Passages: Winter 2019


Ruby Davis Anderson Williams (’38), 102, of Searcy died Oct. 25, 2018. In the summer of 1934, she worked with others preparing for the opening of Harding College following the move from Morrilton, Arkansas. During World War II, she worked various jobs including at the ammunition plant complex in Jacksonville, Arkansas, and following the war, with Arkansas Power and Light Co. She earned her master’s in education in 1959 and spent the next 30 years teaching junior high history, civics and economics. She was a charter member of College Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband, James (’43). She is survived by two daughters, Dorothy Maple (’61) and Margaret Southerland (’71); one sister, Pauline Owens; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Paul Edward Miller (’39), 102, of Mountain View, Arkansas, died Aug. 22, 2018. He was a minister in churches of Christ and also served as a Bible teacher and elder in various congregations. He was a teacher and principal at White County Central Schools and a retired civil service employee for USDA Soil Conservation Service. He was a noted historian, having served on the board and as past president of White County Historical Society and as a member of Stone County Historical Society. He authored a history of Bethel Grove Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Alyene Yocum (’44); one son, L. David (’74); and a stepson, Allen Ferren. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Jewell Ferren; three sons, Paul (’64), Dennis and Royce; two stepchildren, Daniel Ferren and Gail Butler; 10 grandchildren; and six stepgrandchildren.

Blanche Irene Rickman Horsman (’45), 97, of Florence, Alabama, died Sept. 7, 2018. A teacher and homemaker, she taught at Bay and Dalton, Arkansas, and at Mars Hill Bible School in Florence. Her primary calling was as a homemaker. She and her husband were actively involved at Mars Hill Bible School where she was a member and past president of the Associated Women’s Organization. She and her husband were both named MHBS Volunteers of the Year in 1989 and Friends of Mars Hill in 2003. During retirement, the couple traveled to all 50 states as well as out of the country. She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Homer (’50). She is survived by her children, Marilyn Sullivan (’76), Paula Mason (’79), Millie Dauck (’82) and Don (’84); six grandchildren; and one brother, James (’52).

Ruth Summitt Geer (’47), 94, of Ash Grove, Missouri, died Nov. 20, 2018. She taught elementary school at Crowley’s Ridge Academy in Paragould, Arkansas, and later served as administrative secretary at Crowley’s Ridge College. She and her husband served as missionaries in Tanzania and Kenya for 18 years. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Carter (’50). She is survived by four children: Sandra Halface, Janet Allison (’70), Tom (’80) and Ruth Ann Deck; 12 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.

Willard McNeil Cox (’51), 88, of Searcy died Dec. 23, 2017. He was a preacher for churches of Christ in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and North Carolina for 60 years, retiring in 2011. He also taught at Athens Bible School, Mars Hill Bible School, Mount Dora Christian School and Lubbock Christian School. He was the author of Seven Sayings for the Suffering Savior and taught at two schools of preaching, Elk City School of Preaching and Oklahoma City School of Biblical Studies. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Yvonne Simon (’54); five children, Ronald, Donald, Gerald (’77), Curtis and Sharon Smith (’80); 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Anita McSpadden McKenney (’52), 86, of Searcy died June 24, 2018. She worked for Southwestern Bell before marrying. She and her husband began McKenney Supply in Searcy. She loved music. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Frank; two children, Travis (’86) and Sharon Hawk; and three grandchildren.

