John Paul Masner

jpm 2Jonesboro- John Paul Masner, 92, passed away Monday, June 27, 2016 at St. Bernards Medical Center.

He was born December 12, 1923 in Poplar Ridge Community near Monette to the late Elmore and Meldora Reeves Masner. At the age of two, his parents moved to Monette, where he lived the next eighty years before moving to Jonesboro.

He was a graduate of Monette High School and Arkansas State College. John served in Army during World War II. He was in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was surrounded for several days before escaping. After that he joined General George Patton and remained with him until the end of the war. He earned three bronze stars and several other medals.

When he got out of the service, he came home and started farming and continued until his retirement. On August 22, 1953, he married Ann Murrell and enjoyed fifty-seven years together until her death in 2010. He was a member of the Monette First Baptist Church, Monette American Legion Post 136 and was a mason and a Shriner. He also served as treasurer for the Monette High School Alumni Board for many years.

He is survived by a sister, Billie Wilkes of Virginia; two nephews, Joe Masner of Jonesboro and Tommy Berry of Dallas, Texas; a niece, Carolyn Sockwell of Jonesboro and a host of friends.

He was also preceded in death by his wife, Ann Murrell Masner; five sisters, Emma Jo Conner, Stella Wallace, Minnie Kaplan, Jessie Jance and Mabel Berry and two brothers, Elmer Masner and Nath Masner.

A celebration of his life will be 2:00 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Monette First Baptist Church with Rev. Rusty Bird officiating. Burial will follow at Monette Memorial Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from noon until 1:30 pm Wednesday at Monette First Baptist Church.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are Clay Stewart, Bob Blankenship, Bob Hurst, Ed Dunbar, Jerry Lynn Halsey Jr. and Bobby Flannigan.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the Monette First Baptist Church.



Melva Jean Taylor

Melva Jean Taylor, 75, of Monette passed away June 21, 2016 at her home.

She was born June 30, 1940 to the late Joe Wallis and Elizabeth Paxton Wallis. She will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and sister and the happiest person you would ever meet. Melva was an avid fisherman and an accomplished seamstress.

Survivors include her daughters, Pam Crum (Danny) of Cardwell, MO., Holly Patterson (Auddie Lynn McFarlin) of Monette; sons, Allen Taylor (Erin) of Corinth, MS., and Zach Taylor (Deanna) of Monette; a sister, Mary Ann Ball of Jonesboro; daughter of the heart, Lois Grant (Doug Ray) of Michigan; seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and numerous other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her husband, Bobby Taylor; two brothers, Glenn Wallis and Jerry Wayne Clayton and sisters, Donna Pitts, Virga Lee Knuckles and Linda Clayton.

Graveside funeral Services will be 2:30 p.m. Friday June 24, 2016 at Monette Memorial Cemetery with Rev. Larry Mc Donald officiating.

The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Friday at Gregg Funeral Home in Monette.



Elizabeth Harris

Caraway- Elizabeth Harris, 46, passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

She was born December 23, 1969 in Memphis and loved her family more than anything. She had worked at Marked Tree Nursing Home, Three Rivers Nursing Home and Lake City Farmer’s Market.

She is survived by her companion, Kerry Cockrell; her daughters, Jessica Cockrell of Monette and Ashley Williams of Oxford, Mississippi; her father, Stanford Harris of Memphis; grandchildren, Serenity Williams, Kolton Williams, Kaleb Eldridge and Jaden Riley; step-children, Dewayne Cockrell, Randy Cockrell and Brandy Cockrell; two brothers, Eric Harris and Keith Harris.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Edna Harris.

Services will be private under the direction of Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.



C. Edward Beaird

St. Louis, Missouri- C. Edward Beaird, 84, passed away Friday, May 27, 2016 in St. Louis.

He was born June 13, 1931 in Monette to the late Willie and Susie Bell Poe Beaird.

He is survived by a brother, Joe Davis of West Memphis; two sisters, Peggy Griffith of St. Louis and Jerrie Siman of Long Beach, Mississippi and twelve nieces and nephews.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be 1:00 pm Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Gregg Funeral Home in Monette. Burial will be private.



