Passages: Fall 2022

Elizabeth Arnold Green (’42), 100, of Huntsville, Alabama, died July 26, 2022. She met her husband, Louis (’42), at Harding, and for 52 years they worked together to advance the kingdom of God. She was preceded in death by her husband, and she is survived by three daughters, Anita Hooper (’65), Sandy Barron (’69) and Betty Gould (’75); 11 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.

William Alfred “Al” Morris

William Alfred “Al” Morris (’50), 94, of Clarksville, Tennessee, died Aug. 29, 2022. He was chair of the department of elementary education at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, for 30 years. He served as an elder at Richmond Church of Christ for many years and moved to Clarksville in 2018 where he attended Hilldale Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Doris Gibson (’50), and a son, Jeffrey Wayne. He is survived by four children, Scott (’73), Emily McGinn (’74), Bruce Lynn and Lou Ann Weakley; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Thomas B. “Tom” Baird

Thomas B. “Tom” Baird (’53), 92, of Searcy, died June 9, 2022. After a year teaching high school in Bragg City, Missouri, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and completed his military service at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He taught math one year at Rolla High School, worked for the Bureau of Mines, and then completed a master’s degree at Missouri School of Mines and joined the faculty. He taught computer science and served as assistant department chair, retiring in 1994. He was honored as the 2021 Outstanding Alumnus from Harding’s College of Sciences. He was a member of Rolla Church of Christ, where he served as one of the first two elders, from 1968-2001. He taught Bible classes, counseled with families and did personal evangelism. He wrote a series of Bible lessons on Knowing Jesus when he was turning 90. He supported many area-wide ministries such as Little Prairie Bible Camp, for which he served one term as chair of the board. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Lovera Jackson(’54). He is survived by four children, Thomas, Timothy (’79), Jeanie March andJames (’86); 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Hollis Bruce Maynard (’55), 89, of Happy, Texas, died April 15, 2022. He earned a master’s in deaf education in 1970 from University of Louisville. He was a full-time preacher for deaf congregations in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. In 1977, he began a program at Sunset School of Preaching to train men to preach to the deaf. He remained there until retirement in 2001. He was a member of Park Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ernestine Latterner (’57); three children, Tim (’83), Kay Jenkins (’85) and Sharon Dove (’88); a sister, Rachel Cook; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Lynn Anderson (’59), 88, of San Antonio, died May 12, 2022. He served a church in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada, from 1960-64. In 1964-65, he preached in Lepanto, Arkansas, and then established a congregation in Kelowna, British Columbia, where he ministered for six years. From 1971-90, he preached for Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas, which grew to more than 2,200 members during his tenure. Beginning in 1992, he authored several books, including two volumes of “They Smell Like Sheep: Spiritual Leadership for the 21st Century” (2011), “Longing for a Homeland: Discover the Place You Belong” (2004), “The Jesus Touch: Learning the Art of Relationships From the Master” (2002), “If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have These Doubts?” (2000), “Navigating the Winds of Change: How to Manage Change in the Church” (1994) and “Freshness for the Far Journey: Reflections on Preaching as We Step Toward the 21st Century” (1992). In 1996, he founded and devoted his full-time work to leadership development and coaching through HOPE Network Ministries. He also taught ministry courses at Pepperdine University and Preston Road Center for Christian Education and spent 30 years as an adjunct professor at Abilene Christian University. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Bridges; four children, Michele English, Deborah Boggs, Jon and Christopher; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Robert Luther Kissire (’61), 81, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, died Jan. 3, 2022. He was director of Hot Springs Boys and Girls Club for 32 years. He was a member of 70 West Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patsy Venable (’63); three children, Robert Jr., Lisa and Ronnie; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Gary D. Elliott

Gary D. Elliott (’62), 81, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, died Sept. 13, 2022. He served as professor and chair of Harding’s English department from 1973-1981 and then as dean and president of Columbia Christian College in Portland, Oregon. He went on to teach at Pepperdine University before returning to Harding’s faculty where he retired in 2007. He preached at many small churches, especially the church of Christ in Beedeville, Arkansas. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Cheryl Guild (’79); two children, Douglas and Heather Barber (’93); a sister, Judy Outlaw (’65); a brother, Phillip (’70); and four grandchildren.

Patricia R. McNutt Hext (’63), 80, of Conway, Arkansas, died March 8, 2022, from Alzheimer’s disease. She was a member of University Church of Christ in Conway. She was preceded in death by two children, John and Amelia. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Gordon H; a daughter, Jenny Cameron (’07); six siblings, Ed McNutt, Mark McNutt, Chris McNutt, Tom McNutt, Nina Floyd and Mandi Thines; and three grandchildren.

Jerry Dwain Mote

Jerry Dwain Mote (’63), 81, of Searcy, died July 25, 2022. He was a team captain for the 1959 Harding Bison football team and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2006, he was recognized by Searcy School District for 43 years of service in teaching and was inducted to the Hall of Honor in 2008. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty Sowell (’63); two children, Angie Henrie(’91) and Greg (’03); two siblings, Gail(’66) and Rhonda Hillis; and seven grandchildren.

Bettye Ritchie Casey (’65), 82, of Searcy, died June 16, 2022. She taught piano in the home and taught music classes in a Christian school for several years. She taught women’s Bible classes at Cedars Church of Christ in Wilmington, Delaware, and College Church of Christ in Searcy through much of her adult life. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Gerald (’61). She is survived by three children, Brian (’84), Laura Finnie(’94) and Greta Floyd (’94); two siblings, Edward Ritchie (’59) and Joan Toepel (’67); and seven grandchildren.

