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John Branstetter

John Allen Branstetter, 84, died Aug. 24, 2021. He was born Aug. 3, 1937, in Gillette and was a former resident of Houston, Texas and Texas City.

He was a 1955 graduate of Hamburg High School, studied chemical engineering at University of Arkansas at Monticello, and was a veteran of the Korean War, where he was a radio repairman in the USAF. He was a mentor, minister, and volunteered many years as a Sunday school teacher.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Hubert Branstetter and Helen Peters Branstetter; his stepmother, Estelle Branstetter; and his sister, Mary Branstetter Gee. 

He is survived by his wife, Delores Holcomb Branstetter; and six children, Laura Branstetter Gee and her husband John, Sheiron Branstetter White and her husband Steve, Todd Ricks and his wife Christi, Jay Branstetter and his wife Ann, Libby Branstetter Hayes and her husband Sean, and John Timothy Branstetter; his brother, Teddy Oliver Branstetter and his wife Judy; along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Saturday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m. at The Fellowship, 2222 TX-146 in Texas City. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Dementia Society of America, www.dementiasociety.org.


Rose Duckworth

Rose Marie Duckworth, age 86, died Aug. 22, 2021 in Shreveport, La. Formerly of Crossett, she was a retired elementary school teacher. She taught school at Crossett School District for 30 years. She was a native of Stamps and a member of the First Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Robert Lee (Jack) Duckworth; her parents, Jacob and Hattie Manning Thompson; one brother, Jacob T. Thompson; and one sister, Eula V. Thomas.

She is survived by one daughter, Iris Renee Duckworth of Shreveport; two sons, Roderic Leon Duckworth (Cyneetha) of Tallahassee, Fla., and Robert Chandler Duckworth (Asara) of Rockwell, Texas; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Graveside service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 in Quinn Cemetery in Crossett with Rev. Robert Duckworth and Rev. Curtis Jackson officiating. 

Honorary pallbearers were the deacons and trustees of First Baptist Church and Leondras Simpson.

Services were entrusted to Cromwell Funeral Home.


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Julian Estelle

Julian Estelle, 81, of Hamburg, died Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. He was a native of Ashley County, a lifelong resident of the Milo community, and a 1958 graduate of Hamburg High School. He worked for Georgia-Pacific Corporation for 17 years and was the owner and operator of Estelle Farm Equipment for over 50 years. He was a deacon and a member of Mount Pleasant Free Will Baptist Church. He was a former president of Ashley County Cattleman’s Association.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Dorothy Lee Willard Estelle, and his parents, Cloy and Thelma Johnson Estelle.

He is survived by one daughter, Penny Corder and husband, Eddie, of Hamburg; one son, Robert Estelle and wife, Carolyn, of Lacey; one sister, Peggy Gifford of Hamburg; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26 at Mount Pleasant Free Will Baptist Church with Bro. Keith Boseman and Bro. Hurley Ashcraft officiating. Burial was in Crossroads Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Daniel Rice, Bob Rush, Doug Neal, Mike Kelley, Richard Weatherly, and Jayden Estelle.

Honorary pallbearers were Jimmy Meeks, Johnny Seach, Charles “Bull” Wells, Paul Carr, John Richardson, and Dr. Luis Garcia.

Memorials may be sent to St. Jude’s, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN  38148-0142 or to Mount Pleasant Free Will Baptist Church, 310 Ashley Road 95, Hamburg, AR 71646. 

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


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Helen Foote

Helen Higginbotham Foote, 95, of Hamburg, died Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, at Ashley County Medical Center in Crossett. She was a native of Lake Village, a graduate of Hamburg High School, and a graduate of Baptist Nursing School in Little Rock where she received her degree as a registered nurse.

She worked as a floor nurse/surgical nurse at Ashley County Medical Center, formerly the Crossett Hospital; as the Hamburg School District school nurse; and as a home health nurse for the Arkansas Department of Health. 

She was a member of Hamburg First United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir and was a member of the United Methodist Women and the Rolfe Whitlow Sunday School Class.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Louie Gene Foote; one son, Henry Eugene Foote; her parents, J.C. and Eunice Griswold Higginbotham; two sisters, Lorece Ozment Rainey and Billie Jean Bussell; one brother, Donald Higginbotham; and one sister-in-law, Muriel Bolls Suares.

