Passages: fall 2021

Thelma Ellenburg Revel (’48), 95, of Augusta, Arkansas, died June 24, 2021. In 1946 she began her teaching career in Augusta where she was a member of First Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, John William. She is survived by two daughters, Patti Dewberry and Deborah Middlebrooks; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. 

Jacqueline Canada Dunlap (’51), 91, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, died May 7, 2021. She earned her medical technologist training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Her career took her to Pine Bluff where she worked at Davis Hospital and for the Jefferson County Health Department as a medical technologist. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff, where she taught Sunday school and worked in the nursery. After her husband, Martel, died in 1982, she took over the family business, Dunlap Monument Co., which she owned and operated until her retirement in the late 1990s. She is survived by her two children, Lee Ann Boop and David; and three grandchildren. 

Curtis Kenneth Ward (’51), 91, of Richardson, Texas, died June 23, 2021. He pursued a career in finance, aviation and banking in both Wichita, Kansas, and Dallas, Texas. He was a member of Poplar Avenue Church of Christ in Wichita and Waterview Church of Christ in Richardson. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 53 years, Mary Wood; his second wife, Peggy Cooley; and a son, Warren. He is survived by two children, Roger and Melinda Adwon; a brother, Wendell; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

Henry Kenneth “Ken” Rhodes (’53), 89, of Lubbock, Texas, died July 1, 2021, from cancer. He completed his master’s degree at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. In 1968, he completed his doctorate of education at Texas Tech. He joined the nascent staff at Lubbock Christian College in 1959 and taught Bible and history. He served in the LCC administration as dean of students where he was known to balance the letter of law with both humor and grace until he retired in 1993. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Carolyn Poston (’52); four sons, Brant, Kent, Kevin and Kerry; and five grandchildren. 

Doris Elaine Harmon Fulks (’53), 89, of Apopka, Florida, died July 16, 2021. She spent most of her life as a homemaker. She was a volunteer at Lee’s Summit (Missouri) Elementary School. She worked for a candy factory and in her parents’ radio store and grocery store in Chicago, and the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in Huntington, West Virginia. She taught school at Pangburn, Arkansas, and retired from Jones Store in Kansas City in 1994. She was baptized into Christ by Andy T. Ritchie while a student at Harding. She was a Bible class teacher for many years and was a member of Plymouth Church of Christ. In 2008, she and her husband established the William and Doris Fulks Distinguished Chair of the College of Bible and Ministry at Harding, which became active in 2015. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, William “Bill” (’53); a sister, Thelma Griffin; two children, Wanda Jean Ritchie and Michael; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. 

Barbara Oteka Kee (’54), 91, of Wichita Falls, Texas, died April 28, 2021. She and her husband planted churches in the Northeast, including Levittown, Pennsylvania; Salisbury, Maryland; and Collinsville, Illinois. They then spent 20 years as missionaries in Cameroon, West Africa, and later worked in Belize. She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Windle (’53); three children, Carl, Paul and Alicejoy Taylor; a brother, Bud McFarland; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

Susie Jewell Combs Ozbirn (’55), 90, of Searcy, died May 8, 2021. She taught school until the arrival of her first son and then was a full-time homemaker until the last of her four sons enrolled. She then returned to teaching, supervising the Migrant Education Program at White County Central Schools. She was honored as a Teacher of the Year in the migrant education statewide program. She completed a master’s degree in education at the University of Central Arkansas and retired in 1992. She was a long-time member of the White County Iris Society and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a member of College Church of Christ since 1947. She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Wade (’49). She is survived by four sons, David (’78), Randall (‘’88), Clark (’85) and Gregory (’87); three siblings, C.V. Combs, Geneva Lawyer (’62) and Shirley Murray. 

Ewing Marsh Goodson II (’57), 85, of McMinnville, Tennessee, died Dec. 11, 2020. After graduation, he became head football coach at Harding Academy in Searcy. During the early and mid-1960s, he held various coaching positions including track coach at David Lipscomb University and head football coach at high schools in Rockwood, Tennessee, and Griffin, Georgia. In 1967, he became a member of the inaugural faculty at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tennessee. He was Jackson State’s first athletic director, first baseball and basketball coach, and was instrumental in charting a course for the school’s future athletic success. In 1968, he assisted in founding the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association, now the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association. He served as its president in its second and third years. He obtained his master’s degree in physical education from George Peabody College and in 1975, he obtained his doctorate in physical education from Middle Tennessee State University. He then returned to Jackson State to work in campus administration for nearly two decades and instituted Jackson State’s night school program, managed the school catalog and coordinated graduation. He retired in 1999 as Jackson State’s assistant dean of academic affairs. In 2013, he was inducted into the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, he moved to McMinnville, Tennessee, where he was a member of Central Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Katharine Pearsall; two children, Marsha Dennison (’86) and Jeff (’94) and four granddaughters. 

