Friends We’ll Miss – Spring 2018

Orval Elmo Riggs (’41) died on Aug. 1, 2017. Orval was a U.S. Naval Reserve pilot during World War II. He went on to a more than three-decade career practicing medicine in the roles of general practitioner, general surgeon, radiology therapist and cardiothoracic surgeon. Orval lived in Austin, Texas. He was 97.

Paula Mildred Crum Gatewood (’42) died on June 10, 2017. Paula lived in Plano, Texas. She was 94.

Martha Ferguson Oates (’42) died on Aug. 1, 2017. Martha lived in Jonesboro. She was 96.

Althea Jo Sigler (’47) died on Oct. 9, 2017. Althea lived in Mansfield. She was 89.

Bernice Owens Davis (EDU ’49) died on Sept. 21, 2017. She retired in 1984 following a 38-year career as a teacher at six schools in the Russellville area. Bernice lived in Russellville. She was 94.

Fremont Ellis Johnston (AGBU ’49) died on Nov. 8, 2017. Fremont served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His business career consisted of selling chicken eggs and jewelry. Fremont lived in Batesville. He was 93.

Paul K. Turner (’49) died on June 20, 2017. Paul was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He retired from Southwestern Bell Telephone Company after 36 years of service. Paul lived in Conway. He was 86.

Jean Priot Adams (ENGR ’50) died on July 20, 2017. Jean served in the U.S. Air Force and later had a 34-year career in private sector aeronautics with the Fort Worth, Texas, company that became General Dynamics. Jean lived in Benbrook, Texas. He was 86.

Wayne Van Valkenburgh (’50) died on Sept. 7, 2017. He served in the U.S. Air Force and went on to a 30-year career with Eastern Airlines, retiring as a senior wide body captain. Wayne lived in Jasper, Ga. He was 88.

Dennie Ellis Gentry (’52) died on Sept. 12, 2017. Dennie earned one football letter at Arkansas Tech and later served in the U.S. Army. He worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for more than 35 years. Dennie lived in Franklin, La. He was 86.

Al Clark (EDU ’54) died on May 31, 2017. Al served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a teacher and coach in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Hong Kong and Arkansas for more than 50 years. Al lived in Booneville. He was 91.

Lucy Jane Hays Lumsden (’54) died on Sept. 3, 2017. Lucy was a majorette in the Arkansas Tech marching band. She was former bookkeeper and co-owner for Lowndes County Radial Tire. Lucy lived in Columbus, Miss. She was 84.

Donald Lee Fullerton (’55) died on Oct. 31, 2017. Donald served in the Arkansas National Guard for 33 years. He worked as a draftsman at Turney Wood Products and Harrison Furniture, and he was also a cattle rancher. Donald lived in Valley Springs. He was 81.

Bernie Booe Swears (’55) died on Aug. 26, 2017. He was a farmer for 60 years and served in the Arkansas Air National Guard. Bernie lived in Carlisle. He was 81.

Bobby G. Lamb (’57) died on July 31, 2017. Bob served in the U.S. Air Force. He was the founding owner of Automation Engineering Company and North American Hydraulics in Baton Rouge, La. He owned both companies for 40 years before selling them and retiring. Bob lived in Baton Rouge. He was 86.

Barbara Ann Birkhead Arndt (ELED ’58) died on July 11, 2017. She taught in elementary schools at North Little Rock, Fort Smith, Charleston, Ozark, Benton, Paris, Sand Springs, Okla., and Fort Benning Ga., for a total of 32 years. Barbara lived in Paris. She was 80.

Loyal “Zane” McCulley (’58) died on Sept. 12, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for Ammoco as an analytical chemist. Zane lived in Broken Arrow, Okla. He was 81.

Ethel Mae Athey (’59) died on June 22, 2017. She was a retired teacher. Ethel lived in Russellville. She was 84.

Dolores Taylor Beene (’59) died on Sept. 14, 2017. She taught for 30 years, including more than 20 years with the Rogers School District, before retiring in 1997. Dolores lived in Rogers. She was 83.

Charles Lee Crafford (’59) died on Sept. 4, 2017. He served in the Arkansas National Guard. Charley lived in Brinkley. He was 78.

James Robert “Bud” Lloyd (’59) died on July 15, 2017. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force and enjoyed a varied career that included serving as a minister and a flower shop owner. Bud lived in Garland, Texas. He was 77.

Ronald Ray May (’59) died on Aug. 27, 2017. Ronald served with the U.S. Army in Korea. He owned and operated May’s Tire Shop in Viola for more than 20 years. Ronald lived in Mountain Home. He was 84.

