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Lonnie Blanks

Lonnie Dave Blanks, 69, died Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Little Rock. He was born in Fountain Hill Sept. 29, 1950.

He was a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Fountain Hill and graduated from Fountain Hill High School in 1969. He attended Arkansas AM&N, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, before he was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He also was a volunteer for the Army National Guard.

He worked as a press operator at the Los Angeles Times and then he worked for Georgia Pacific in Crossett.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elihue Blanks Sr. and Robiezene Blanks, and three siblings, James Leon Blanks, Bonnie Jean Blanks Brown, and Barbara Ann Blanks Gathen.

Survivors include two children, Cedric Quinton Blanks of Mebane, N.C., and Yachika Yolanda Blanks of Detroit, Mich.; two sisters, Rotean Sawyer of Los Angeles and Gloria Hardy (Eric) of Southfield, Mich.; one brother, Elihue Blanks Jr. of Los Angeles; one brother-in-law, Thomas Gathen of Pine Bluff; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. at Cromwell Funeral Home, 600 E. St. Louis in Hamburg, with Bro. Rick Daniel officiating.

Active pallbearers are Willie Fred Brock, Daryle Daniels Sr., Adam Martin, Dennis Cole, Vernon Fisher Sr., and Anthony Watson Sr.

Honorary pallbearers are Melton Gaston, Thomas Gathen, Eric Hardy, Thomas Jones, Carlton Twine, Curtis Cavaness, Elihue Blanks Jr., Marcus Graham, Myronn Hardy, David Karon Ridgell, Dwight Cavaness, and Darryl Thomas.

Visitation was scheduled for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the funeral home.


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Vernie Mae Childress

Vernie Mae Childress, 75, of Monticello, died Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 at Drew Memorial Hospital. She was a native of Lacey, a past resident of Crossett, and a homemaker; she attended Promise Land Baptist Church where she served as choir director, mission ministry instructor, and a church mother.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Rev. James Childress; her parents, Porter and Treathe Franklin; two sisters, LaFan Rogers and Shirley Tabb; and one brother, Pastor Glen Dale Franklin.

She is survived by one daughter, Angelia Childress of Monticello; two brothers, John Porter Franklin (Mary) of Lacey and Jerry Wayne Franklin (Delores) of McGehee; three sisters, Ivanell Handley (Floyd) of Lacey, Patricia Staple of Monticello, and Jacalyn Riley of Westland, Mich.; and one grandson.

Graveside service was scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. in Ryles Cemetery in the White Station community with Rev. Semaj Brown officiating and under the direction of Cromwell Funeral Home.

Active pallbearers are Darnell Handley, Jerry Franklin, Floyd Handley, Temeka Franklin, Charlie Smith, and Ephriam Franklin.


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Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy L. Johnson, 78, of Hamburg, died Sunday, Sept. 20. He was born in Hamburg on Jan. 3, 1942 and was a resident there most of his life. 

He graduated in 1960 from Hamburg High School and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he was a combat veteran of the Vietnam Conflict. 

He worked as a job superintendent for Smith Contracting for 18 years and retired from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department after 23 years of service as Ashley County area maintenance superintendent. 

He served as the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department District Two Retiree Association president for 10 years. 

He member of Maplevale Missionary Baptist Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher and treasurer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, A.H. “Gus” and Imogene Morris Johnson, and one brother, Morris Johnson.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Bettye Bennett Johnson of Pine Bluff; one son, Gus Johnson and wife, Jennifer, of West Monroe, La.; three step-daughters, Candy Hogue and husband, Bubba, of Pine Bluff, and Connie Alexander and husband, Russell, and Christi Pittman and husband, Lee, both of Hot Springs; one brother, Aubrey Johnson and wife, Johnette, of Mount Ida; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Graveside services are 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 in Antioch Cemetery with Bro. Joseph Pemberton and Bro Jerry Carter officiating. 

Honorary pallbearers are Jimmy Don Gillum, Donnie Miller, Joey Miller, Alan Maxwell, Donnie McCaughan, Dennis Goodwin, James Gwin, and Larry Barnett.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Maplevale Missionary Baptist Church, 3331 HWY 425 S., Hamburg, AR  71646 or to Antioch Memorial Cemetery Trust, 187 Ashley Road 710,  Hamburg, AR 71646. 