Carl Ray Russell Sr. (’57), 87, of Manchester, Tennessee, died May 18, 2021. On Sept. 22, 1949, he suffered a broken leg during a high school football game which never fully healed. Resilience and toughness became his defining characteristics from that day forward. He earned master’s and specialist degrees in education from Middle Tennessee State University. He taught and coached at East Junior High in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and Coffee County Junior High. In 1966, he began teaching at Coffee County High School and ultimately became the vocational director and assistant principal. He was named Outstanding Tennessee Vocational Administrator in 1991 and retired in 1998 after 41 years of service. Life after retirement was filled with community service and church ministry. Among other pursuits, he served as a Coffee County commissioner, board chairman of Coffee County Christian Housing, and board member of Manchester Chamber of Commerce. During his long career in the pulpit, he served the Berry (Alabama) Church of Christ, Hillsboro Church of Christ, Hickerson Station Church of Christ and Trousdale Church of Christ. He held many gospel meetings in Tennessee and Alabama. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Carol Stubblefield (’58); three children, Ray, Jeanne Newton and Julie Edwards; a brother Gerald; and seven grandchildren. 

Nadine Fern Pasley Hill (’58), 86, of Riverhead, New York, died May 17, 2021. She and her husband, Jerry, co-founded Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, a place where troubled children could live, be loved, feel safe and have wide open spaces to ride horses. They started this organization after a tragic accident ended their son Timothy’s life at age 13. To commemorate his life, she wrote a book entitled Graduation to Glory, referring to Timothy’s graduation from this life into heaven. Decades later, she authored Gifts from Glory, which is the true account of prayers God answered during her lifetime, hoping to let others know of God’s desire to hear their hearts. She and her husband were named Harding’s 2004 Distinguished Alumni. She was a loving person who focused on encouragement and hospitality. She was preceded in death by two sons, Timothy and Thomas. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Jerrell (’61); three sons Titus, Thaddaeus (’95) and James (’99); and five grandchildren. 

Jack William Case (’60), 90, of Mesquite, Texas, died June 25, 2021. He served two years in the U.S. Army before completing his bachelor’s degree at Harding. He worked for the federal government, first at the Internal Revenue Service and then retired from the Veterans Administration Regional Office as the personnel director after 33 years of service. He was a member of Windsong Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he served as an elder for 50 years. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Janece Morgan; two children, Michael (’79) and Susan Walker; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. 

Jerry Wayne Thompson (’61), 83, of Cordova, Tennessee, died May 28, 2021. He had the desire to dedicate his life to full-time Christian ministry from his youth, expressing his faith, being baptized and then accepting preaching appointments while in high school. In 1962, he became minister of the church of Christ in Cyril, Oklahoma. Beginning in 1965, he served as a missionary for eight years in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, where he helped establish the Mona Heights congregation and the Jamaica School of Preaching, both of which have grown and continue to serve the island. In 1973, his family returned to the U.S., serving eight years in Memphis, Tennessee, at Holmes Road, 12 years in McCrory, Arkansas, and 12 years in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at Nettleton. In 2005, he and his wife returned to the Memphis area to Woodland Hills Church of Christ in Cordova, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Linda Forrester; two sons, Tim (’86) and Danny (’88); and five grandchildren. 

Johnny Ray Bryant (’62), 83, of Paragould, Arkansas, died July 31, 2021. He was a teacher and coach at Ross High School and then Bourbon High School. He also became a preacher and spread the gospel on the radio. He is survived by three children, Dew, Tami and Jen Lewis; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Marlin D. Hilton (’67), 75, of Richmond, Virginia, died April 21, 2021, from ALS. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring with the rank of colonel in 1998. He then started a career in the trucking industry and served as vice president of safety and compliance with CalArk Trucking for almost 20 years before his second retirement in 2017. He was a member of the church of Christ who loved helping others, his family and reading. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Karen K. Mayhall (’67); and two daughters, Holly (’93) and Heather (’95).

