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Larry Barnett

Larry T. Barnett, 80, of Hamburg, died Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021 at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro. The Crossett native was a 1959 graduate of Hamburg High School and attended University of Arkansas at Monticello. 

He retired from Georgia-Pacific Paper Mill and was a member of Maplevale Missionary Baptist Church. He was active in the Paint Horse Association.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 24 years, Ira Sue Fanell Barnett, and his parents, Lexie and Annie Griswould Barnett.

Survivors include one sister, Kay Alexander of Sevierville, Tenn.

Graveside services are 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22 in Pinewood Memorial Park with Bro. Jerry Carter officiating. 

Honorary pallbearers are Glen Michael Carter, Chase Carter, Carter Cessor, Ayden Carter, Kevin Cessor, Donnie Miller, Joey Miller, Reuben Rush, and Mark Alexander. 

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

Visitation will be 1:45 to 2 p.m. Monday in the cemetery.


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Margaret Elaine Bays

Margaret Elaine Bays, 74, of Crossett, died Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was born Oct. 30, 1946, and she was a former CHS Eaglette and a member of the CHS Class of 1964.

For 41 years, she worked for First National Bank of Crossett; during this time, she graduated from The School for Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin and eventually retired as the vice president of bookkeeping and data processing in 2013.

She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi, the United Way, and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She was treasurer of Ladies at Work and a member of First Baptist Church of Crossett where she joined “Loving Care” Sunday school class.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Margariet Rea Hayes, and her husband, John Earl Bays.

Her survivors include one daughter, Angie Haynie, and husband, Kenny, of Crossett; one son, Jimmy Woods, and wife, Kristie, of Crossett; one sister, Pat Rawls of Prairie Grove; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; three step-children, John Bays Jr., Joe Bays (Pam), Beth Beavers (Brian); five step-grandchildren; and one step great-grandchild.

A celebration of life graveside service was held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 in Crossroads Cemetery with Pastors Jamie Staley and Lyle Hern officiating.

Pallbearers were Casey White, Buck Boger, Brian Holt, Lance Mercer, Scott Gulledge, Chris Collins, Carl Sivils, and Chris Posey. 

Honorary pallbearers were Ernie Thompson, Alan Jackson, and Roger Williams.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Crossett or American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in her honor.


Billy Jordan

Billy Doyle Jordan, age 86, a native of Hamburg, died Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. He was born Dec. 10, 1934 and was a retired member of Georgia Pacific Plywood Mill. Upon retiring he enjoyed spending time “tinkering” around his shop. He was part of Martinville Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Veta Mae Jordan; parents, Bud and Jackie Swinney Jordan; one sister Vera Stanley; three brothers, Fred Jordan, Bobby Jordan, and Junior Jordan; and one daughter-in-law, Regina Jordan.

He is survived by three sons, Sammy Earl and Stebo Jordan both of Crossett and Thomas “Dooley” Jordan (Lisa) of Monroe, La; one daughter, Nancy McDill (Elvin) of Hamburg; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Rusty Jordan, Logan Jordan, Shane Copes, Cory Halley, Curtis “Elmo” McDill, and Brandon Pearson.

Honorary pallbearers were Gifford Godfrey and Jimmy Bolton.

Funeral service was held Thursday, Feb. 11 in the chapel of Cromwell Funeral Home with Brother Elvin McDill officiating and followed by burial in Egypt Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of Cromwell Funeral Home.


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Rev. James Kitchens

Rev. James A. Kitchens, 92, of Whitehouse, Texas, died Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas. He was a native of Hamburg; a 1945 graduate of Hamburg High School; and a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served from 1950 to 1954. He attended Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Bible languages, and Oklahoma Missionary Baptist Seminary, where he received a degree in theology. 

He pastored six churches, Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Birta, Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church in Benton, Harmony Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Okla., Sharon Missionary Baptist Church in Benton, Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Idabel, Okla., and Austin Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Dekalb, Texas. 

He retired from pastoring in January 2000, continued to preach as a fill-in preacher for 10 years or more, and taught a Sunday school class at Calvary Church in Idabel.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Diane Kitchens Ginn; his parents, Claude L. and Elizabeth Johnson Kitchens; one sister, Hazel Kitchens Maxwell; one brother, Harold Kitchens; and one sister-in-law, Sherri Morris Kitchens.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Katie Williams Kitchens; one son, Mike Kitchens and wife, Paula, all of Whitehouse; one son-in-law, John Ginn of Idabel; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Graveside services are 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in Antioch Cemetery with Rev. W.A. Dillard and Rev. Doug Clements officiating. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home.

Visitation will be 1:45 to 2 p.m. Saturday in the cemetery.


Erma Perry

Erma Jean Perry, age 71 of Hamburg died Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021 at Ashley County Medical Center. She was a native of Dumas but a resident of Hamburg most of her life. She was a member of Christ Temple Pentecostal Church.

She was preceded in death by her father, George Eskridge; mother, Alzora Harris Miller; stepfather, Virgil Miller; five brothers, Virgil Miller Jr., LV Miller, John L. Miller, Andrew Miller, and Elijah “Bobo” Miller; and two sisters, Elizabeth Collins and Grace Mae Brock.

She is survived one son, Dennis O’Neal Perry Jr. of Oakland, Calif.; two daughters, Leandell Miller and Cecelia Perry, both of Oakland; four brothers, Larry Miller, Jerry Miller, and Nathaniel Miller, all of Crossett, and Lee Marvin Miller (Tonya) of Hamburg; four sisters, Etherine Davis of Dumas, and Verdell Briso, Janice Murphy, and Juanita Miller, all of Chicago, Ill.; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service was held Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. at Cromwell Funeral Home chapel with Bishop Alphonso Madden officiating.

Arrangements were by Cromwell Funeral Home.


Christelle Ricketts

Christelle “Chris” Jones Ricketts, 80, of Crossett, died Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Little Rock. She was born July 4, 1940, in Jerome, was a 1958 graduate of Crossett High School, and was a member of West Crossett Missionary Baptist Church.

She previously worked as a proofreader for the Ashley News Observer.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Royal S. Jones Sr. and Chlorene Callaway Jones; her husband, Warren “Pete” E. Ricketts; two brothers, Willie Joe Jones and Leroy Jones; one sister, Florence Bowden; and two stepchildren, William Warren Ricketts and Diane Martin.

She is survived by two daughters, Vickie Ball and husband, Frankie, of Canton, N.C., and Tammy Ricketts of Crossett; one brother, R.S. Jones and wife, Beverly, also of Crossett; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A private service will be held, officiated by Bro. Harold Cantley.

Pallbearers are Josh Holmes, Justin Hannah, James Purcell, Kenny Bowden, Dennis Jones, David Jones, and Brandon Jones. 

Honorary pallbearers are Thomas Glen Childers, Larry Cantley, Henry Pat Cantley, Phillip Jones, and Jerry Purcell.

Burial will be in Pinewood Memorial Park under the direction of Medders Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the “Hope at Home” organization.


Billy Richard Smith

Billy Richard Smith, 71, of Crossett, died Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at Ashley County Medical Center. 

He was born in Sulligent, Ala., on Dec. 31, 1949. He graduated from Crossett High School in 1968 and served in the Vietnam Conflict as a member of the 101st Airborne Division in the U. S. Army.

He had a 43-year career with Georgia Pacific, where he eventually retired as the tissue converting D division supervisor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James R. and Dorothy “Dot” Stanley Smith.

He is survived by two sons, Charlie Smith and wife, Karla, and Scott Smith, all of Crossett; one daughter, Angela Lephiew and husband, Danny, of Crossett; three siblings, Fran Bagley and husband, Barry, of Harvest, Ala., and Bobby Smith and wife, Lynette, and Mike Smith and wife, Mandy, all of Crossett; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life graveside service was held at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12 in Sims Cemetery with Pastor Donnie Dubose officiating. 

Pallbearers were Holt Smith, Tyler Mallett, Peyten McNiece, Hayden Matthews, Theo Smith, and Crocket Smith. 

Honorary pallbearers were his tissue converting co-workers, Chazz Rice, Danny Lephiew, Cody Lephiew, Aubrey Lephiew, Dylan Smith, Luke Smith, and Seth Maxwell.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Hope at Home organization.