Home Obituaries Obituary: Jack Earnest Estes, 90, of Arkadelphia

Obituary: Jack Earnest Estes, 90, of Arkadelphia


Jack Earnest Estes died June 11, 2020, in Arkadelphia where he and his wife Bonnie have lived since 1965. Retired from Ouachita Baptist University after 36 years, Professor Emeritus Estes taught French, chaired the Department of Modern Languages, director of the exchange program with Seinan Gakuin University, and served as assistant dean in the School of Arts and Science. A graduate of Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, and Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, Master of Education, he also attended summer language institutes and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Sorbonne. He earned Master of Arts in French Literature and Doctorate of Language (ABD) at Middlebury College, Vermont. Before coming to Ouachita, Estes taught English and French at Washburn Rural High School, Topeka.

The fifth child of Daisy and Lloyd R. Estes, Jack was born Jan. 6, 1930, and grew up in Valley Falls, Kansas. His three older sisters predeceased him: Dorothy Jean Turner Adams, Emma Louise Prather, and Rosemarie E. Wheatley. He is survived by older brother, Paul Leslie Estes, and younger brother, Richard Ray Estes. He married his sweetheart, who survives, Bonita Aileen Hatfield, Aug. 22, 1949, at First Baptist Church, Valley Falls. They have three children: son Mark Ernest Estes and his wife Elizabeth Wrenn-Estes, their daughter Whitney Wrenn Deuel, her husband Jeff Deuel, their daughters, Lorelei Elizabeth and Tabitha Lucile Deuel; daughter the Reverend Pamela Jean Estes; and daughter Dr. Julia Marie Carter and her husband Dan, their children, son John Thomas (J.T.) and his wife Erin, their sons, Jackson Tyler, Samuel Edward, Derryk Wayne, and Dalton Howard Carter; and daughter Jessica Raye Carter, her daughter, Adreanne Danielle and her son, Douglas Eugene Runyan. Extended family includes Dr. Nancy and Darrell Cartwright and their children, Sally Epps and Ben Cartwright; Ricardo and Cesar Galligani; Tom and Chris Ludwig, their children, Matthew and Sarah, and her husband, Michael and her children, Luna Aurelia and Elena Mae Risch; and Becky Dugan.

He was a member for First United Methodist Church, Arkadelphia, serving as chair of the Endowment Committee, and on the Arkansas Annual Conference Committee on Finance and Administration. He also served on the OBU/HSU Wesley Foundation Board.

A proud member of the Arkadelphia Sunrise Rotary Club, he maintained perfect attendance for multiple years, and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Mr. and Mrs. Estes have friends around the globe.  They loved to travel and to welcome all to their abundant table. He loved teaching, music, art, good food, and the accoutrements for its preparation, presentation, and enjoyment. He could fix anything broken, make whatever was needed, and paid attention to details. More than anything, he was faithful to his wife and family, and to the spirit of Jesus who welcomed all.

Visitation was Saturday June 13 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home. Private family service was held June 14 at 3:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. Interment in Valley Falls, Kansas, June 17 at 1 p.m.

State of Arkansas COVID-19 directives: Face Coverings required. 50 attendees or less. Maintain social distancing.

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