Jerry Wayne Gipson

Monette- Jerry Wayne Gipson, 72, passed away Monday, May 16, 2016 at his residence.

He was born March 10, 1944 in Bunney to the late Ralph and Emma May Cornwell Gipson. Jerry proudly served his country for twenty-one years in the Arkansas National Guard.  He worked for Cameron Construction for thirty years. He enjoyed fishing and hunting.

He is survived by his children, Carl Allen of Leachville, Deborah Kaye Pitts, Donald John Drennon, Jeremy Lynn Drennon and Gena Michelle Smithee (Joe) all of Monette; a niece, Melanie Gipson of Jonesboro; a nephew, Barry Gipson of Brookland; ten grandchildren, Jeffrey Lee Allen, Jennifer Leann Allen, Kama Mullins, Skyler Smithee, Joe Mac Mullins, Jo Jo Smithee, Gracie Smithee, Haylie Denay Nordan, Jesse Taylor Sandage and Brandon Allen; two great-grandchildren.

He was also preceded in death by his wife, Mildred Anita Gipson; two brothers, R J Gipson and Johnnie Gipson.

A celebration of his life will be 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at Gregg Funeral Home in Monette with Rev. Jerry Reed officiating. Burial will follow at Monette Memorial Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 pm Tuesday at Gregg Funeral Home in Monette.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are Skyler Smithee, Joe Mac Mullins, Jo Jo Smithee, Jeffrey Allen, Jason Duffel and Joseph Smithee and as honorary pallbearer, Bryce Smithee and Benny Smithee.

Donald Wayne Copeland

Franklin – Donald Wayne Copeland, 73, passed away Monday, April 18, 2016 at Horseshoe Bend.

He was born October 8, 1942 in Lake City to the late Homer Earl Copeland and Imogene Kiddy. Donald was a retired City of Memphis fireman and a retired golf course superintendent at Cherokee Village. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Copeland; his children, Curtis Copeland and Susan Copeland Russell both of Memphis; two sisters, Dorothy DeSpain and Barbara Howard both of Lake City; five grandchildren, Brandon Russell, Wesley Russell, Jordan Russell Peterson, Paige Copeland and Garrett Copeland; three great-grandchildren, Zen Russell, Ellis Russell and Eila Peterson.

He also leaves to mourn his passing special friends, Jack Tharp, Ralph Ball, Bob Davis, Cecil Brickell, Phil Bridger, Marl Carter, Robert Doak and many others.

He was also preceded in death by his brother, Tony Kiddy.

A graveside service to celebrate his life will be 1:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Caraway Cemetery with Rev. Randy Bailey officiating under the direction of Gregg Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital or Firefighters Regional Burn Unit in Memphis.



Charles Henry Mondy

Monette- Charles Henry Mondy, 91, passed away Sunday, April 17, 2016 at Monette Manor.

He was born June 4, 1924 in Hoxie to the late Josephus N. and Margie Anne Jones Mondy. Charles proudly served his country for twenty-four years in the United States Army retiring as a Master Sergeant. He enjoyed fishing, visiting with the grandchildren and loved to tinker with vehicles and electronic. He was member of the Leachville First Baptist Church.

He is survived by two stepsons, Danny Baxley and Bobby Baxley; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Ollie Helen Mondy; a daughter, Nola Ann Mondy; a stepson, Nicky Baxley; a brother, Joseph Mondy and a sister, Mabel Mondy.

A celebration of his life will be 2:00 pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Gregg Funeral Home Chapel in Monette with David Price officiating. Burial will follow at Monette Memorial Cemetery with military honors.

The family will receive friends from noon until time of service, Wednesday at the funeral home.

Lasting memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society.


Jerry Don Qualls

Qualls, Jerry D Black Oak- Jerry Don Qualls, passed away Thursday, March 31, 2016 at his home with his wife by his side.

