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Funeral Director and Embalmer Obituary

Funeral Director and Embalmer Obituary

Mark A. Thomas

Mark A. Thomas, 51, of Cabot, passed away on Monday, September 21, 2015. He was born on June 10, 1964 in Wilburton, Oklahoma to Dee and Gloria Thomas. He was a graduate of Talihina High School and a member of the Talihina Golden Tiger band. Mark loved outdoor life and especially loved hunting and fishing. His passion was serving others through the funeral profession. After graduating from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service with his Associate of Arts degree, he worked at funeral homes in Oklahoma, rising to the position of regional manager with SCI, Inc. In 1993, he came to Cabot, Arkansas to manage Cabot Funeral Home. He remained in that position until leaving in 2001 to establish Thomas Funeral Service, Inc. In 2012, Mark was elected to his first term as Lonoke County Coroner. The constituents of Lonoke County re-elected him in a landslide victory for a second term in 2014. Mark had the heart of a servant and touched the lives of thousands of families during his career.

In January, 2014, Mark was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic non small cell lung cancer. He fought a fierce battle by placing his faith in his Savior and never giving up. Mark was a member of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot and was a 32° Mason.

He was preceded in death by his father and one brother, Michael Thomas. He is survived by his wife Cheryl, of the home; daughters Tiffany, Angel and Sammi; his mother, Gloria Thomas, of Talihina, Oklahoma; the two joys of his life, his sidekicks, grandchildren Aleigha "Lei Lei" Thomas and Silas "Si" Burrow; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Karen Thomas, of Mead, Oklahoma; mother-in-law, Delores Lark; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; nieces and nephews; and many people who considered him a dear friend.

Mark will lie in state at his funeral home on Friday, September 25 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 26 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Victory Baptist Church, 501 N. Lincoln St., Cabot, Arkansas. The funeral service will be held at Victory Baptist Church on Sunday, September 27, at 2:00 p.m. with Mickey "Stubby" Stumbaugh, Ben Leonard, and Jessie Bickers officiating and Jerry Miller providing special music. Interment will be on Monday, September 28, at 11:00 a.m. at the Talihina City Cemetery, Talihina, Oklahoma, with Masonic rites.

Arrangements are under the direction of Thomas Funeral Service, 713 S. 2nd Street, Cabot, Arkansas, 501-941-7888. Please visit the website for service details and to leave condolences,

On Friday, August 28, 2015 the Lord called another good and faithful servant home, Mr. George D. Mitchell, Jr., owner/operator of Mitchell Funeral Home in Arkadelphia, AR. Funeral services will be Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 2:30pm at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, AR. Visitation will be Saturday, September 5, 2015 at Mitchell Funeral Home in Arkadelphia, AR from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and family hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. More information will be available as soon as possible.

Rev. Billy W. Snow, 69, of Paragould, died on Wednesday in Jonesboro. He was a 1966 graduate of Corning High School. He was a funeral director and embalmer at Heath Funeral Home for 26 years and served as Past President of the Northeast Arkansas Funeral Director's Association. Bill loved to travel, garden, and take care of his "birds". He was the biggest St. Louis Cardinal's fan, and he rarely missed a game. He pastored churches in DeQueen, Manila, and El Campo, TX. Due to tremendous growth, his churches in Manila and El Campo built new buildings under his leadership. After moving to Paragould, he founded the Peace Tabernacle Apostolic Church in 1994. He loved Bus ministry and had the Lifesaver Bus at Peace Tabernacle. He had a servant's heart and was dedicated to God, his church, his family, and his work. He was the son of Billy Joe and Dollie Cullens Snow. He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

Bill is survived by his wife of 49 years, Patricia Eubanks Snow, of the home; daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Tom Hazlewood of Paragould; son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Maribeth Snow of Jonesboro; daughter, Angie Snow of Paragould; grandchildren, Shayna Hilderbran, Brianna Hammon, Tiffany Hazlewood, Ethan Snow, Clayton Snow, Lacey Qualls, Landon Crumpton, and Vickie Snow; 3 great grandchildren; parents; brothers, Kenneth and Edward Snow; and sister, Ramona Dugas.