Hiroko Sando Robertson (’68), 75, of Searcy, died May 9, 2021. Roki, as she was called by those who knew her, dedicated her life to making sure that everyone felt valued and loved. Born in Hachioji, Japan, she loved tending to the Japanese students who attended Harding. She was preceded in death by a son, Kenny (’97). She is survived by her husband, Marvin (’69); three children, Andrea Baker (’94), Wilson (’00) and Jill (’08); a sister, Keiko; and 11 grandchildren. 

Sara Lou Keesee Gibson (’69), 74, of Commerce, Texas, died July 17, 2021. Upon graduation, she and her husband moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to work with the church. In 1976, the couple moved to Abilene, Texas, where she started a sewing business to supplement the family income as her husband completed his Master of Divinity at Abilene Christian University. In 1980, the couple moved to Commerce, Texas, to work with the Commerce Church of Christ. She hosted hundreds of church members, college students and visitors. She also taught the nursery class for many years and often accompanied her husband visiting the sick and shut-ins. She also ran an in-home daycare for a number of years and catered meals for the Commerce Rotary Club. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, David (’69); four children, Melissa Dalbert, Andy, Monte, and Susan Darnell (’09); a brother, Carl Keesee; and eight grandchildren. 

Richard “Terry” Fruzia (’70), 78, of Dallas died June 10, 2021. He served his country in the Army, active and reserves, for 24 ½ years, attaining the rank of master sergeant. His service time included Vietnam and Desert Storm. His first job after graduation from Harding was in Kouts, Indiana, teaching fifth and sixth grade in a team teaching setup. He also worked as an installer for GTE for 25 years. He was a member of Waterview Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife, Karen Mason (’72); two children, Tony and Laura Farthing; two siblings, Gerralyn Osborn and Gerald Fruzia Jr.; and three grandchildren. 

Dena Broadfoot Roberts (’72), 72, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, died March 17, 2021. She was a longtime employee of Allstate and ABS Title Co. She is survived by two daughters, Jade and Ashton; and three grandchildren. 

Linda Kendrick Fitte (’72), 70, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, died May 18, 2021. She earned her master’s in education from George Mason University. She retired from Virginia Beach Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. Her career in education was highlighted by many adventures including writing and producing her own opera and accepting a scholarship to the Fulbright-Hays Program where she taught in England for a year. She finished her career training fellow educators in math curriculum. She was a member of Kings Grant Baptist Church. She is survived by three sons, Cliff, Matthew and Jonathan; her mother, Allene Kendrick; two sisters, Karyn Douglas (’69) and Betty Lou Turner; and six grandchildren. 

Glenn Haddon Goree (’74), 69, of Port Ludlow, Washington, died May 16, 2021, from liver cancer. He earned a master’s in missiology from Harding School of Theology. He served as a missionary in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe from 1975-81. After returning to the states, he served as a mental health therapist for 30 years. He retired three years ago to Washington state and has written numerous books detailed on his website, He is survived by his wife, Valerie Massey (’72); and two children, Colleen (’00) and Kirk.

Will Ed Warren (MAR ’76), 92, of Mesquite, Texas, died June 24, 2021. He graduated from David Lipscomb College and began his preaching career in Detroit, Michigan. In 1974, he became a Bible professor at Harding, where students began affectionately calling him “Will Ed”, while his wife, Micky, launched the nursing program. He retired in 1999, and he and his wife moved into a home at Christian Care Center in Dallas. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Micky, and a daughter, Karen (’80). He is survived by his daughter, Donna Lake (’86); and a granddaughter. 

Florence Marie Johnston Craven (’79), 74, of Searcy, died May 9, 2021. She taught first and second grade at McRae Public Schools for 25 years before retiring. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Charlie; a son, Steven; and nine siblings, Emma Taylor, Margaret Johnston, Kathy Roberts, Nancy Cole, Marsha Cullum, Bill Cleaver, Freddy, Richard and Gary Johnston. 

Mandy Ann Arena (’94), 50, of Bedford, Indiana, died June 15, 2021. She worked as a surgical technician in the healthcare field. Most recently, she stayed home to care for her mother. She is survived by her parents, Mike and Nancy Jeskewich Arena; and a brother, Sam. 