Robert Thomas Horsman (’53), 88, of Frontenac, Kansas, died Aug. 21, 2018. He worked as a chemist for Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, owned his own sawmill, was a truck driver, and owned a moving and storage business in West Memphis, Arkansas. He was an elder and Bible class teacher and was a member of the church of Christ in Columbus, Kansas. He is survived by his wife, Lucile; six children, Susan Nossaman (’78), Kay Shelton (’81), Mike, Terry, Lynda Fairleigh and Bonnie Bennett; two siblings, Marie Matthews and Donald Horsman (’59), 13 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

William Kay Moser (’53), 88, of Searcy died Aug. 4, 2018. He preached continually for the church of Christ from 1953-2013, in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana and Missouri. He published three novels, Thorn in the Flesh, A Beautiful Fascination and A Glorious Summer as well as his autobiography, Be a Man, Son, and many articles. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Yvette Johnston (’53); three children, Rebecca Bradford (’76), LaNelle Stamps (’80), and Timothy (’88); four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

John Robert McRay (’56), 86, of Nashville, Tennessee, died Aug. 24, 2018. He retired as professor emeritus of New Testament and archaeology at Wheaton College. He was a preacher, author and teacher who also served on the faculties of Middle Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University and Harding. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Annette Jackson; three sons, Rob, David and Barrett; one brother, Tom (’62); eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Marilyn Louise Noble Riemer (’56), 86, of Gresham, Oregon, died Aug. 28, 2018. She was a homemaker, preacher’s wife, ladies and children’s Bible class teacher, and helper to struggling Christians and the elderly. She and her husband worked with several congregations, mostly in the Northwest. She worshiped with Metro Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by a son, Stephen. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Fred (’57); three children, David, Clinton and Linda DeWhitt; and five grandchildren.

Martha Louise Tucker Norton (’58), 82, of Lenoir City, Tennessee, died April 2, 2018. She taught elementary school and also was a AAA travel agent. She loved to hike and became a member of the 900-Mile Club after hiking every trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. She completed the trails a second time in 2011. She was a member of West End Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ken. She is survived by a daughter, Leslie; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A.J. Arnold (’61), 77, of Katy, Texas, died June 22, 2018. He received his master’s from Harding School of Theology. A minister, he devoted his life to living out the love he learned from the Lord. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Catherine Estell (’63); three children, Mary Kay, Will (’93) and Randall; and four grandchildren.

Peggy Louise Wisenbaker Sizemore (’62), 77, of Hoover, Alabama, died Aug. 13, 2018. After staying home to raise her children, she worked in a high school office, with a real estate attorney, and in a dental office. She was a member of Homewood Church of Christ and the Birmingham Symphony Chorus. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Leon (’60); two daughters, Stacy Weeks (’86) and Sally Sizemore (’91); two sisters, Anita Scott and Glynese Rios; and three grandchildren.

Margaret Ann Rogers Bonnell (’62), 76, of Battlefield, Missouri, died Sept. 17, 2018, from cancer. She began her teaching career at Harding Academy in Searcy and continued at Aurora (Nebraska) High School. In 1966, she began teaching at Doniphan (Missouri) High School where she taught speech and English until her retirement in 1995. While at DHS, she developed a student-led live radio show, Spotlight on DHS, on Saturday mornings. She also was an off-campus adjunct public speaking teacher for Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, from 1981-95. She resumed TRCC duties at West Plains, Missouri, in 2001. She loved stamping and making handmade cards with ladies from her church, Union Hill Church of Christ. She is survived by her husband, Charles (’63); two daughters, Kim Herman and Kendra Propst; a sister, Mary Goddard (’68); and two grandsons.

Marjorie Holmes Martin (’62), 98, of Searcy died Oct. 23, 2018. She attended college two years and then worked as an office manager at General Motors in Pontiac, Michigan. When she returned to Arkansas, she began teaching in Griffithville. After marriage and the birth of her daughter, she was a homemaker until she returned to teaching in 1958. For almost 30 years, she taught in the Searcy Public School District at both McRae Elementary and Sidney Deener Elementary. She was inducted into the Searcy Public School Hall of Honor for outstanding service in teaching in 2008. She instilled her love of music in the hundreds of second graders she taught. She was a member of Downtown Church of Christ, Searcy Beethoven Club, and a charter member of Greenkeepers Garden Club. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, James. She is survived by her daughter, Janyth Baker (’71); three grandchildren;and six great-grandchildren.