The family will receive friends Sunday evening from 6-8 at Heath Funeral Home. Funeral service will begin at 2pm Monday at Heath Colonial Chapel with Rev. Anthony Needham, Rev. Rick Needham, and Tom Hazlewood officiating. Burial will follow in Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Pallbearers are Ethan Snow, Clayton Snow, Landon Crumpton, Jimmy Hilderbran, Derek Qualls, and Caleb Hammon. Honorary pallbearers are Ron Mansfield, Jim Powers, Richard, Spurlock, and James Holmes. Memorials may be sent to Peace Tabernacle Apostolic Church. Online condolences may be sent at

Pocahontas - Clell Cox, age 67, co-owner of Cox Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge, passed away Friday, May 22, 2015 at NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro. He was born on March 31, 1948 to Ted and Mary Lee Cox in Ponce de Leon, Missouri. On December 31, 1989, he married Donna Goff Cox. Clell was a graduate of Spokane High School, and Dallas Mortuary School. He was an embalmer, funeral director, and owner of funeral homes in Arkansas and Missouri. His career in the funeral business began at age 16. He was a mason and a member of the church of Christ.

Preceding him in death were his parents and a sister, Nathalea Dye.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, of the home; one daughter, Jennifer Walker of Springfield, MO; two granddaughters; one niece, and one nephew.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm in the Cox Funeral Home Chapel in Walnut Ridge with David Gibson officiating. Visitation will be from 11 am until time for services. Burial will be at a later date at Spokane Cemetery a formerin Spokane, Missouri.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are: Don Brown, Andy McCandliss, Ron Ott, Jason Martin, Johnny Moss, Ray Rollins Stewart Lambert and Sonny Powell.

In leiu of flowers, donations can be made to Childrens Home, Inc., 5515 Walcott Road, Paragould, Arkansas.

Online registry:

Reverend Rodger Dean Hooker, age 72, of Helena, Arkansas died Saturday, May 16, 2015 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Rodger was born February 2, 1943 in DeQueen, Arkansas to his parents, Lonnie and Lois Hooker.

He was the pastor of Fourth Street Baptist Church in West Helena, Arkansas for the past fourteen years. Rodger received his bachelor of arts of degree from Central Baptist College in 1965 and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1969.

Rodger had an insatiable love for southern gospel music, and will be forever remembered for his gentle and generous spirit. One person said that the word "no" was not in his vocabulary which often found him overloaded with work. Reverend Hooker served two churches as minister of music before beginning his pastoral ministry which led him to serve in five churches.

He was employed with Roller Funeral Homes for 21 years serving as either manager, director or embalmer, and at times all three. His intense love for helping people has endeared him to his family, church, community and a host of friends. Humor was a natural gift that he used to lighten any situation or lift the spirits of heavy hearts.

Mr. Henry Shackelford, age 82 and lifelong resident of Prescott, Arkansas, passed away Friday, April 24, 2015. Mr. Shackelford was born January 22, 1933 in Prescott to Paul And Vera Hartsel Shackelford. He served his country in the United States Air Force. Mr. Shackelford along with his late wife, Judy were the former owners and operators of Shackelford The Funeral Home of Prescott. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Prescott. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather.. Mr. Shackelford is preceded in the death by his parents, wife Judy Mitchell Shackelford, one brother James Shackelford, one sister and brother-in-law, Mary Helen and Dutchie Bright.

His survivors include one daughter; Lynne Shackelford Hebert and husband Darryl of Clearwater Beach, Florida, one grandson; Brandon Bernhard of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, one granddaughter; Mitchell Bernhard of Big Sky, Montana. Numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

A special thanks to Serenity Hospice nurse Dwan Thrash.