Ken Johnson (’66), 78, of Brentwood, Tennessee, died May 24, 2022. While at Harding, he briefly served in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. After some time in Arkansas, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he completed his master’s degree. He then moved to Ruston, Louisiana, where he began work on his doctorate in accounting from Louisiana Tech University. He began teaching at Harding in 1976 and finished his doctorate in 1978. In 1987, he committed full time to his CPA firm. In 1991, he became president of Michigan Christian College, where he served for 12 years. He was instrumental in efforts to rename the school Rochester College, expand academic offerings and launch a master’s degree. During his tenure, the enrollment of undergraduate students grew roughly 400%, reaching more than 1,000 students. In 2003, he began serving as a vice president of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and served five years as an elder at East Sunshine Church of Christ. In July 2020, he and his wife moved to Brentwood, Tennessee, and joined Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Flippin (’66); two daughters, Kim Careau (’92) and Becca Smith (’95); three sisters, Mary Burris (’79), Barbara Schnathurst and Wilma Mallon; and five grandchildren.

David Alan Dawson (’71), 75, of Searcy, died June 18, 2022. He earned a Master of Education from Harding in 1978. He taught at Lee County High School from 1971-78. He taught visually impaired adults to program computers for Lions World Services for the Blind for 20 years. A lifelong member of the church of Christ, he volunteered with Lads to Leaders and World Bible School. He served as treasurer for the White County Historical Society, a position he took over after the death of his mother. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank (’68) and Zelda (’69). He is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Ruth Ann Grogan (’71); two daughters, Joanna Crisco (’97) and Windy Blythe (’00); and three grandchildren.

Randy Charles Shumate (’71), 72, of Springdale, Arkansas, died May 21, 2022. He was a partner in Waggoner-Shumate Printing Co. in Springdale from 1977-1997. He owned the Overhead Door Co. in Rogers from 1997-99, and later was a salesman with Sam’s Furniture and Hank’s Furniture where he was a sales award winner multiple times, retiring in 2017. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Ennis (’72); three sons, Aaron (’94), Noah and Jonah (’02); his mother, Ann; two brothers, Ken and Kevin; and seven grandchildren.

Twanette Sinele Clark (’73), 70, of Cabot, Arkansas, died May 26, 2022. She was an assistant editor at the Newport Daily Independent newspaper, a typographer at Diversitype in Little Rock, Arkansas, and a copy editor/proofing specialist and publications editor at CJRW in Little Rock. She was a member of North Jacksonville Church of Christ. She is survived by two children, Walter and Dusan; five siblings, Ford Sinele (’71), Raymond Sinele, Belinda VanDenburg (’68), Lucinda Hankins and Teresa Long; and six grandchildren.

Mack Yates Ramsey (’81), 62, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, died Aug. 20, 2022. He taught math and history at Westside High School for 17 years. Since 2001, he had served as teacher, coach, co-superintendent and junior-senior high principal at Crowley’s Ridge Academy in Paragould, Arkansas. He attended Southwest Church of Christ for 23 years and Valley View Church of Christ for 17 years, where he served as elder. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Judith Craft (’79); three children, Steven (’11), David (’14) and Elizabeth Boggs (’20); five siblings, Mary Margaret Helton (’77), Ambrose III, John (’85), Pat Sue McReynolds (’83) and Charlie; and two grandchildren.

Tracy Harvey Simmons (’94), 49, of Nevada, Missouri, died April 17, 2022, from pancreatic cancer. She was a homemaker and home-schooled her children. She was a member of the Rinehart Christian Church. She is survived by her husband of 27 years, Shannon Simmons (’94); 12 children, Meredith Byler, Carter, Claire, Hunter, Sophie, Olivia, Thatcher, Hosanna, Archer, Cooper, Tanner, and Amelia; two siblings, Justin Harvey and Angela Fitzgerald; and a grandson.

Harrison Walt Waldron (’15), 29, of Nolensville, Tennessee, died June 23, 2022. He met and married his wife, Hayley Smith (’15), while at Harding, and they were married in 2014. Shortly after graduation, Harrison was injured in an accident that left him permanently disabled. Harrison and Hayley persevered and inspired a community across countries and continents with their commitment to their marriage and faith. He enjoyed working with children, creating and building, spending time with his family and friends, and making others laugh. He is survived by his wife, Hayley; his parents, Philip and Donna; grandparents, Jim and Laura and Sarah Durham; and two sisters, Sarah Beckwith (’13) and Laura (’20).

Donald Paul Diffine

Donald Paul Diffine, 80, of Searcy, died Aug. 29, 2022. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from California State University at Long Beach, a master’s degree in economics from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He served as a captain and squadron commander in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was the chair of the economics program and founding director of the Belden Center for Private Enterprise Education in the Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration, where he served for 45 years. He also was the senior research associate for Harding’s American Studies Institute, providing congressional testimony on business issues, economic impact statements and inflation-recession dilemmas. A member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors through three administrations, he also served on the board of directors of the Arkansas Council on Economic Education. As deacon at College Church of Christ, he led the senior adults ministry for nearly 20 years. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dion; two children, David (’93) and Danielle Cordell (’95); and four grandchildren.

Categories: Passages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *