Tuesday, December 22, 2015

OBITUARIES >> 12-23-15


Robert Lee Rush Sr., 77, of Beebe passed away from this world on Dec. 21 in Little Rock.

Bob was born on Jan. 31, 1938, in Madison, Penn., to Clarence and Helen Rush. He honorably served in the Army and was medically discharged. Since 1963, Bob was a member of the Local 12 Operating Engineers and worked for the past 13 years in California in excavation.

Bob married Martha Bearded in Sun Valley, Calif., on Sept. 28, 1968. He enjoyed life by bowling, building model cars, doing woodwork projects, watching classic Westerns and old movies.

He was a wonderful family man, loving father, grandfather and great grandfather. Everyone will always remember him as a strong Christian man with deep values and an open heart.

Bob is survived by his wife, Martha; his sons, Robert L. Rush Jr. and his wife Kim of California, David Hanna and his wife Teresa of California, Tony Rush of West Virginia, and Don Rush and his wife A.C. of Arkansas; a son-in-law, Larry Sanders, of Cabot; a sister, Dolly Baker, of West Virginia, 12 grandchildren and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Clarence Rush Jr., of West Virginia, and his daughter, Clara Sanders, of Cabot.

The family thanks St. Vincent’s cardiovascular intensive care unit and the attending physicians and staff for the wonderful care Bob received.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home, with burial in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens Veterans Section.


Elizabeth Ann Coyle, 66, of Jacksonville, died Dec. 22. She was born Oct. 28, 1949, in Carlisle, to the late Archie and Nellie Faye Tosh. She graduated from Carlisle High School in 1967 and later from UALR School for Registered Nurses. She worked many years as a RN at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Johnny, and both sets of grandparents.

She is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, James; son and daughter-in-law, Bradley and Alissa; and her two special grandsons, Donavon, and Eli; and half-sister Edith James.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 24 with a visitation from 9 a.m. until service time at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home. Interment will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Park.

The family would like to express appreciation to Arkansas Hospice for their care during Ann’s illness.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Arkansas Children’s Hospital or Arkansas Hospice.

Arrangements are by Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home & Crematory.


Michael Ray Smith, 67, of Garner, passed away Dec. 21.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Searcy-McEuen Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. with burial following at Cheek Cemetery.


Pascal Edward (Bud) Hancock, 84, of Jacksonville went to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 18. He was born to the late Jake Austin Hancock and Juanita Grace King Hancock on Dec. 30, 1930, in Straw Plains, Tenn. He was preceded in death by his sister, Opal, and is survived by his brothers, Leonard and Chandler of Knoxville, Tenn.

Bud graduated from the University of Tennessee and received an Air Force commission. Following navigation training, he was assigned to fly transport planes in Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina. It was there he met and married the love of his life, Nancy.
His military career included ROTC college instruction at Coe College, Iowa, two tours of service in Vietnam (where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross), covert flight operations at Wiesbaden Air Force Base, Germany. While stationed in Germany, Bud received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina. After transfer, Bud became an air operations navigation officer at Little Rock Air Force Base.
Upon his Air Force retirement, Bud became a successful real estate broker while serving as a part time business and history professor for USC satellite school. Bud faithfully served the Lord as a founding elder and teacher in two churches. He served (together with his wife) with various missions organizations, including Teen Missions International and Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Bud professed a strong Christian faith to all those around him, joyfully lived and faithfully loved his wife, Nancy Phyllis Dunn, and left a fun-loving and godly legacy to his children, Nancy Kathleen Oaks and her husband Michael of Maryville, Tenn.; John Edward and his wife Beth of Gilbert, Ariz.; Karen Grace Harris and her husband John of Round Hill, Va.; Mary Christine Hoffman and her husband David of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Mark Andrew of New York. He deeply loved his grandchildren, Melanie Holdridge and her husband Brian, Rachael McMichael and her husband Jeff, Jacob Holt, Rebekah Oaks; Brendan, Elisabeth and Jonathan Harris; Michael, Anna, Sarah, Leah and Olivia Hoffman.

He loved unconditionally, was loved by all and was a hero of the faith. “’Behold I make all things new.” Rev 21:5

Bud’s family is grateful and humble toward all who have loved him. In lieu of flowers, donations to the following organizations would be appreciated: Distinguished Flying Cross Society, Wounded Warrior Project, E.B.A.C. Orphanage in Haiti, Missionary Flights International Child Evangelism Fellowship of Arkansas and Arkansas Alzheimer’s Association.

Funeral with full military honors will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23 at Faith Bible Fellowship in Sherwood. Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service.