Memorials in lieu of flowers can be made to First Baptist Church of Prescott 201 E. Main St. Prescott, Arkansas 71857 or Serenity Hospice of Texarkana 210 North State Line Ave, Suit 301 Texarkana, Arkansas 71854.

Visitation, 2:00 to 4:00pm, Sunday, April 26, 2015 at BRAZZEL/Cornish Funeral Home.

Funeral service, will be 10:00am, Monday, April 27, 2015 at BRAZZEL/Cornish Chapel with Rev. Jerry G. Westmoreland and Bro. Frank Henson officiating. Burial to follow in De Ann Cemetery in Prescott. Arrangements by BRAZZEL/Cornish of Prescott Eddie BRAZZEL, Director.

Mr. Bobby Joe Lee , age 83 of Hope, Arkansas passed away, Monday, February 9, 2015. He was born in Hope, Arkansas on Monday, June 8, 1931 to Fred and Nancy Lee. He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother; Louie Shelton and a grand-daughter; Jody Diane Lee.

Mr. Lee joined the First Baptist Church of Hope, on October 13, 1948 and was a faithful usher for many years and was a member of the Renegades Sunday School Class. He began working at the Hope Furniture Store in 1949, became a licensed funeral director, on January 1, 1957, working at Herndon Funeral Home, as funeral director and bookkeeper and finishing his funeral service career with Brazzel/Oakcrest in 2009. He was holder of Arkansas Funeral Director license number 84, a licensed he held for over 52 years.

Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00pm on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at Brazzel/Oakcrest Funeral Home, Hope.

Funeral service will be 10:00am, Thursday, February 12, 2015 at Brazzel/Oakcrest Funeral Home, with Rev. Mark Fischer officiating. Burial will in Memory Gardens Cemetery, Hope. Arrangements Brazzel/Oakcrest The Funeral Home of Hope, Eddie Brazzel, Director. Online guestbook:

Betty Ann Emerson It is with deep sympathy that we inform you that Betty Ann Emerson of Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro, Arkansas passed away yesterday.

On behalf of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Betty. We ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well during this difficult time.

Betty Ann Emerson, 83, of Jonesboro, passed away Thursday, January 29, 2015, at St. Bernards Medical Center.

Betty was a native and life-long resident of Jonesboro and co-owner of Emerson Funeral Home. Betty was the organist at Walnut Street Baptist Church for several years. She is presently a member of First Baptist Church where she also played the organ and piano, was a member of the Mullally Sunday school class and the Womens Missionary Union where she is a past president.

Walter Earl Hunter 79, of Little Rock, Arkansas passed peacefully on November 15, 2014. Walter was a longtime employee at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home. His loving family include: wife, Mary F. Hunter; daughters, Velda A. Hunter and LaShane Greene; one son, Darrell Bell; three grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, other family and special friends. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, November 22, 2014, 2:00 pm, at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, 105 N. Smothers Ave. North Little Rock, AR. Interment will follow at Rest In Peace Memorial Gardens, Hensley, AR. Visitation: Friday, November 21, 2014, 12-6 pm, at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305. Sign Walter's online guestbook

Reverend Andrew Jackson "A.J." Parish, Jr., 78, of Fort Smith, died Friday, October 3, 2014 in a local hospital. He was born January 14, 1936 in Shreveport, LA.

He was the pastor of Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church, member of Shiloh Baptist Church, a 33rd degree Mason, member of Widow Son #3, where he served as Chaplain and E.O. Trent Consistory #223, a veteran of the US Air Force where he served as an Air Policeman, first African American to serve in the Selected Service, graduate of Arkansas Baptist College and the Jackson Theological Seminary, a licensed Mortician and Funeral Director,owner-operator of Rowell-Parish Mortuary, the first African-American resident in Arkansas to be elected to the office of County Coroner, received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Central State University, an Affiliate Member of the National Association of Medical Examiners, former Vice President of Arkansas Coroner's Association, President of the Antioch District Association of the Consolidated District.

