Home News Obituaries (Week of May 23, 2016)

Obituaries (Week of May 23, 2016)


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Hoy Ray Aylett

Hoy Ray Aylett, 86, of Nashville, Ark., died peacefully on Saturday, May 21, 2016 surrounded by family.

He was born on March 31, 1930 in his parents’ home in Chapel Hill, Ark.  He was pre-deceased by his parents, William Luther and Mary Virginia Ramage Aylett; his brothers Ramage Aylett and Howard Aylett; and his sisters Marthelle Branch and Mary Schooley.

Survivors include: his loving wife of almost 62 years, Relda Aylett; his son Alan Aylett and wife, Becky, of Ashdown, Ark.; his daughter, Lori Aylett and husband, Greg Gordon, of Bellaire, Texas; grandson Wesley Aylett and wife, Ashley, of Ashdown; granddaughter Randee Kennemore and husband, Wade, of Ashdown; granddaughter Genene Gordon of Bellaire, Texas; three great-grandchildren, Adalie Aylett, Cash Aylett and Lawson Kennemore; a sister Floy Wilson; and a brother Coy Aylett, along with a host of relatives and friends.

Hoy was born in the peach orchards of Howard County and lived nearly all his life there. He had four older siblings, and his mother suspected that the fifth pregnancy was a little different. The family was surprised by triplets — Floy May was born first, before the doctor arrived; then came Hoy Ray; and Coy Day brought up the rear. Their oldest brother, Ramage, was already 12 years old and accustomed to the hard work that came with farming in depression-era Arkansas. Ramage said, “They’re cute and all, but I didn’t see as we needed three of them.”  

Hoy grew up in Chapel Hill and was baptized at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.  He attended high school in Nashville, graduating in 1948. He served his country during the Korean War in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and was stationed in Germany.  After his honorable discharge, he married his sweetheart, Relda Bowers Aylett, on June 5, 1954, and they went to college together at Arkansas A&M, now the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Hoy received a bachelor’s of science degree in forestry in 1958.

Hoy held several jobs in the forestry industry and he was happiest on the job when he was cruising timber in the woods. He walked quickly and whistled “Muleskinner Blues” while he worked. He loved springtime in the woods with its many colors of green; he called it the color of “new growth.”

He loved his family and watching his children and grandchildren play sports and perform in music and dance recitals. He grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio and later watching it on television. He even visited the Opry twice and got to see Roy Acuff. He loved country music and bluegrass. He was an avid Scrapper fan, and he spent most Friday nights in the fall listening to the games on the radio. On Saturday, the focus shifted to the Razorbacks. The family has many fond memories of fall trips to Little Rock or Fayetteville to watch the games.  

Hoy loved his kinfolks.  He enjoyed sitting under a tree with family on a summer evening, shelling peas and telling stories while the kids played nearby. He loved to work on his tractor and pull the grandkids behind on the wagon he made. 

Hoy was passionate about genealogy and could talk about it for hours. He and Relda took trips to genealogy libraries and old graveyards and delighted in making connections to the past.  

When Hoy’s children were school-age, the family spent many happy hours on their Honda motorcycles. All four family members had wheels, and Hoy would spend the weekdays cruising timber and finding good places to ride and camp. On Saturday morning, the family would head out like vagabonds, with the pickup truck and trailer stacked high with camping gear and motorcycles.  

Hoy was as tough as boot-leather.  He once walked several miles out of the woods on a broken leg. Late in life, he suffered a crippling fall that would have killed most men.   Hoy never walked again, but he continued to find joy in small things, like a good meal, a visit with family and friends, or a ride to the farm. 

Hoy was plain-spoken and honest. You could count on his word. You should never ask for his opinion unless you were prepared to receive it. He was a good Christian.  

There are a thousand happy stories and good memories for us to cherish.  

Visitation was 6-8 p.m., Monday, May 23, at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel in Nashville.

Services will be 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at the Latimer Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Restland Memorial Park. 

For those so desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives Foundation (PO Box 133, Washington, AR 71862)  or the Howard County Historical Society (PO Box 555, Nashville, AR 71852).

Wanda Staten

Wanda Staten, 81, of Murfreesboro, died Monday May 16, 2016 in Murfreesboro.

She was born May 5, 1935 in Murfreesboro, the daughter of the late Troy Jackson and Ledell Bell Jackson.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Staten, and a brother, Sonny Jackson.

Survivors include: two sons, Donny Ray Staten and wife, Dianna, of Murfreesboro, and Mike Floyd Staten of Murfreesboro; a daughter, Sandra Sue “Sandy” Fallin and husband, Wayne, of Arkadelphia; two brothers, Bobby Jackson of Decatur, Ind., and Billy Jackson of Fort Worth, Texas; a sister, Kay Jackson of Fort Worth, Texas; also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services were Thursday, May 19, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro with Bro. Johnny Baker officiating. Burial followed in Murfreesboro cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home, Murfreesboro.

Visitation was 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the Latimer Chapel.

Helen Jewell Rhodes

Helen Jewell Rhodes, 78, of Murfreesboro, died Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in Murfreesboro.  She was born Sept. 17, 1937 in Jeanes, Texas, the daughter of the late Charlie Burl Straley and Emma Willie Barnett Straley.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Phillip Z. Rhodes; and four siblings, Berlin, Mary Jo, Bill, and Bobby.

Survivors include:, three sons, Marty Kennedy and wife, Paula, of Nashville, Jimmy Rhodes and wife, Ivy Denise, of Delight, and Johnny Rhodes and wife, Doris, of Nashville; three daughters, Judy Rayanna Carey of Nathan, Sharon Crews and husband, also grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Pleasant Home Cemetery in Murfreesboro. 

Visitation was Friday, 6-9, at the Latimer Chapel in Murfreesboro.