Billy Ray Ward, 68, of Austin was born Sept. 19, 1947, to Brooks and Ludy (Burnett) Ward, and he died Dec.16. He proudly served in the Army in Vietnam and had retired from Remington Arms. Bill loved the outdoors. He was a hard, stubborn man who refused to give up even though he was faced with many difficult and challenging obstacles.

He is survived by his son, Patrick S. Ward and his wife Nadine of Austin; sister, Joyce Gilleylen of Ward; and nieces and nephew, Jo Anne Wilbanks and her husband Danny, Brenda Price and her husband Adam, Cindy Stanley, Karen Baum, Debbie Martin, David Brooks Ward, Tammy Ward and Becky Ward.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Eugene Ward, and his nephew, Raymond Eugene “Butch” Ward.

Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, Kan. 66675. Cremation arrangements by Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe.


Air Force Col. Harry G. Canham (Ret.) claimed his heavenly wings Dec. 15. Harry was born Sept. 3, 1920, in Wataga, Ill., to parents Albert and Opal Gleason Canham. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Ruth; brother, Morris “Jim;” his first wife, Betty Woolsey Canham, and his son, Marc Alan Canham.

Col. Canham lived a life of service to God, his country, his family and friends. While working in a coal mine to earn enough money to attend college, Harry joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 as a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Initially assigned to glider school and earning the rank of staff sergeant, Harry entered the aviation cadet flying program. He flew the Martin B-26 and was stationed in North Africa. Harry was recalled to active duty in 1951 following five years in the active reserves and stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in the Third Strategic Support System Squadron flying the C-124, the largest aircraft in the Air Force at that time.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Harry was given a number of important assignments, including the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va.; Air-South of NATO Command, Naples, Italy; and the Tactical Air Command (TAC) at Langley AFB, Va. After attending C-130 school, Harry was sent to Southeast Asia in 1967, serving two tours of duty. He spent five months in the Air Force hospital at Scott AFB in Illinois after a serious injury that same year. Harry returned to Vietnam to fly 86 more missions, commenting, “To protect my country, I would go to war as long as I live.”

During the Vietnam War, Harry was promoted to colonel and was given command of the AC-130 gunships. In 1970, Col. Canham was assigned as wing director of operations for the 4442 Combat Crew Training at the Little Rock Air Force Base. In 1971, Harry was named department commander for aircraft gunships and wing department commander for special operations, Eighth Tactical Air Command Fighter Wing.

Col. Canham retired from the Air Force as director of Tactical Air Command airlift headquarters at Langley AFB, with 32 years of service and 22,000 hours of flying military operations during World War II, Korea, NATO, Vietnam and in peacetime. Among his many military honors and achievements, Harry was awarded five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 32 flying medals, six Meritorious Service Medals and two National Defense Medals. He also received the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, South Vietnam’s highest award, for saving the lives of South Vietnamese troops and the residents of a community in central Cambodia who were surrounded by attacking North Vietnamese forces.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife, Carlyn Lilly Canham; son, Air Force Maj. (Ret.) Michael Harry Canham and daughter-in-law, Gwen; daughter-in-law, Mary Canham; devoted friend and caregiver Carolyn Johnson; granddaughters, Dr. Michelle Canham Sergel and Marcy Canham; grandson, Matthew Canham; great-grandchildren Samantha and Alex Sergel; stepsons Dr. Lee Hinson and his wife Marsha and Dr. Wallace Hinson and his wife Jennifer and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, as well as friends all over the world.

Interment was held Dec. 22 at Little Rock National Cemetery. A memorial service was held following the interment service at the Jacksonville First United Methodist Church. A reception followed at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials honoring Harry be made to the Jacksonville First United Methodist Church.


Army Master Sgt. (Ret.) Robert H. Rawls, 71, of Jacksonville peacefully passed away Dec. 16. Robert served 18 months in Vietnam and was a proud recipient of the Silver Star. Robert was generous to a fault and his faith was in the redemption of Jesus Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John.

Robert is survived by his wife of 45 years, April; their daughter, Sherrie Ivy; their granddaughter, Emily, and son-in-law, Steven Ivy; his daughter, Sandi Hildebrand and her husband, Benjy, and their children, Rose Michelle and Nicole of Smackover; his daughter, Skylar (Becky) Ashcraft and her husband Brad, and their children, Taylor and Zach, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; his sister, Marie Stocks of Beebe; and sister-in-law, Bobbie Rawls of Higginson.

The family is grateful for the care Robert received in the last month from the Little Rock VA Hospital.