Elbert Thomas Townsend (POL SCI ’59) died on Sept. 13, 2017. Tom was a veteran of World War II, during which he flew 24 bombing missions over Europe. He went on to attain the rank of Major during a more than two-decade career in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring from the service, he was a teacher at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Tom lived in Wilmington, N.C. He was 96.

Sarah Ebersole Fitzpatrick (BIOL ’60) died on June 2, 2017. Sarah lived in White City, Ore. She was 78.

Houston Dee Heflin Jr. (BUAD ’60) died on Oct. 27, 2017. He served as assistant director of physical plant at Arkansas Tech until his retirement. Houston lived in Atkins. He was 88.

Glenda Gail Revis Helmich (BUS ’60) died on June 28, 2017. Glenda lived in Benton. She was 77.

Harvey Martin Skorcz (’60) died on Nov. 4, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army engineering unit. After 20 years with Pickens-Bond Construction Company, Harvey founded Progressive Constructors Inc. of Little Rock in 1984. Between then and his retirement in 2001, he oversaw construction of Walmart stores and distribution centers in 19 states. Harvey lived in Sheridan. He was 79.

Charles Henry Pearson (MATH ’61 & FMR FACULTY) died on Dec. 3, 2017. Charles served in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the mathematics faculty at Arkansas Tech from 1964-2001. He was faculty advisor to Blue Key and the Math Club. In 1998, he received the ATU Faculty Award of Excellence in the teaching category. Charles lived in Russellville. He was 78.

Delmar Ferrell (HPE ’65) died on Aug. 10, 2017. He was retired from a career as a coach, teacher and administrator in the schools at West Fork, Farmington, Greenland and Shiloh Christian. Delmar lived in West Fork. He was 78.

Barney Coleman Phillips Jr. (’65) died on Sept. 2, 2017. He retired from the Arkansas State Police at the rank of Lieutenant following 32 years of service. Barney lived in Bryant. He was 74.

Barrie Davis (’66) died on Nov. 24, 2017. Barrie retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Major. He served in the Vietnam War. His civilian career was invested with Davis Photography. Barrie lived in Hope. He was 74.

Ronald Wayne Payton (SOC ’67) died on Oct. 8, 2017. Ronnie served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War era. He became a Certified Public Accountant and worked in the public and private sectors. Ronnie lived in Hot Springs. He was 73.

Lee F. Griffith (’68) died on June 28, 2017. Lee began his career as a teacher in the Russellville School District and ended it as a teacher at East Arkansas Community College. In between, he gave a quarter-century of service to the Arkansas Department of Education as public school program supervisor and agricultural associate director of workforce training. Lee lived in Bentonville. He was 68.

Dr. David Gerald Tanner (AGBU ’68) died on Sept. 5, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and later attained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. David began his practice of veterinary medicine in Russellville in 1977. He was owner of Tanner Veterinary Hospital and Supply Company until September 2016. David lived in Russellville. He was 68.

James “Mack” Forrest (JOUR ’69) died on July 27, 2017. Mack was former business manager of the Southwest Times Record newspaper in Fort Smith. He also owned several restaurants in Fort Smith and Ozark. Mack lived in Alma. He was 69.

Jerry Little (ACCT ’70) died on Oct. 4, 2017. Jerry served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was employed by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration for 37 years. Jerry lived in Benton. He was 69.

Danny Ray Patterson (’70) died on Aug. 29, 2017. He was a veteran of the National Guard. Danny lived in Danville. He was 71.

Randall Eden (ART ’71) died on June 16, 2017. He worked for Martin Advertising and Publishing Concepts, Inc. Randall lived in Little Rock. He was 67.

Zena Carol Mann Merrill Elmore (’71) died on Sept. 16, 2017. She taught school for nine years and later became an award-winning artist. Zena lived in Eagar, Ariz. She was 91.

John Clifton Studdard (BUAD ’71) died on June 28, 2017. John lived in Atkins. He was 73.

Bobby Gene Furnatter (HPE ’75) died on Aug. 9, 2017. He taught and coached in the Harrison School District for 25 years before retiring and beginning a lawn care and landscaping business. Bobby lived in Harrison. He was 64.

Dennis Earl Harelson (ACCT ’75) died on Oct. 28, 2017. He was the owner of Cornerstone Jewelry in Russellville. Dennis lived in Russellville. He was 65.

Danny Trusty (SOC ’75) died on Aug. 9, 2017. He was retired from a 27-year career at Morrilton Packing Company. Danny lived in Russellville. He was 64.

Thomas E. Ferguson (RPA ’77) died on Sept. 16, 2017. Tom was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He gave 31 years of service to the U.S. Forest Service. Tom lived in Clarksville. He was 69.

