Passages: spring 2021

Julia Tranum Hawley (’45), 95, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died Sept. 20, 2020. She and her husband moved to Milwaukee in 1951 when he began work with the 35th and Cherry Church of Christ and later with Southside Church of Christ. For more than 50 years, she taught fifth and sixth grade and women’s Bible classes at Southside. She also counseled teens at Wisconsin Christian Youth Camp. She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Monroe (’45). She is survived by her children, Wayne (’72), Dale, Glynda Giemza and Glenn; 12 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. 

Hilda Fern Anthony Brady (’47), 98, of Conway, Arkansas, died Dec. 10, 2020. She attended Harding and graduated from University of Central Arkansas with a B.S. in home economics. She taught in several schools throughout Arkansas, with the largest portion of her career spent teaching fourth grade at Mayflower Elementary. She was a founding member of University Church of Christ and attended there for more than 55 years. For the past several years, she was a member of Robinson and Center Church of Christ. She volunteered at Conway Regional Hospital, tutored reading to underprivileged children, participated at the local and national level in the Republican party, and worked at the polls. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur. She is survived by three children, Phyllis Moore (’62), Anthony Brady and Susan Baker; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

Charles Hodge (M.A. ’53), 88, of Dallas, died Nov. 1, 2020. He was a fixture on Harding’s Lectureship programs for decades and was so much a part of the program that he was named a “Lectureship Living Legend” in 2015. He also was presented with Harding’s Distinguished Christian Service Award in 1983, and he and his wife received it together in 2000. He was a preacher for more than 60 years at churches throughout North Texas and Arkansas. The primary churches he served were Rosemont Church of Christ, Duncanville Church of Christ and Bardwell Church of Christ. He authored more than 22 books during his lifetime, including Amazing Grace and Will God Run?. He was in demand for gospel meetings, leadership retreats, and as an after-dinner speaker. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Helen Maupin (’52); four children, Sherri Marchant, Terry Hallmark, Jack and Jerry; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. 

Bobbie Jahliel “Bob” Nossaman (’55), 86, of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, died Aug. 19, 2020. He earned an M.S. at the University of South Dakota. He taught school for many years in Iowa, Kansas, and at York College in York, Nebraska. He also worked in quality assurance for Protein Technologies division of Ralston Purina in Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis. He preached and taught Bible classes for more than 50 years at congregations throughout the Midwest. He was a gifted athlete, who played ball into his 60s. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Betty Berry (’56). He is survived by four sons, Larry (’56), David, Robert (’83), and Doug (’89); a sister, Rita Rhodes (’53); 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Gay Sue Willis Bowers (’56), 86, of Shreveport, Louisiana, died July 28, 2020. She attended Port Arthur Business College after Harding and worked for Gulf Oil Refinery until her first child was born. She later worked for the Caddo Parish School system with special education children for 24 years. She taught Bible classes for younger age groups. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Clayton Sr.; four children, Clayton Jr. (’78), Connie Boyd (’79), Tammye Jackson (’80) and Randal (’83); 10 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. 

Maynard “Bud” Hammans (’58), 89, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, died April 3, 2020. He enlisted in the Air Force as a jet mechanic during the Korean War. He obtained a master’s degree in Bible from Eastern New Mexico University. He and his wife became missionaries to Japan and Australia and later ministered to churches of Christ in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Minnesota. He also served as a hospital chaplain at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In his later years, he served in prison ministry and helped Chinese-Americans improve their English using FriendSpeak and the Bible. He was known for his encouragement. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Sue Billingsley (’59); three children, Felicia (’98), Mark and Cindy Yeats; and four grandchildren. 

Heywood Ray Loyd (’60), 82, of Searcy died Aug. 17, 2020. After joining the Air National Guard in 1961, he served his country six years. He loved rebuilding cars and was an entrepreneur. He taught school and later owned and operated W-R Motor Supply in Searcy. He was a member of Pangburn Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jean Croom (’64); two children, Vikki Church and Robert (’87); five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

Thomas “Tom” D. Brister (’61), 82, of Beebe, Arkansas, died Nov. 14, 2020. He served as a church of Christ minister for several congregations and retired from preaching at Austin Church of Christ after 18 years. He also worked for DHS as a social worker at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He was active in Lads to Leaders and loved to garden. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Juanez Smith (’62); three sons, Tim (’88), Trent (’92) and Thad (’96); one brother, Wendal “Jeff”; and five grandchildren. 

James “Jim” Forrest Grady (’63), 79, of Jacksonville, Arkansas, died Aug. 1, 2020. He taught school for 26 years and was named teacher of the year in 1971. After retiring from teaching, he worked as a courier for Fujifilm, where he became one of only two couriers to achieve a million miles accident free. He enjoyed collecting decorative eggs, was an aficionado for the arts and a member of the church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Kay Baker. He is survived by his daughter, Scarlett (’93); and two brothers, John (’68) and Daniel (’73).