Barbara J. Vines Born February 20, 1939 and died May 23, 2014. Ms. Vines was a licensed Arkansas funeral director since October 1985.

Luther Gardner was born August 6, 1946 in Kansas City, Kansas and died on June 20, 2014. Luther was licensed as a funeral director and embalmer on April 12, 1980 in Arkansas.

PARAGOULD, AR - Melanie Heath Bryant Posey of Paragould departed this life unexpectedly Saturday morning at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould at the age of 43 years, three months, and nine days.

Melanie was born May 21, 1971 in Paragould to Lynda Heath Bryant and the late Jimmy Ray Bryant. A lifelong resident of Paragould, Melanie was a third generation funeral director, embalmer and assistant manager of the family business, Heath Funeral Home, founded by her grandparents, the late Verlyn L. & Helen Heath in 1945. In addition, she served as the organizer and founder of the funeral home's Tree of Memory Service, a memorial tribute service during the Christmas season to honor those they served.

Melanie was a 1989 graduate of the former Ridgecrest (Paragould) High School and Arkansas State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources. During college, Melanie was an active member of the Phi Mu Fraternity. Melanie was a member of the Red Wolf Foundation and enjoyed howling her beloved Red Wolves on to victory. She was an active member, past board member and 1924 Sustaining Life Member of the Arkansas State University Alumni Association. She attended John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, where she graduated second in her class.

Melanie was a past president of both the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association and the Northeast Arkansas Funeral Directors Club. In addition, she served on several National Funeral Directors Association committees.

Melanie had a servant's heart and it was exhibited every day of her life through service to her community. As a parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Melanie served as president of the Parish Council and was a Eucharistic Minister and Lector. She was a member of the Rotary Club of Paragould and served as the club president from 2008-2009. The 2002 Rotarian of the Year, Melanie was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honor bestowed upon a Rotarian. She was the Rotary District 6150 Chairperson of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) for many years. She was active in the Junior Auxiliary of Paragould and the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she was a graduate of the first-ever Leadership Paragould Class. Melanie was a former chairperson of the Paragould Relay for Life.

Melanie married the love of her life, Stephen "Bear" Posey on April 28, 2007, and they enjoyed over seven years of marriage together. They expanded their family with the blessing of their children, Kat & J.T. in December 2010.

She was preceded in death by her father, Jimmy Ray Bryant in 2002; her maternal grandparents, Verlyn L. & Helen Heath; and paternal grandparents, Lester (Peck) & Bernice Bryant.

She is survived by her loving husband, Stephen "Bear" Posey, and their precious children, Kathryn Rhea and John Thomas Posey, all of the home. Her mother and "Big Daddy," Lynda Heath Bryant White and Kaut White of Paragould; sister and brother-in-law, Tanya and Scott Ellington of Jonesboro; sister, Kim Bryant of Paragould; her bonus sisters, Gina (Tim) Jarrett of Paragould, and Sharon (Tony) Dibble of Mountain Home; bonus brothers William Kaut (Cari) White of Jonesboro and David (Chris) White of Mountain Home. She also leaves behind a lifetime of dear friends and relatives, all of whom were very special to her.

Funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Paragould with Father Mike Sinkler officiating and Deacon Ricardo Puello assisting. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in Heath Funeral Home?s Colonial Chapel, with rosary at 5:30 led by Deacon John Drake.