Catherine Aileen Shinn (ENGL ’77) died on Aug. 1, 2017. Catie commissioned as a U.S. Army officer through the ROTC program at Arkansas Tech and served on active duty for 11 years, reaching the rank of Captain. She was a member of the Missouri Department of Social Service staff for 28 years. Catie lived in St. Louis, Mo. She was 62.

Randolph Joseph Gore (’81) died on June 10, 2017. He worked as a nurse for more than 28 years. Randy lived in Port Townsend, Wash. He was 56.

Charles “Stuart” Laws (BUAD ’81) died on Sept. 5, 2017. He served in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a security consultant for ADT Security Services. Stuart lived in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He was 67.

Ronnie Gene Littleton (’81) died on July 22, 2017. Ronnie led the Arkansas Tech football team in kickoff return average in 1980. He was a farmer, and he also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. Ronnie lived in Booneville. He was 55.

Marium Frances Guppy Oates (ELED ’81) died on July 6, 2017. Marium taught kindergarten and K-12 gifted education as part of a 20-year career in the Russellville School District. She also served as an adjunct instructor at Arkansas Tech. Marium lived in Pottsville. She was 76.

Beth Parsons Cooper (M.Ed. ’82) died on Nov. 10, 2017. She taught English and journalism during a 37-year career at the high schools in Atkins and Russellville. She sponsored the Rotary Interact organization and served as English department head at Russellville High School. Beth lived in Russellville. She was 59.

Lawrence Webb (ENGR ’82) died on Oct. 15, 2017. Lawrence lived in Russellville. He was 57.

Katherine E. Carter (M.Ed. ’85) died on Sept. 9, 2017. She taught in the Atkins School District for 35 years. Katherine lived in Atkins. She was 72.

Robert Wayne O’Bar (BUAD ’86) died on Aug. 8, 2017. He was a former employee of the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections. Robert lived in Ozark. He was 55.

Michael Alan Clark (FW ’87) died on Sept. 21, 2017. He was employed at Keo Fish Farms for 25 years before opening Central Arkansas Fisheries in 2012. Michael lived in Lonoke. He was 53.

Gregory B. Standridge (’87) died on Nov. 16, 2017. Greg represented District 16 in the Arkansas Senate from 2015 until the time of his passing. He was co-owner of CSI Insurance Agency in Russellville. Greg lived in Russellville. He was 50.

Jerry Glen Carter Jr. (BIOL ’88) died on Sept. 17, 2017. Glen worked for Farmers Insurance for 29 years and was owner and manager of Glen Carter Farmers Insurance Agency. He was named district agent of the year by Farmers Insurance on three occasions. Glen lived in Fort Smith. He was 51.

Janice Bea Mallett Hutchins (ELED ’88) died on Nov. 6, 2017. She worked with special education students during her teaching career. Janice lived in Conway. She was 71.

Phyllis Lynn Kincy Ushery (JOUR ’89) died on July 21, 2017. Phyllis lived in Morrilton. She was 50.

Gary S. Kuras (GS ’92) died on Nov. 16, 2017. Gary lived in Dardanelle. He was 56.

Victor Shawn Pierce (JOUR ’93) died on June 30, 2017. He worked as a project manager at the University of Arkansas for 14 years. Shawn lived in Fayetteville. He was 52.

Lezli Rena Mashburn Hayes (BIOL ’95) died on Nov. 16, 2017. She was a human resources manager for Tyson Foods. Lezli lived in London. She was 44.

Larry Gene Pillstrom (ELED ’00) died on June 27, 2017. He was retired from a teaching career in the Lincoln School District. Larry lived in Rogers. He was 60.

Jason Wylie (MGMT/MKTG ’07) died on July 1, 2017. He worked at Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs for the past five years. Jason lived in Hot Springs. He was 34.

Donna Leigh Wesson (’10) died on June 1, 2017. Donna lived in Des Arc. She was 59.

April Dawn Fales (A.A.S. GT ’11) died on June 25, 2017. April lived in Hartman. She was 40.

Andrew David Pollack (ECON ’15) died on Aug. 5, 2017. He was an area manager for the Walmart Distribution Center in Clarksville. Andrew lived in Russellville. He was 24.

Joseph “Jobey” Edward Machycek (’18) died on Aug. 6, 2017. Jobey lived in Russellville. He was 28.

Donald Edward Rickard (FMR FACULTY) died on Aug. 14, 2017. Don taught courses in physical science, astronomy, chemistry, physics and radiation physics at Arkansas Tech from 1967-98. He was awarded professor emeritus status by the ATU Board of Trustees in March 2009. Don lived in Russellville. He was 83.