 30, 2020. She was a homemaker and member of the churches of Christ. She enjoyed working with and helping children, which was shown through her dedication in the schools for which she worked. She is survived by her husband, Mark; two children, Caleb (’14) and Caitlyn (’18); her mother, Marifred Hamm Martin Johnston; and one sister, Connie Clepper (’84). 

Ross Spurlock (’89), 56, of Maumelle, Arkansas, died July 6, 2020. He worked as wildlife enforcement officer for Arkansas Game and Fish for more than 32 years. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and was an avid golfer. He is survived by one son, Ryan; and two brothers, Mike and Steve. 

April Winebarger Yoder (’04), 38, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, died June 16, 2020. She was a real estate agent for Weichert Realtors where she received the 2019 President’s Award as one of the top performing agents in sales. She had a deep love and talent for music. She was a member of Ephrata Area Church of Christ. She is survived by her husband of 14 years, Sam; three children, Samuel, Savannah and Isaac; her parents, Weldon and Brenda Winebarger; and a brother, Nathan D. Winebarger. 

James “Jim” Rodenbeck, 53, of Searcy died July 16, 2020. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in music education from Butler University in 1989. He spent most of his adult life as a professional trombonist, performing with the Circle City Sidewalker Stompers Clown Band, the Starry Knights Big Band, as the principal trombonist of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, and was the founder of the Basement Brass Quintet. He moved to Searcy where he studied computer science and was a business analyst at Harding. He is survived by his wife, Stacey Dineen; two children, Susan and Christian; his father, Jim; and his sisters, Kellee Helbig and Heather Alexander. 

Donald Eugene Allee, 81, of Searcy died, Aug. 3, 2020. He was a custodian at Harding from 1979-2000. He was a member of Cloverdale Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Linda Murphy (’65); one daughter, Lisa Boggan; and three grandchildren.

Albert Dale English, 80, of Searcy died Sept. 7, 2020. His love for Searcy showed in his many contributions to the city. He was alderman on the Searcy City Council for 33 years beginning in 1987 until his passing. In addition, he worked 20 years with the Searcy Fire Department and retired as captain. He served in the Arkansas National Guard for 22 years, retiring as sergeant first class. As a charter member, he spent 30 years with the Searcy Girls Softball League. He was a member of the Arkansas Officials Association and was a high school football official for 25 years. He worked at Harding Press as a folder operator from 1995-2004 and was a member of First Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Hazel Huntley; two daughters, Kristy Parish and Tiffany; a brother, Robert; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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