He was born November 3, 1937 at Poplar Ridge to the late James Kenneth “J.K.” and Avril Montgomery Qualls. Jerry served his country proudly in the United States Army and Army National Guard. Jerry spent his life farming. He was also a carpenter. He served on the Federal Land Bank Board, the Drainage Board, and Black Oak Gin Board. He loved telling stories and playing jokes on friends and family. He was a walking history book about family, people, farms, home places in the surrounding community.  He was a member of the Community of Christ Church in Caraway.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Edna Mae Qualls; his children and their spouses, Hunter and Donna Miller of Caraway, Curtis and Laura Miller of Black Oak, Jerri Lyn and Shannon Sanders of Caraway and Sandra Lee and Stephan Pearce of Little Rock; five grandchildren, Clayton Miller and wife Shawna, McCrae Miller, Harley Miller, Bryton Sanders and Emmie Sanders; a great-granddaughter, Layken Miller; two sisters and their husbands, Lawanda and Ronnie Slayton of Memphis and Onita and Eddie Thomas of Jonesboro;  special friend and caregiver, Dee Dee Drummond and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Darrell Qualls.

A celebration of his life will be 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 3, 2016 at Gregg Funeral Home at Monette with Eddie Dunigan and Jerry “Chub” Qualls officiating. Burial will follow at Monette Memorial Cemetery with Gary Earnhart officiating.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until time of service Sunday at the Gregg Funeral Home in Monette.

Honored to serve as pallbearers are Dane McCord, Cade Couch, Terry Harris, Scotty Owens, Kris Kelton, Len B. Nall, Dewight Whittenburg and Bo James. Honorary pallbearers are Jim Qualls, Paul “Doodle” Taylor, Johnny McCord, Ted Thomas, Jim Stotts, Jim Ladd, Plute Ladd, Larry Ladd, Charles Smith, Jerry Wayne Nall, Jerry Overman, Larry Sanders, Ronnie Harris, Lynn Haag, Irvin Smith, Jack Stone, Randy Couch, W. T. Bibb, Kenny Watson, Larry Bratten, Kenny Weathers, Ben Emison, Jerry Branscum, Paul Thompson and Caraway High School Class of 1955 and the Black Oak Gin Board members.

Lasting memorials may be sent to the charity of your choosing.


Ruby Wanda Shaw Taylor

Lake City – Ruby Wanda Shaw Taylor was born October 31, 1916, at Mangrum, Arkansas, and passed away on Monday, March 7, 2016, at Lake City, Arkansas.  She was a direct descendent of Benjamin Shaw, who homesteaded the area in Craighead County known as Shaw Farm.  At the age of seven she moved to Black Oak.  At that time the country was still covered in woods, and she often told stories about accompanying her family to the “Timber Camps”.  She was a cousin to many of the early homesteaders, which makes her a distant cousin to many people in Craighead County today.  She attended schools at Mangrum and Black Oak.  In 1934 she represented Black Oak as a Princess in the parade to open the bridge over the St. Francis River in Lake City.  She was fortunate enough to be in the audience at the dedication of the new bridge on April 1, 1999.

On October 14, 1939, she married William Rex Taylor, a dragline operator (heavy equipment).  After a short time of following him on his job they settled permanently in Black Oak, Arkansas.

She spent the next thirty years of her life as a housewife and working on the farm.  At age 50 she began working at American Greetings in Osceola, Arkansas, and worked there until she retired at age 65.  After retirement she did a lot of crocheting names onto doilies.  She did these for people living in many different places across the United States.  She enjoyed attending the meetings of the Black Oak Home Demonstration Club.  She was excited about the dresses this group sewed for girls who would not have a new dress for Easter, and excited about the Recipe books the Club compiled.  Five years ago she moved to Westminister Village at Blytheville, Arkansas, and lived there until she became sick on June 2, 2015.  Since June 7, 2015 she has resided at Lakeside Nursing and Rehab Facility in Lake City, Arkansas.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Rex Taylor; one son, Larry Jerome Taylor; one granddaughter Alison Diane Taylor; her parents Marshall Jones Shaw and Minerva Jane “Jenny” Huggins Shaw; two brothers Charles M. Brock and Albert A. Flatt; and three sisters, Eula Shaw Dickens, Mary Shaw Chaffin, and Zadie Flatt Stevens.

