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Julia Fran Merritt, age 68 of Pine Bluff, formerly of Hamburg, died Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville, Georgia. She was a retired hairdresser who operated a hair salon in Pine Bluff.

Ms. Merritt was preceded in death by her husband, James Merritt; one son, Eddie Dennis Hollomon II; her parents, Cornelius Girtman and Bessie Elizabeth Gilbert-Girtman; one sister, Annie Mae Girtman-Cook and one brother, Donald Gene Girtman.

She is survived by one son, Tracy Holloman of Fairburn, Georgia; two brothers, Cornelius Girtman, Jr. of Crossett and Dennis Girtman (Carolyn) of El Dorado; three sisters, Francis Robinson of San Francisco, California, Brenda Martin (Ronald) of Augusta, Georgia and Debra Sodie of The Colony, Texas.

Services were Saturday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Phillip Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Horace Ingram officiating. Burial in Nimmons Cemetery under the direction of Cromwell Funeral Home, Inc.


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Malinda Shurden, 57, of Cleveland, Mississippi, died Tuesday, March 13, 2018.  Mrs. Shurden was a native of San Francisco, California, a resident of Cleveland, Mississippi for the past five years and a former resident of Memphis, Tennessee; Marion, Arkansas; Anniston, Alabama and Kansas City, Kansas. 

Mrs. Shurden worked as a Customer Service Representative for Langston Bag Company for many years.  She volunteered at the local animal rescue, Paw Prints Rescue, in Cleveland.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Louis Edward & Sybil Ann Vail Adams and three aunts.

She is survived by her husband, Greg Shurden of Cleveland, Mississippi; two sons, Jeremy Miles and Jonathan Miles both of Houston, Texas and a granddaughter.

Funeral services were at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2018 in the Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Joel Meredith officiating.  Burial was in the Hamburg Cemetery. Pallbearers were Jeremy Miles, Jonathan Miles, Nick Shurden, Steve Pinkston, Larry Savage and Ray Vail. Memorials may be made to Paw Prints Rescue, 404 Third Street, Cleveland, MS  38732. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home of Hamburg.


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Rosa Lee Williamson, 74, of Crossett, passed away Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Ashley County Medical Center. She was born the youngest of seven children on September 14, 1943, in Hamburg, Arkansas. She was a member of North Crossett First Baptist Church and a mother of six. She never worked outside the home, but she wore many hats for her family. She was known as the pastor’s wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and Mimi. She also assumed the roles as entertainer, counselor, seamstress, cook, and peacemaker, whenever needed, among many others.

Rosa accepted Jesus Christ as her savior at 39 years of age and went on to lead several of her grandchildren to Christ. She enjoyed sharing her “God-given” talent, playing piano, which she played by ear at church, funerals, or wherever she was needed. She especially loved playing and participating in the Sunday morning ministry for the residents of Stonegate Rehabilitation Center.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Jessie, and Allie Pogue Craig; her first husband, Bro. Don Rainey; one brother, Edward Craig; two sisters, Jean Slaughter and Margie Livingston; and one granddaughter, Brianna Grace Rainey.

She is survived by her husband, Johnny Williamson; six children, Bobby Rainey of Hamburg, Jerry Rainey and wife, Dawn, of Crossett, Angie Self and husband, Thomas, of Pine Bluff, Jeff Rainey and wife, Meleah, of Crossett, Andy Rainey and wife, Monica, of El Dorado, and Amanda Albritton and husband, Stacy, of Farmerville, LA; two brothers, Jessie “Shorty” Craig, Jr. and wife, Mary, and Jimmy Craig and wife, Annette, both of Milo; one sister, Joyce Berry and husband, Hurley, of Hamburg; twenty-two grandchildren, Beth Rainey, Ben Rainey, Carson Rainey, Beau Rainey, Bobby Don Rainey Jr., Charley Mae Rainey, Courtney Rainey (Michelle), Adam Rainey (Felicia), Jade Huntsman (Tad), Kody Redding, K’cee Redding, Sydnee Redding, Ryne Rainey, Morgan Rainey, Savanah Rainey, Sarah Murray, Jake Murray, Julie Murray, Aaron Murray (Katie), Jon David Davis, K’lee Davis, and Conner Albritton; along with twelve great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 19th at the North Crossett First Baptist Church, 1035 Highway 133, Crossett with Bro. Joey Meredith officiating along with Adam Rainey and Bro. Courtney Rainey. An interment at Egypt Cemetery will follow under the direction of Medders Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Jon David Davis, Ryne Rainey, Ben Rainey, Jake Murray, Carson Rainey, and Dylan Tanksley. Honorary pallbearers will be all her other grandsons and great-grandsons.

Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 18th at Medders Funeral Home, 1564 Hwy 52 W, Crossett. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the North Crossett First Baptist Church building fund.


James Curtis Walley, 57, of Crossett, died Saturday, March 17, 2018, at the Baptist Health Center in Little Rock. He was born July 1, 1960, in Lepanto, Arkansas. Curtis was a 1978 graduate of Rivercrest High School and a graduate of Arkansas State University where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He was a long-time employee of Georgia Pacific Chemical but recently began working for Arez, LLC of Crossett.

He was preceded in death by his parents, J.C., and Barbara Smith Walley.

He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Lisha Walley; one son, Jordan “Case” Walley; and one brother, Stephen Walley and wife, Lori, all of Crossett; four sisters, Diane Jennings of Lepanto, Susan Taylor and husband, Norman, of Osceola, Arkansas, Judy Bishop of Caraway, Arkansas, and Gwen Houseman of Manilla, Arkansas; a host of nieces and nephews and his in-laws, John and Linda Brown.

funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 20th at Medders Funeral Home in Crossett with Bro. Toby Austin officiating, followed by an interment at Pinewood Memorial Park under the direction of Medders Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Rodney Taylor, Jeff Huffman, Taylor Huffman, Cody Walley, Brandon Towery, Frank Towery, Phillip Knapp, and John Jennings. Honorary pallbearers were Dayton Brown, Steven Hall, Andy Lewis, Jamie Land, and Scotty Campbell.


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James Travis Sowyers, 47, of Fountain Hill, died Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

Mr. Sowyers was a native of Bastrop, Louisiana and a resident of Fountain Hill for most of his life.  He was formerly a truck driver for Ashley County for 10 years.  Mr. Sowyers was a member of the First United Pentecostal Church.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Angel Alise Sowyers; his father, James Alton Sowyers; his grandparents, Wince and Ethel Streeter Pruitt and Jasper and Dottie Lee Crenshaw Sowyers.

He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years, Gina Pennington Sowyers of Fountain Hill; four sons, James Sowyers and wife, Chasity, of LaDell, Joey Sowyers and wife, Kelsey, William Sowyers and wife, Bailey, and Nathaniel Sowyers all of Fountain Hill; his mother and step-father, Charlene Pruitt and Donnie Swan of Fountain Hill; two sisters, Penny Whitaker and husband, Lee, of Greenville, Mississippi and Pamela Keely and husband, Stan, of Fountain Hill; a step-sister, Karen White and husband, Dale of Crystal Springs, Mississippi; and six grandchildren.

Funeral services were at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018 in the Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Randy Russell officiating.  Burial was in the Zion Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Brandon Fitch, Chance Ray, Penny Ray, Pamela Keely, Rusty Crum, James Sowyers, Tino Garcia, Stan Keely, Lee Whitaker and Curtis Crum.  Honorary pallbearers were Wayne Keely, Dakota Fitch, Austin Fitch, Justin Lesley, Wild Bill, Jerek Garcia, Stetson Garcia and Harold Pruitt.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home of Hamburg.


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Vaisa Honeck, age 73 of Crossett, AR, died at her residence on March 17, 2018.

She was a very faithful member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her daughter Teresa Runion Meeks, two brothers and a sister.

She is survived by three sons: Troy Runion of Crossett; Patrick Runion of Mt. Pleasant, Texas; and Neil Honeck, Jr. of Ruston, Louisiana; brothers and sisters: Lorraine Leiato; Madeline Warrick; Joanne Everett; Seu Asaeli; Emelia Crispin; Eleanor Asaeli; Mapu Asaeli; Liua Fatuesi; Matalena Chisolm; and Richard Togia; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 10:00AM on Saturday, March 24th at Jones Funeral Home Chapel in Crossett with Pastor Eric Hodge officiating; Internment in Egypt Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday, March 24th at Jones Funeral Home Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her honor to Hospice Home Care of Monticello or to Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Crossett.


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Hoover Lemons, 85, of Crossett died Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Life Touch Hospice Facility in El Dorado. He was a native of Wilmot but a resident of Crossett for most of his life. He was a retired timber worker and a member of New Bethel Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gabe and Lula Mae Alford-Lemons; one brother, Richmond Mays and one sister, Iveria Jones.

Lemons is survived by his wife of 45 years, Earlie B. Franklin-Lemons; two step-daughters, Sidney Carthon and Tamara Burks, both of Louisville, Texas; and two grandchildren. 

Services are 11:00AM on Friday, March 23 at New Bethel Baptist Church with Pastor Jesse Radford officiating. Pallbearers will be Billy Taylor, James Webb, Don Franklin, Anthony Mays, DeWayne Norwood and Don Foster. Burial in Westview Cemetery. Visitation is from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday at Cromwell Funeral Home.

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