William H. “Bill” Hunter (’63), 80, of Searcy died Jan. 12, 2021. He was a member of the 1959 inaugural football team. He spent 16 years in education and worked for Weyerhauser for four years before opening Hunter Insurance Agency, which he had for 25 years before retiring in 2006. He led singing at church and sang with a barber shop quartet, a praise group, and at weddings and other events. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Jane Turner (’63); four children, Todd (’87), Kim Magness (’88), Amy Bowman (’91) and John (’94); a brother, David (’68); 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

Jerry Wayne Whitehead (’66), 76, of Knoxville, Tennessee, died Oct. 12, 2020. He spent most of his career in real estate beginning with RM Moore in Knoxville and later moving to O’Connor, Piper and Flynn in Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland. He and his wife, Susie, moved back to Knoxville in 1994 and are co-owners of Gables and Gates Realty, and developers of Bridgemore in Farragut, Tennessee. He was a member of the church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Susie Lash; and a sister, Laura Horn. 

Robert James “Jim” Howard (’68), 75, of Shreveport, Louisiana, died Oct. 23, 2020. In the 1970s he joined the family business started by his father and uncle and eventually served as president of Howard Brothers Discount Stores. Later, the family entered the warehouse club business opening the first Super Saver Wholesale Club in Shreveport in 1994 with Jim serving as executive vice president. Three years later, Super Saver would be purchased by Walmart. He would spend his semi-retirement working on other family businesses. He is survived by his wife, Linda Devore; two children, Stacy and Chad (’94); five stepchildren, Ryan, Robert, Trenton and John Redstone and Leah Sheehey; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Paul Randall Hughes (’69), 73, of Maumelle, Arkansas, died Jan. 1, 2021. In 1971, he and two others established Dox Sporting Goods in Nashville, Arkansas, which expanded to include a clothing store. He later opened Hughes Printing, which burned during a historic fire. He was instrumental in establishing other local businesses in Nashville including Sonic Drive-In and Tastee Freeze. He loved sports and was a basketball official for many years. Serving as the first Nashville City Park director, he secured land and began the development of what is now Nashville Parks and Recreation. He changed career paths after the store fire and entered education as a teacher in Blevins, Arkansas. He earned a master’s degree in education from Ouachita Baptist University and a specialist degree from East Texas State University. He became an elementary principal and then superintendent at Blevins and later at his hometown of Delight, Arkansas. As superintendent, he was one of 25 Arkansans appointed to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Education. During his 25 years in education, he served as president of Arkansas School Business Officials and Arkansas Rural Education Association, and was president-elect of Arkansas Education Administrators Association before retirement. After retirement, he moved to Maumelle and became involved in jail and prison ministry and served as a volunteer prison chaplain at Ouachita Regional Correctional Facility and at Cummins Prison. He taught classes and preached at several small congregations in southwest Arkansas spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Karan Bowline; two sons, Toby (’99) and Hayden (’11); two siblings, Carolyn Holmes and Howard; and four grandchildren. 

Ray Forsyth Medlock Sr. (’69), 80, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, died July 27, 2020. With an interest in electronics and communications and an eagerness to serve his country, he joined the Arkansas National Guard in 1956, serving more than 30 years. A lieutenant colonel, he also served in the U.S. Army Reserves and taught Army Signal Corps classes. He directed an adult education program in North Little Rock for nine years, retiring in 2007. He earned a Master of Science in education in 1990 and an education specialist degree in 1994 from University of Central Arkansas. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He was a member of Windsong Church of Christ for more than 40 years, an Eagle Scout and amateur radio operator. He is survived by two children, Ray Jr. and Margaret Guthrie (’88); and five grandchildren.  

Richard “Dick” W. Shenfeld Jr. (’69), 73, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, died Dec. 3, 2020. He earned his master’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. He spent his first five years teaching at Huntertown Junior High and then taught health, physical education, driver’s education and coached at Homestead High School for 35 years. He retired in 2010 as the HPE department head and head boy’s cross-country and track and field coach. As a middle-distance runner, he was a member of the New Haven High School Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee into the Indiana Track and Cross-Country Hall of Fame. He enjoyed competing in local road races and track events. In retirement, he continued his involvement in the sport as a track and field official. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Diane Haeger; a daughter, Jala McLaughlin; his mother, Norma; and three siblings, Bob, Roger and Pam Short.

 Gary Dewayne Caudle (’70), 72, of Benton, Arkansas, died Oct. 7, 2020. He received his Master of Science in applied mathematics from the University of Arkansas. He was a member of Northside Church of Christ, where he previously served as a shepherd, and also at Barrow Road Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Maude; three daughters, Rebecca Sipes,
Melissa Baxley (’00), and Ashley Clancy; his mother, Louise; and seven grandchildren. 