RuthAnn Simmons Hammons (’63), 77, of Bakersfield, California, died Sept. 8, 2018. She worked many years in the mental health field as a psychiatric technician. She earned a degree in criminal justice from Cal State University in 1984 and became a parole agent for the State of California. She is survived by her husband, Delfino Pena; three sons, Landon, Brock and Jon; three stepchildren, Chris, Paul and Teresa; and numerous grandchildren.

Mary Hicks Birmingham (’65), 75, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died Aug. 14, 2018. She earned a Master of Science degree in counselor education from the University of Central Arkansas in 1973. She was a teacher and high school counselor for several years at White County Central Schools in Judsonia, Arkansas, retiring in 2003. She was preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Don. She is survived by two sons, Brian (’95) and Barry (’96); five grandchildren; and one sister, Margaret Helms (’63).

John Collins (’68), 72, of Henderson, Tennessee, died July 12, 2017. He received a Master of Arts from Harding School of Theology. He also received a master’s in teaching and a doctorate in history from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. He taught history at Chester County High School for five years before serving as supervisor of attendance for Chester County Schools for five years. In 1984, he began working at Freed-Hardeman University where he served as professor of history and chairman of the department of history, philosophy and political science. He retired in 2011. He was a member of Henderson Church of Christ and also preached in many congregations throughout Middle and West Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Mary Orick; three sons, Mark, Justin (’07) and Jared; two siblings, Branford Collins and Joyce Lamb; and four grandchildren.

Ruby Landrum Walter (MAT ’68), 76, of Howell, Michigan, died Aug. 4, 2016. She is survived by two sons, Roderic and Erik; and nine siblings.

Graham William Amy (’69), 74, of Searcy died Nov. 17, 2018. He also graduated from Harding School of Theology. He preached in Ontario, Canada, and later worked in construction and home improvements. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Fannie Timmerman (’68); four children, Darrell (’92), Teresa Castleman (’96), Jonathan and Richard (’04); one brother, Wayland; and 10 grandchildren.

Michael Suiter (’78), 71, of Altus, Oklahoma, died Aug. 15, 2018. He served as an aviation metalsmith and jet mechanic in the U.S. Navy from 1965-69. He received the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal and was honorably discharged as a second-class petty officer. He worked for Beech Aircraft Manufacturing and as a salesman before coming to Harding. He then preached and ministered for churches of Christ until his recent retirement. He served as a prison and hospice chaplain, elder for the Tipton (Oklahoma) Church of Christ, board of directors at the Tipton Children’s Hospital and Frederick Memorial Hospital, and HUD Commission for the Housing Authority in Tipton. He is survived by his wife Margie; two children, Ron and Karla Sparks (’94); one sister, Tina Turner; and seven grandchildren.

Keith Sliter (’83), 63, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, died Sept. 14, 2018. He received an R.N. degree from University of Rochester. He was a member of the Open Door Community Church. He is survived by his sister, Trina Sliter.

Norma Wanice Beckett (’90), 88, of Searcy died Oct. 28, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil (’58).

Teresa “Teri” Williams (’95), 44, of Lynwood, California, died Aug. 17, 2018. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Arizona State University and completed postdoctoral studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She taught at Stone Mountain High School in Georgia, Middle College High School in Los Angeles, Charles Drew Medical Magnet as well as Long Beach Community College and Pierce College. She had a distinctive soprano voice. She was a member of several singing groups, including the Higher Degree Gospel Group at Harding, Hillcrest Singers in Atlanta, Metropolitan Praise Team in Carson, California, and the Southside Choir in Los Angeles. She was a Sunday school teacher at the various congregations she attended and sang and ministered to the sick and shut-ins. She is survived by two sisters, Patricia (’99) and Clarisa.