She is survived by one daughter, Patricia Janes and husband, Jerry, of Hamburg; two brothers, Phillip Higginbotham of Fayetteville and James Higginbotham and wife, Anita, of Crossett; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one sister-in-law, Myra Higginbotham of Katy, Texas.

Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 at First United Methodist Church with Colten Stanberry, Bro. Josh Luellen, Rev. Toby Austin, and Chad Higginbotham officiating. A private burial was held in Hamburg Cemetery. 

Honorary pallbearers were Dillon Deason, Peyton Gwin, Joe Hennington, Jared Brooks, Trey Holland, Johnny Pierce, Josh Pierce, Jeff Foote, Joe Foote, William Foote, Drew Foote, Brad Shiver, Harry Shiver, Kyle Barnett, and Reid Erwin. 

Memorials may be sent to Hamburg First United Methodist Church, 202 S. Main Street, Hamburg, AR 71646; to Promise Land Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund, 765 Ashley Road 70, Hamburg, AR 71646; or to Promise Land Community Building Fund c/o Lindsey Brooks, 427 Ashley Road 70, Hamburg, AR  71646. 

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


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Virginia Grimes

Virginia Lou Grimes, 78, of Portland, died Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Crossett. She was a native of England and a 1960 graduate of Portland High School. She was a member of Portland Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by one daughter, Gina Smith; her father, Bob Fisher; and one sister, Pat Tumlison.

She is survived by her husband of 61 years, James William “Billy” Grimes of Portland; one daughter, Terri Foster and husband, Donnie, of McGehee; her mother, Billie Jean Hughes Fisher of Portland; one sister, Dorothy Littleton of Louisiana; one brother, Bobby Fisher and wife, Twyla, of Portland; one granddaughter; and two great-granddaughters.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 at Portland Baptist Church with Bro. Mark Harris officiating. A private burial will be in Portland Cemetery at a later date.

Honorary pallbearers were David Robinson, Icer Crouse, Larry Tipps, Kevin Dugan, Tony Vestal, and Tommy Moyers.

Memorials may be sent to Portland Cemetery Association, PO Box 174, Portland, AR 71663 or to Portland Baptist Church, PO Box 86, Portland, AR 71663. 

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


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Beverly Robichaud

Beverly Jean Robichaud, 91, of Hamburg, died Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. She was a native of Waukegan, Ill.; a resident of the Pine Hill community outside of Hamburg for the past 2 ½ years; and a former resident of Las Vegas, Nev., for 40 years. 

A 1948 graduate of Waukegan High School, she completed four years of college and remained a 50-year member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Delta Master. She worked for All-State Insurance Company, having retired as a supervisor. 

She was of the Catholic religion and received her last rites.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Dan Robichaud; her parents, Joseph and Adeline Jackson; and one brother, Joey Jackson.

She is survived by three daughters, Carol Hansen of Ontario, Calif., Michele L. Dion of Bellevue, Idaho, and Pamela White of Butler, Penn.; two sons, Jerry Ahrens II of Texas and Derrick Ahrens Sr. and wife, Kelly, of Hamburg; 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be sent to Alzheimer’s Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205 or to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ  08540. 

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


Alonzo “Mike” Vought

Alonzo McClellan Vought, age 79, of Crossett, died Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. He was born Dec. 29, 1941 in Monticello and was of the Baptist faith.

He served his country in the United States Air Force. He served stateside during the Vietnam era as an electrician who worked on planes. 

He was a competitive shooter who competed in NRA national matches. He ranked #7 in the United States.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Alonzo McClellan Vought II and Helen Delene Watkins Baty; one son, Jonathan Vought; one brother, “Mac” Vought; and his stepmother, Kay Vought.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Lynn Vought of Crossett; one son, Marc Vought (Becky) of Hamburg; one daughter, Julie Tillman (Ernie) of El Dorado; five grandchildren; two sisters, Anna Elizabeth Ogden and Sheila Glover; and his siblings-in-law, Diane Barrett, Tina and Barney White, Buddy and Treasa Barrett, Terica and Kevin Kilcrease, Patsy and Dennis Price, and Melody and Tony Tankersley.

A celebration of life service was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 at North Main Baptist Church in Hamburg with Rev. Robert Davis and Rev. Robert Spicer officiating. 

Pallbearers were Caden Vought, Fisher Grubb, Jackson Grubb, Keegan Ganaway, Greg Griswould, and Brandon Price. Burial was in Hickory Grove Cemetery under the direction of Jones Funeral Home.