She is survived by one daughter Sondra Taylor Hayhurst and her husband John William “Jack” Hayhurst of Amherst, New York and Melbourne, Florida; one stepson Billie Rex Taylor and his wife Norma Jean Ford Taylor of Ozark, Missouri; one daughter-in-law Marcia Elizabeth Denton Taylor of Blytheville, Arkansas; three grandsons Rex Val Taylor and his wife Denise Ann Roberts Taylor of Allen, Texas, Craig Taylor Meyer and his wife Kimberly Austell Meyer of Lyles, Tennessee, and Philip Denton Taylor and his wife Amy Yankee Taylor of Blytheville, Arkansas; three granddaughters Dana Ann Taylor Gray of Ozark, Missouri, Jana Kay Taylor Bowline and her husband Troy Bowline of Ozark, Missouri, and Carla Renee Taylor Stephens and her husband Kenneth Lloyd Stevens of Springfield, Missouri.  She is survived by six great grandsons Cade Davis Taylor of Blytheville, Arkansas, Chris Taylor Meyer and Dillon James Meyer of Lyles, Tennessee, Brandon Cole Gray of Ozark, Missouri, and Shane Lloyd Stephens and Devin William Stephens of Springfield, Missouri; and five great granddaughters Lauren Alexis Taylor of Blytheville, Arkansas, Lauren Ashley Bowline Fann and her husband Justin Fann of Ozark, Missouri, Callie Nicole Bowline of Ozark, Missouri, Laura Ann Taylor Nickell and her husband Neil Nickell of Rowlett, Texas, and Amy Beth Taylor McBroom and her husband Eddy McBroom of Allen, Texas.

She is also survived by one nephew Jimmy Stevens of Trumann, Arkansas; two nieces Betty Stevens Woodard of Canton, Mississippi, and Mary Katherine Chaffin Logsdon of Homer Glen, Illinois; one special cousin Paul Taylor and his wife Madge of Caraway, Arkansas.  Also, two step grandsons Wayne Sanders and his family of Houston, Texas, and Derrick Hayhurst and his family of Franklin, North Carolina.  One very special friend Joyce Whitten of Black Oak, Arkansas; one brother-in-law Fred Taylor of Greenfield, Missouri and three sisters-in-law Dixie Taylor Crouch and Audrey Taylor of Greenfield, Missouri and Mary Taylor Raley of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The family thanks Dr. Stepanuk, Dr. Mason, Joyce, and Regina at Great River Medical for their kindness, professionalism, and efficiency.  They also thank all those at Lakeside Nursing who cared for her in her final months.

Anyone wishing to leave a Memorial is asked to consider Crowley’s Ridge Academy, 606 Academy Drive, Paragould, Arkansas 72450 or Crowley’s Ridge College, 100 College Drive, Paragould, Arkansas 72450.

A graveside service will be 1:30 pm Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Monette Memorial Cemetery with a memorial service at 2:00 pm at Black Oak Church of Christ under the direction of Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.

Kaden Eli Banton

Kaden Eli Banton, of Black Oak departed this life Friday, February 26, 2016, in Jonesboro, at the age of 7.

He was born November 3, 2008 in Paragould, the son of Victor Banton and Sarah Pollard Banton Cross.

Kaden was a first grader at Riverside East Elementary School in Caraway.  He liked playing baseball and video games and loved all super heroes.  He enjoyed riding his bicycle and his motorbike.

He is survived by his father, Victor Banton of Jonesboro; his mother and step-father, Sarah and Walter Cross of Black Oak; his step-brother, Peyton Cross of Brighton, TN; his grandparents, Joey and Rhonda Pollard of Black Oak, Harril and Cindy Banton of Jonesboro, Stacey Hitt of Jonesboro; great grandparents, Edwin and Alice Wright of Marked Tree and Ernest and Mary Banton of Caraway; aunts, Emily Pollard and Jennifer and Tony Cerda; several cousins, Jazmin, Addy, Selena and Sofia Cerda, Jhett Maddox, Addison and Christian Gibson, Zander Smith and Ashlyn Havens.

He was preceded in death by his great grandparents, Floyd and Faye Pollard.

Funeral services have been set for 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, at the Rowe’s Chapel Baptist Church near Caraway, with Rev. Glen Hoselton officiating.

Interment will follow in Caraway Cemetery under the direction of Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.

Friends may visit at the church Monday evening, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

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