Lasting memorials may be made to the Melanie Heath Posey Children's Education Fund, in care of Centennial Bank, P.O. Box 490, Paragould, AR 72450; the St. Mary's School Scholarship Fund, 220 N. 2nd Street, Paragould, AR 72450; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Kathleen Nicholas, age 87 of Clarksville, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, at her home. She was born Aug. 31, 1926, in Clarksville to the late William Foddie and Naomi Callahan. Kathleen was a grand lady who touched many lives with her compassion and understanding. She was a graduate of Clarksville High School and owned and operated the Hardwicke Funeral Home for the past 64 years. She was involved in every facet of the funeral business, which left little time to join community organizations; however, she was very supportive and provided assistance for many Johnson County organizations. She was a member of the Clarksville First Presbyterian Church.

Read more: The Courier - Your Messenger for the River Valley - Obituary Kathleen Nicholas.

Michael Rush Cornwell, Sr., owner and President of Cornwell Funeral Home, passed away on December 15, 2013, in Danville, Arkansas, at the age of 69. Mike was born on February 6, 1944, to the late Lloyd Rush Cornwell and Violet Masters Cornwell, and was a life-long resident of Yell County. Mike graduated from Dardanelle High School before attending the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Mike went on to graduate from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in 1967, during which he received the President's Award. Upon graduation, he returned to his family's funeral business in Dardanelle, and eventually moved to Danville to manage and expand the Danville funeral home. Mike was born and raised in the funeral business and dedicated his life to the success of the funeral home. At the time of his death, Cornwell Funeral Home was the second oldest business in Yell County and the fifth oldest funeral home in the State of Arkansas, having been established by Mike?s family in 1898.

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17th, at Danville First Baptist Church.Funeral services will be held on December 18th at 2:00 p.m. also at Danville First Baptist Church, with internment immediately following at Brearley Cemetery, Dardanelle, Arkansas. Memorials in Mike's honor may be made to the Yell County Wildlife Association. Arrangements provided by Cornwell Funeral Home of Danville. Guestbook and online condolences maybe left at Cornwell Funeral Home.

Frank Mull, Jr. was born to Frank Mull, Sr. and Ealie Moorehead-Mull on June 17, 1942 in Madison, Arkansas. He departed this life on December 3, 2013. Frank graduated from Lincoln High School in 1961. He married Minnie Young in 1966. He attended and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from AM&N in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1971. Frank served in the United States Army Reserves during the Vietnam War. He was an active member until he was honorably discharged. During this time, he was employed as an Insurance Agent with Universal Life and Lincoln Insurance Company. He later began his tenure with the VA Hospitals in Fayetteville, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee fulfilling the duties as a Practical Nurse. After retiring, Frank remained engaged by implementing Mull Excavating Services. He also held a Funeral Director License issued by the Arkansas State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. He served on the Forrest City School Board. He also worked with other agencies such as Arkansas Department of Corrections in Brickeys, Arkansas and Crestpark Nursing Home and Woodhouse Mortuary in Forrest City, Arkansas.

Visitation Friday, December 13, 2013 from 6-8 at New Light Missionary Baptist Church 126 West Day Street, Forrest City, Arkansas 72335

Funeral Services Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 12:00 Noon at New Light Missionary Baptist Church 126 West Day Street, Forrest City, Arkansas 72335

Doyle Parham, 66, of Little Rock died Sunday, October 6, 2013. Mr. Parham became a licensed funeral director on October 10, 1972 and was the manager at Hubble Funeral Home.

Gerald Wayne Hoggard, 81, of Piggott, Arkansas, passed away September 14, 2013, at the V.A. Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Hoggard was licensed as a funeral director and embalmer on June 14, 1957. He was issued his lifetime licenses in 2007

John Ray "Rick" Baird, son of the late John H. Baird and Clara Bell Davis Baird, was born July 6, 1946 in Lawrence County, Arkansas. He departed this life August 17, 2013 in Jonesboro, Arkansas at the age of 67 years, 1 month and 11 days. In 1980 he attended the Dallas Institute of Funeral Science and became a licensed embalmer. At the time of his death, he was the owner and operator of North Arkansas Mortuary Service. Working with numerous funeral homes in Arkansas.


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