Shelly Duzan Roggendorff (’97), 44, of Abilene, Texas, died Sept. 21, 2018, after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She worked for 21 years as a labor and delivery nurse in Kentucky, Illinois and Texas. She found a calling as a nurse for families who suffered the death of a baby. After her cancer diagnosis, she transitioned to a nursing educator position at Abilene Regional Medical Center, a role she continued throughout her treatment. She also assisted with labs for the School of Nursing at Abilene Christian University, building relationships with student nurses. She is survived by her husband, Paul; three children, Ethan, Chris and Allison; her parents, Robert and Dorinda Duzan; and a brother, Kevin Duzan.

James L. Atteberry, 94, of Fort Worth, Texas, died Aug. 24, 2018. He went to Abilene Christian College where he eventually earned his bachelor’s degree, though completion was interrupted by World War II. He went into the Army Air Corps in the spring of 1943 as an aviation cadet where he served until 1945. He received his master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught English at the School of Mines from 1948-53. He then served as a professor and chairman of the English department at Harding during 1953-68. In 1968 Pepperdine University became his professional home for the rest of his career. It was during the years in California that he began flying again. He retired to Fort Worth, Texas, in 1988. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Drum, and a grandchild. He is survived by two children, Janice Sticka (’67) and James L. III (’72); four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Edna Roberts, 85, of McCrory, Arkansas, died Aug. 6, 2018. She graduated from St. Vincent Infirmary School of Nursing in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1956. She spent 58 years nursing in hospitals, nursing homes, home health care and at camp. She was a long-time nurse in the Student Health Office at Harding. She was preceded in death by her husband, James. She is survived by four children: Richard (’78), Bobby, Michael and Sandy Wiles (’81); one sister, Annie Ridgeway; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

William Doyle White, 80, of Searcy died Oct. 6, 2018. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Arkansas in 1959. From the second semester of his freshman year until his graduation, he was selected for a lead in all musical theatre productions and operas produced by the department. He lettered in track and field and later ran numerous marathons, including Boston. He attended medical school at the University of Chicago from 1959-63. During medical school, he continued to pursue his interest in music at the Music Conservatory, singing a lead in “Rigoletto” and performing with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and chorus at the Apollo Opera Co. He was chosen the Outstanding Male Vocalist under 30 in Chicago and sang an aria with the Chicago Symphony. He once served as a judge for Metropolitan Opera competitions. Even as a practicing physician, he performed numerous solos with the Arkansas Symphony, the Arkansas Choral Society, Opera Memphis, the Harding University orchestra and chorus, and in many regional symphonies and oratorios. After graduating medical school, he completed a one-year internship at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and then served the United States Public Health Service as a commissioned medical officer with the Indian Health Services hospitals in Pawnee and Claremore, Oklahoma, until June 1967. He then returned to UAMS to complete residency in internal medicine and fellowship in gastroenterology. He moved to Searcy in 1970 to begin his practice, which spanned 48 years, including service as team physician for the U.S. Olympics women’s volleyball team and men’s boxing team in 1979; medical director for Track and Field National Finals for several years; 20 years in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Searcy Medical Center; 17 years as team physician for Harding University and Harding Academy football teams; professor of medicine and associate dean of the College of Health-Related Professions at UAMS; associate chief of staff at the Veterans Hospital in Little Rock; and medical director for Harding’s Physician Assistant Program. He was a member of College Church of Christ, where he served as an elder and song leader for many years and ministered to those who came to Monday night Caring & Sharing and the medical clinic at His House. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Neva Crum; and an infant son, Stephen. He is survived by his children: Mark (’83), Laura (’86), Jonathan (’88) and David (’92); nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Autumn Rivera, 21, of Denver, Colorado, died Nov. 28, 2018. She attended Harding the spring and fall 2017 semesters pursuing a career in health and fitness and was a member of Ju Go Ju social club. She is survived by her mother, Linda Gatlin; her father, Otto Rivera; a sister, Amber Rivera; a half sister, Nicole Rivera; and her grandparents, Edgar and Bobbie Gatlin and Gladys Wimmer.


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