Freeman Hicks (’70), 91, of Harriman, Tennessee, died Dec. 26, 2020. He worked at Burlington Mills Corp. from 1948 until he joined the U.S. Army in 1950. He served in the Korean War until he was honorably discharged in 1952 with the rank of staff sergeant. He worked full time to support his wife and three children while attending Harding. After obtaining his degree, he became a full-time minister and served churches of Christ in many areas in the South, including Danville, Virginia; Scottsville, Kentucky; Moulton, Alabama; and lastly, his home congregation in Harriman from 1980-2018. He also was instrumental in assisting and supporting the Sevier Drive Church of Christ in Harriman. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Agnes Griffin; three children, Freeman Randal, Cynthia Plemens and Andrea Underwood; a sister, Geneva H. Dailey; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. 

Diann Jane Williamson Huston (’70), 72, of Grove City, Ohio, died Aug. 12, 2020. She taught art in Reynoldsburg City Schools for more than 20 years. After leaving teaching due to hearing loss, she worked for Nationwide Insurance. She also worked with Girl Scouts of America and Cochlear America and was a member of Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Paul; two daughters, Clarissa Miclat and Amber Scott (’06); and four grandchildren.

Paul Edward Noles (’70), 72, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, died Dec. 24, 2020. After graduating from Harding, he entered the U.S. Air Force and served one year in Thailand as an operational intelligence specialist. Upon discharge, he went to work at Coleman Dairy, Reesers and Cintas as a catalogue sales manager. He was a member of North Pulaski Church of Christ in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and served as a part-time minister and teacher. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Donna Sue Gilbert; a son, Johnathan; two siblings, Richard and Mary Frances; and three grandchildren. 

Carol Garrett Bailey (’72), 69, of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, died Sept. 21, 2020. Her life was dedicated to serving others. She volunteered with the ladies auxiliary at Northeastern Christian Junior College and coordinated their annual Country Fair. For more than 40 years Carol volunteered her talents to serve Camp Manatawny where she coordinated rentals, food service, was chief cook, and served on the board of directors. She was a longtime member of the North Penn Church of Christ, North Wales, Pennsylvania; and was a tireless volunteer, teacher and servant. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Jim (’72), two daughters, Allison Gladfelter (’00) and Lauren Popeck (’01); and four grandchildren.

Sherry Ann Smith Grisson (’79), 64, of Tuscumbia, Alabama, died Nov. 10, 2020. She worked at Bank Independent before her children were born. She also was librarian at the Colbert campus of Mars Hill Bible School. She loved music and taught many children to play the piano. She was a member of Tuscumbia Church of Christ. She is survived by her husband, Steve; two children, Shannon Rickard and Seth; a brother, Gale H. Smith; and three granddaughters. 

G.K. Pennington (HST ’00), 72, of Vienna, West Virginia, died Dec. 19, 2020. A minister with more than 51 years of service, he was working with the Riverside Church of Christ in Williamstown, West Virginia. He also was a professor at Ohio Valley University. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Glenda Jo Pitman; three children, Marissa Reinsch, Michael and Steven; four sisters, Beverly Johnson, Andra Watson, Dale Rushing and Cheryl Gutierrez; and a grandson. 

Matthew “Matt” Steele Fitzgerald (’09), 35, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, died Nov. 26, 2020, from COVID-19. He spent most of his adult life serving as a missionary in Honduras. He oversaw a feeding program, El Comedor de Vida Nueva (the New Life Feeding Center), where about 200 children received a hot lunch each day and attended school. In addition, he fed and ministered many adults who made their living collecting recyclable items at the Tegucigalpa city dump. He and his wife managed a children’s home providing permanent housing to 20 children. While in Honduras, he also led a ministry called Honduras Hope in which he directed teams of volunteers in various humanitarian aid projects such as home construction and medical clinics. He wanted people to know Jesus, and lived out his calling of feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and caring for the orphaned. He is survived by his wife, Nicole Tindall (’08); three daughters, Haley, Emma and Paige; his parents, Ronnie and Cheryl; and a brother, Austin. 

Jack Thomas Lewis (’20), 25, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died Oct. 26, 2020. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing and golf. He recently moved to Big Sky, Montana, to start a new adventure. He is survived by his mother, Mary Thomas (’87); his father, Jonathan (’87); and two brothers, Thomas and Robert. 

Lottie Mae Nichols, 89, of Searcy, died Nov. 14, 2020. She worked in banking and savings and loan services most of her life. When her children entered college, she worked at the Harding University Bookstore from 1985-98. She loved bowling and was part of the women’s bowling league in Searcy. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Loren (’50). She is survived by two children, Kris and Cindy Wyatt (’89); and five grandchildren.

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