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

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


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Geraldine “Jean” Jordan

Geraldine “Jean” Jordan, 94, died Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, at her home. She was born on May 4, 1926, in Monticello, and was a resident of Crossett most of her life, a member of Magnolia Baptist Church, and a retired bookkeeper.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Birtus and Ollie Jeffers Barrett; her husband of 56 years, Bill Jordan; two sisters, Ima Jean Norrell and Margaret Tippen; and two brothers, Junior Barrett and James Barrett.

She is survived by four children, Billie Fran Watt (Billy Mack), Clatie Jean Houston (Bill), Sherry Vosburg (Bruce), and Gary Wayne Jordan (Suzette); two sisters, Wanda Glover (Glenn) and Sue Jordan; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life service was held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 at Magnolia Baptist Church with Pastor Mike Griffith officiating and was followed by burial in Egypt Cemetery under the direction of Medders Funeral Home. 

Pallbearers were Tate Watt, Colby Houston, Jason Sanders, Taylor Bryant, Garrett Williams, Cody Kelley, Will Bryant, Jordan Houston, and Cole Kelley. 


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Zoe Sawyer

Zoe Ann Berberick Sawyer, age 76, of Crossett died Sept. 15, 2020. She was born in Stamps on July 3, 1944, and was a certified nursing assistant and a babysitter.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Maudie M. Ward, and her husband of 45 years, Johnny (J.M.) Sawyer.

She is survived by one half-brother, Richard Hobb (Norma) of Kilgore, Texas.

Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 in Crossroads Cemetery with Johnnie Bolin speaking and under the direction of Jones Funeral Home.


James “Lamar” Stevens

James “Lamar” Stevens, 63, of Crossett, died Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, at his home. He was born on Nov. 11, 1956, in Gonzales, La., and was a member of First United Methodist Church of Hamburg.

He was a Crossett resident most of his life and worked as a pipefitter in the construction industry for many years. His most recent job title was customer service representative at Atwoods.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Murray and Elsie Leblanc Stevens; one brother, Marc Stevens; and one sister, Robin Beaux.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Reba Stevens of Crossett; four children, Aaron Stevens (Ashley) of St. Amant, La., Leah Duplechin (Derek) of Paulina, La., Shane Austin (Disha) of Crossett, and Toby Austin (Brooke) of Hamburg; one brother, Murray Stevens Jr. (Sandi) of Gonzales; four sisters, Monica Brown (David), Brenda Frank (Larry), Patrice Perkins, and Jessica Diez Munoz (Oscar); 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A family led memorial service was held at 10 a.m. at Hamburg First UMC, 202 S. Main Street, on Saturday, Sept. 19.


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Charlene Swan

Charlene Pruitt Swan, 73, of Fountain Hill, died Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, surrounded by family. She was born Aug. 1, 1947, in Hamburg. She was a member of Hamburg United Pentecostal Church and taught Sunday school at the Hamburg and Crossett United Pentecostal churches for many years.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, James Alton Sowyers and Paul D. “Spider” Webb; one son, Travis Sowyers; her parents, William and Ethel Streeter Pruitt; and one brother, Eugene Pruitt.

She is survived by her husband, Phillip Swan of Fountain Hill; two daughters, Pam Keely and husband, Stan, of Fountain Hill and Penny Whitaker and husband, Lee, of Greenville, Miss.; one stepson, Paul Webb of Florida; three stepdaughters, Karen White and husband, Dale, of Crystal Springs, Miss., Penny Bugbee of Michigan, and Kathy Webb of Florida; one brother, Harold Pruitt and wife, Delores, of Crossett; one sister, Annie Fitch of Fountain Hill; 27 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Graveside services are 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 in Hamburg Cemetery with Bro. Randy Russell and Bro. Stan Keely officiating. 

Honorary pallbearers are her grandsons, Chance Ray, Wayne Keely, Justin Leslie, James Sowyers, Joey Sowyers, William Sowyers, Nathanial Sowyers, Tino Garcia, and Brandon Fitch. 

Memorials may be sent to Hamburg United Pentecostal Church, PO Box 309, Hamburg, AR  71646. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home.

Visitation will be 1:45 to 2 p.m. Friday at the cemetery.

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