Funeral services were Dec. 22 at Roller-Owens Funeral Home in North Little Rock with burial at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.


Donna J. Sellers, 68, of Jacksonville, passed away Dec. 17. She was born Jan. 4, 1947, to Carthel Olan and Goldie Thompson. Donna’s life was a fulfillment of her faith in God. Her passion for living was seen in her unselfish love for others. She adored her children, grandchildren and dogs.

She is survived by her mother; two children, Rick Sellers and his wife Vickie of Lonoke and Rhonda Crowly and her husband Jason of Jacksonville; three grandchildren, Scott Sellers and Jordan Hunsburger, both of Cabot, and Hunter Sellers of Lonoke, and three sisters, Paulette, Ann and Kay.

Donna was preceded in death by her father; husband, James Sellers, and two sons, Jeffrey and James Sellers, Jr.

Services were Dec. 21 at the Roller Owens Funeral Home Chapel in North Little Rock. Interment was at Palestine-Jones Cemetery at Sheridan.


Bobby Joe Chaffin, 72, of Sherwood passed away Dec. 16. He was born Dec. 18, 1942, in Magnolia to William Frank Chaffin Jr. and Sybil Chaffin.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Pearlie Chaffin.

He is survived by his children, Dwayne Chaffin and his wife Tauny and Tammy Scharf; grandchildren, Joshua Chaffin and his wife Laura, Kailum Scharf and Staci Chaffin; great-grandchild, Ethan; siblings, Margarette Ubillas, Carolyn Taylor and Lyndell Chaffin and his wife Dorothy and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral service was Dec. 21 at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Funeral Home.


James Jim Bryan Bowen, 79, of Jacksonville was born Aug. 15, 1936, in Tuckerman (Jackson County) to Willard Woodson Bowen and Ina Ann Berry Bowen. God welcomed Jim home on Dec. 16. He was a member of Holden Avenue Church of Christ in Newport.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sons, Chet Bowen and Bryan Bowen.

He is survived by his wife, Paula Sue Grimes Bowen of Jacksonville; his sister, Shirley Campbell of Gravel Ridge; three sons and one daughter, Rick Bowen and wife, Jeanne of Jane, Mo.; Doug Bowen of Elkins; Sean Bowen of North Little Rock, and Cassie Stokes and her husband Eric of Holly Grove.

He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Jeremy Bowen and Jennifer Bowen of Orlando, Fla.; Alex Bowen of Bryant; Specialist Andrew Bowen and his wife Elizabeth of Fort Stewart, Ga.; Candice Bowen and Tori Bowen of Clarendon; Jake Bowen of North Little Rock, and Kacey Stokes of Holly Grove; two great-grandchildren, Alianna Tyler of Clarendon and Easton Bowen of Fort Stewart, Ga.; one nephew, Scott Bowen of North Little Rock, and a host of other friends and family.

Funeral service was held Dec. 21 at Griffin Leggett Rest Hills Funeral Home. Interment was at Gracelawn Cemetery in Tuckerman.


Donald E. Abbott, 63, of Austin, passed away Dec. 18. He was born Nov. 1, 1952, in Akron, Ohio, to Kenneth and Emma (Lord) Abbott. Donald was an Army veteran.

Donald is survived by two sons, Christopher Justin Abbott and Jonathan Wayne Abbott; three grandchildren, Brady DeMaccus, Braden Allen Crowley and Cadence Mae Crowley; three brothers, Kenneth F. Abbott, Jr., James G. Abbott and Randle B. Abbott; and a sister, Robin R. Coggins. He was preceded in death by his parents.

His memorial service was held Dec. 22 at the Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home.


Janet Mayelian Massihi, 76, of Ward passed away Dec. 18.

She was born in Tehran, Iran, on Feb. 22, 1939, to Thomas Youhanna and Lisa Bitparoyan.

Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service of Jacksonville.


Daniel Joseph Huizar Jr., 51, of Lonoke passed away Dec. 14. He was born Sept. 28, 1964, in Passaic New Jersey to Daniel Joseph Huizar Sr. and Evelyn M. Huizar. Daniel was preceded in death by one sister, Christina Vera.

Daniel leaves behind his parents; his sister, Kim L. Rose and her husband David; three aunts, Shirley Reiner, Jane Ciampo and Beverly Brussel; one uncle, Everett Ciampo, and four nieces and nephews, Stari, Zach, Chris and Sean. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Pine Bluff.

A graveside service was held Dec. 22 at Serenity Gardens Cemetery in Jacksonville.

Arrangements have been entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service in Jacksonville.