Melissa King Madigan (MFT ’01), 64, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died July 26, 2021. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Vanderbilt University in 1980. She held positions at St. Vincent’s Hospital; Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Burn Unit; and Arkansas Cardiology Clinic. She was in private practice in the field of marriage and family counseling, later serving as family service coordinator for central Arkansas hospitals and in-house coordinator for Arkansas Children’s Hospital for Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency. She was a member of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and sang in the Cathedral Choir. She is survived by her four siblings, Chris Madigan, Sallie Holliman, Kathy Muehlman and Steve Madigan. 

Marion Davis “Honey” Craig (MAT ’05), 71, of Beebe, Arkansas, died Aug. 13, 2021. She taught school for more than 30  years, serving at Kensett and Pulaski County, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee. After retirement, she volunteered her time to promote Christian education at Lighthouse Christian Academy. She is survived by her husband, Mike; four children, Davis, Dustin, Mikki Daveluy, and Kelsey Garland; a sister, Peggy Herrin; and eight grandchildren. 

James Winfield “Jim” Winner (’11), 67, of Searcy, died July 8, 2021, from COVID-19. He attended Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas, from 1981 to 1984, graduating from their ministerial program in 1983, and then completing graduate work in doctrine. He ministered for more than 30 years as pulpit minister for several church of Christ congregations in Texas, Illinois, Iowa and Arkansas. He continued his education in Dixon, Illinois, at Sauk Valley Community College, earning an Associate of Science in psychology in May 1995. In the fall of the same year, he earned an Associate of Arts in criminal justice. He earned a bachelor of Religious Education in 1996, then completed his master of Religious Education in 1997, both through Theological University of America. He then furthered his biblical studies in the CAMT program at Harding, earning a Bachelor of Ministry. He was preceded in death by two children, Karen and Kerry. He is survived by his wife, Jamie Hayes; six children, Nicholas Carrigan, Joseph Carrigan, Bobby Winner (’00), Sarah Martin, Caitlin Forcier (’14) and Brittny Spampinato; five siblings, Douglas, Tina Miller-Cooper, Melody Blankenship, Melissa Syries and Renee Syries; and six grandchildren. 

April Warmka Frazier (’13), 49, of Searcy, died July 4, 2021. She worked as a residence life coordinator for Harding for almost 15 years, during which time she developed relationships with other RLCs, staff members and students. Though busy raising a family and working a full-time job, she pursued her passion for psychology and completed her bachelor’s degree at Harding. Her interest in mental health, social justice and human rights led her to continue her education in Harding’s Mental Health and Wellness program. She is survived by her husband, Bryan (’93); daughters, Ally Francois (’18) and Lydia (’18); her mother, Barbara Nannery-Warmka; three siblings, Adam Warmka, Alex Warmka and Angie Foster; and a granddaughter. 

Patsy Ruth Howard, 80, of Searcy, died July 31, 2021. She worked at Harding as an administrative assistant for 28 years. She was a member of College Church of Christ for 52 years, where she taught various Bible classes and volunteered at His House. She was preceded in death by her infant son, Phillip. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Tom (’69); three daughters, Cindy Gurchiek (’86), Christy Perry (’91) and Beth Collins (’93); a brother, Frank Rogers; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Emma Jo Evans Choate, 94, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, died Aug. 6, 2021. While working as a switchboard operator at Southwestern Bell in Fort Smith, Arkansas, she met her husband. In 1952, the family moved to suburban Detroit near family members who migrated from Arkansas to work in the automotive factories. She went to work in 1966 at the Automobile Club of Michigan (AAA), first as a switchboard operator, then as a travel counselor, and she quickly became a supervisor. In a short hiatus from AAA, she worked from 1974-76 at Harding as a dorm supervisor and director of housing. She attended College Church of Christ, sponsored the cheerleaders and co-sponsored Ko Jo Kai Social Club. In 1976, she returned to Michigan, again working for AAA as a branch supervisor. She hosted a young professionals Bible study for more than a decade. In 1993, she retired from AAA. She volunteered at the church office at Campus Church in Norcross, Georgia. She was preceded in death by her husband of 23 years, Herbert. She is survived by three daughters, Deborah Shepherd (’71), Beverly Dowdy (’75) and Kimberly Thames (’78); six grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. 

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