Wednesday, March 23, 2016

OBITUARIES >> 3-23-16


Erich L. Stocker, 76, of Jacksonville was born June 24, 1939, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Lydia and Ludwig Stocker.

He is survived by his wife, partner and best friend of 33 years, Francine Le Brant-Stocker; his two sons, Derek and Shawn; a daughter, Kim; three sisters, Inga, Sandy and Rebecca, along with seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Doris.

Erich was the big brother, and he was adored and loved deeply by them.

He grew up in Hollidaysburg, Pa. After high school, he spent two years at Philadelphia Bible College. But he wanted adventure.

In 1959, he joined the Air Force. He worked in supply, flew on AWACEC121’s and C-130 loadmasters. He spent eight years in Anchorage, Alaska.

One of his most memorable missions was to transport a polar bear to a zoo in Massachusetts. That was exciting for him. He was in the cargo compartment the entire trip. His last years he was a standard evaluator, certifying other loadmaster performances.

In 1986, he retired as a master sergeant after 26 years of service. But he never stopped working.

He had a short stint working in shipping at Target before a six-year career at Central Flying Service, where he became manager of refueling.

In 1992, he purchased an auto pin striping decal and ground effects business. He called it Auto Graphics Plus. It was a one-man operation. In recent years, he spent Monday’s in Pine Bluff at the Trotter and Smart dealerships. They respected him and admired his quality work. It isn’t easy to put a pin stripe on a car or truck and keep it perfectly straight.

He loved all of his and Francine’s horses, as well as the many dogs and cats they had through the years. Francine helped Erich to learn to ride English and jump obstacles. In 1993, he was long stirrup champion on their beloved Twist of Fate sable.

Kiwi is his parrot. For 12 years, he sang “Happy Birthday” and “Rock a Bye Baby” every night before sleep. Francine joined them.

He loved golf, exercising at the base gym and browsing stores.

Football was enjoyable for him. Francine would watch it with him in recent years, which added to the fun.

He was a loving, caring and compassionate man, and he will be greatly missed.

The funeral will be private. Arrangements are by A Natural State Funeral Service in Jacksonville.

Donation may be made in his name to an animal rescue organization of your choice, as Erich was a great lover of all animals.


Nina Faye DeBord, 75, was born June 7, 1940, in Lonoke, the daughter of the late Emmett and Elaine Jones.

She entered Heaven’s gates on March 20 after a courageous battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and multiple sclerosis.

She was a member of New Hope Baptist Church and a former member of the Hazen Chapter Order of Eastern Star.

Due to her health, she reluctantly retired after 23 years as bookkeeper for IF Anderson Minnow Farm.

She was a loving and faithful wife of 50 years to the late Carl DeBord. She is survived by three children, Bobby DeBord and his wife Gale, Denise High and her husband Jeff, Rick DeBord and his wife Tamara; seven grandchildren, B.J. DeBord, Brandy Robison, Miranda Adams, Mandy Walters, Matt High, Luke DeBord and the late Blake Debord, and five great-grandchildren, Pacey DeBord, Faith DeBord, Haley and Kirsten Henry, and Caleb Root.

The family thanks the nursing home and hospice staff, who lovingly cared for her during her illness.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 23 at New Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be made to Lonoke Open Arms Shelter.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.


Everett Dale Goff, 82, better known as Red, Sonny or Dale, was born Aug. 23, 1933, in McRae to Homer Andrew and Bertha Louise Goff. He passed away March 18.

Everett proudly served his country in the Navy. He made his living and was exceptional at commercial construction engineering.

Everett will be remembered for his friendliness. He was well loved. He was an avid reader. Everett truly loved and enjoyed music and all animals.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Sharon; four daughters and three sons, Robbie and David Williams, Terri and Mark Bishop, Tammy and Steve Ballard, David and Teresa Goff, Becky Stillman, and Buddy Goff, and 19 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

Everett was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mary Ellen Ruble; a son, Jerry Goff; a grandson, Stephen Colby Ballard, and two sons-in-law, Michael Dearie and Michael Stillman.

Memorials may be made in his honor to Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 22 at Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home in Beebe, with burial in Weir Cemetery in Searcy.


Mary Lynn Watkins, 86, of North Little Rock passed away on March 17 at Premier Health and Rehabilitation in North Little Rock.

She was born on Dec. 4, 1929, to Hugh and Pauline Barringer Thompson in Brookland (Craighead County).

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Sue Thompson Thweatt.

She is survived by her husband of almost 65 years, Alvin Max Watkins; a son, Max Thompson Watkins and his wife Tracy of Marshall, Texas; a daughter, Susan Watkins Gertson and her husband Rodney of Edmond, Okla.; her grandsons, Wesley Watkins, Jesse Watkins, Daniel and Kimberly Gertson, Micah and Jannat Gertson, and Nathan and Claire Gertson; a great-granddaughter, Addison Watkins; a great-grandson, Jonah Gertson; a sister, Joyce Thompson Isaacs of Jackson, Miss.; a brother, Elvis Percy Diggs of Scott, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Lynn was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, where she was involved in many ministries using her gift of hospitality. She also served in several leadership roles during more than 30 years of involvement in the Baptist Memorial Medical Center Auxiliary.

A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 24 First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville. Rev. Dr. Debbie Freeman will be officiating.

Interment will follow at noon at Arkansas State Veterans’ Cemetery in North Little Rock.

Arrangements are by Roller-Owens Funeral Home in North Little Rock.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville.


Michael Edward Burns, 36, of Jacksonville died March 15.

He was born May 16, 1979, in Waldron (Scott County). Michael worked as a carpenter. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but his greatest love was his family.

Michael is survived by his wife, Cheryl Burns; his children, Summer Watts, and Jo Charette and her husband Dave; his parents, Robert and Debra Millar; her siblings, Angalique Hopkins and her husband Matt, Terray Morin, Kristina Warta and her husband Monte, and Robert Millar Jr.; her grandchildren, Josh, Jake, Kaylee and Kaden; her grandparents, Gerald and Jeannie Lyles, and Joan Neidig, and a host of nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held March 22 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.


Kimberly Renee Blanton Stark, 41, of Sherwood left this earth on March 17. She was born July 13, 1974, in Little Rock.

Kimberly was a purchasing agent for Falcon Jet for 11 years. She enjoyed float trips and fishing.

Kimberly had a love for country music, California sunrises and sunsets, airplanes and horseback riding.

She had a contagious smile that would brighten the room.

Kimberly is survived by her mother, Brenda Parrow and her husband Michael; her stepfather, Lynn Banister and his wife Susan; a sister, Amy Clark; a niece, Hannah Clark; a nephew, Spencer Griffin, and a host of aunts and uncles.

The funeral was held March 22 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home.


Gary Michael Williams, 49, of El Paso passed away on March 10.

He was born on July 30, 1966, to Larry Williams and Ernestine Morrison Davis of Booneville.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Ernestine.

Gary was an avid outdoorsman and a self-employed aircraft mechanic.

He is survived by his father, Larry Williams and his wife Julie of Garland, Texas; two brothers, Jason Williams and his wife Stacy of Jacksonville, and Doug Williams of Little Rock, and five nephews, David, Mason, Peyton, Levi and Kyle Williams.

The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

Cremation arrangements are by A Natural State Funeral Service of Jacksonville.


Wesley (Hot) James Sr., 69, of Lonoke died March 18.

He is survived by his wife, Bridgette; his children, Stephanie (Lide Buddy) Bowlan, Tonya Miller and her husband Luke, Wesley James and Bobby James; a brother, Clifford James; four sisters, Mary Lister, Martha Ellis, Juanita Durham and Margaret Gann, and six grandchildren and three great-grandkids.

A private service will be scheduled at a later date.

Arrangements are by Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke.


Brittian Hughes Clay, 40, of Sherwood passed away on March 19 at his home.

He was born on April 5, 1975, to Edwin Hughes and Brenda Hale Clay in Paragould (Greene County).

Brittian is survived by his parents; a daughter, Loren Clay; a son, Blake Clay, and a brother, Shane Clay, of Tennessee.

Cremation arrangements are by A Natural State Funeral Service in Jacksonville.