Obituaries for Washington County

Posted: November 24, 2009 at 3:10 a.m.

Jess “J.E.” Clark

SPRINGDALE — Jess Eugene “J.E.” Clark, 77, of Springdale, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Springdale.

He was born April 28, 1932, in Stoverville to William Iva Hamilton and Virgie Lane Clark.

Mr. Clark was a member of Phillips Chapel Free Will Baptist Church for many years where he was a Sunday school teacher, deacon, and served in many other offices. He worked as a business manager and accountant throughout his life. He was devoted to the care of his family and enjoyed time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved singing and listening to gospel music. He married Billie Ruth Smith on July 30, 1955, in Kingston.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, Denver Clark, Travis Clark, Rymer Clark; and two sisters, Lois Vancuren and Mary Melvajean Clark.

Survivors include his wife, Billie Clark of the home; a son, Steve Clark and wife, Beverly, of Springdale; a daughter, Beverly Harp and husband, Steve, of Springdale; two brothers, Arlis Clark and wife, Lela, of Jane, Mo., Darwin Clark and wife, Elcie, of Harrison; a sister, Annice Gurley of Harrison; five grandchildren, Matthew Clark, Megan Clark, Justin Harp, Jana Bewley and husband, Todd, Lacie Harp; and four great-grandchildren, Bryant Bewley, Hunter Bewley, Addyson Bewley and Aiden Harp.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. today at Heritage Funeral Home in Springdale, online guest book at

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, at Phillips Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Springdale with Pastors Jason Scott and David Watson officiating. Interment will be at Friendship Cemetery.

Bearers will be Justin Harp, Matthew Clark, Todd Bewley, Brent Gurley, Rick Gurley and Larry Vancuren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Phillips Chapel Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund, 3074 S. 48th St., Springdale, 72762.

— Paid

E. Walter LeFevre

SPRINGDALE — Dr. E. Walter LeFevre, 77, of Springdale, died Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, at Northwest Arkansas Medical Center.

He was born July 29, 1932, in Eden, Texas, to E.W. Sr. and Hazie D. LeFevre. Dr. LeFevre graduated from Eden High School in Eden, Texas. He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University. He served in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant in Field Artillery during the Korean Conflict.

Walt LeFevre set the standard for all engineers to emulate in his lifelong service to the engineering profession. He was the Past National President of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Past National Vice President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), former Dean and Civil Engineering Department Head as well as a faculty member for more than 40 years at the University of Arkansas, member of the National Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a delegate to the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and U.S. member of many other delegations to various foreign countries. Additionally he is a member of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and is a Past President of the Arkansas State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He has presented engineering papers worldwide and been a consultant to a number of countries. He also found time to serve his community as a Past President of Rotary, Past District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America and many other organizations. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Member, their most prestigious award, of ASCE for his lifetime of hard work for the engineering profession. Walt also served for more than 35 years as Senior Vice President of ESI, an engineering firm, in Springdale.

In 1981, Walt founded the Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering (AACE), which has provided hundreds of scholarships for Civil Engineering students and support to the department. Through this example, other engineering departments within the College of Engineering have followed the formation of engineering academies.

In 1992, Walt, with the assistance of Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, established the Mack Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center (MBTC) and served as its Director for several years. MBTC, which is still going strong, has completed over 150 studies on transportation issues benefiting rural America.

As a professor for over 45 years, he molded the lives of thousands of superb practicing engineers. He is held in the highest esteem by all who have benefited from his professorship. Walt LeFevre is regarded by the national engineering community as the backbone of engineering ethics. He helped produce two films and ethics courses, which are used nationally by businesses as well as universities. Additionally he wrote over 200 refereed publications for the engineering industry. His national awards are too numerous to mention, but include Distinguished Service Awards from the American Society of Engineering Education, ASCE, NSPE, NCEES, AAES, Boy Scouts of America and a number of other engineering societies. He was recognized for his service at the University of Arkansas in 1971 by its highest distinction, “University Professor”.

Among all of his accomplishments he was also a kind, gentle-hearted, compassionate gentleman, a very dear friend and will be missed very much by his colleagues and friends. The engineering profession has lost a great leader who has given his entire life to the advancement of the profession.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Joyce LeFevre; two daughters, Terry Watson and her husband, Tom, of Denver, Charmaine Stuteville and her husband, Eric, of Durant, Okla.; two sons, George LeFevre and his wife, Young Soon, of Clarksville, Tenn., and John LeFevre and his wife, Angie, of Houston; nine grandchildren and spouses: Sarah and Mike Hayward, John and Kara Watson, Michelle Pierce, Robert and Tiffany Pierce, Jackson Stuteville, Amanda LeFevre, Chris LeFevre, Austin LeFevre and Zach LeFevre; and one great-grandson, Will Hayward.

The Memorial Service will be Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Springdale with the Rev. Judy VanHoose officiating.

Visitation will be Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Sisco Funeral Chapel in Springdale

Honorary pallbearers will be the University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Department, the Rotary Club of Springdale and the Springdale Planning Commission.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund, American Diabetes Association, First United Methodist Church of Springdale, 206 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale, 72764, or any library.

To sign the guestbook online, please visit


James Bassett Jr.

SALINAS, Calif. — James Bassett Jr., 85, of Salinas, Calif., died peacefully at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital after a brief illness on Nov. 15, 2009.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ethel Bassett; his brother, R.D. Bassett; and his sister, Marjorie Tucker, all from Fayetteville.

Jim was born on Sept. 22, 1924, in Sulphur City. He attended the University of Arkansas and then pursued his military career where he earned a degree in electronic engineering. Retiring from the Army in 1968, he made Prunedale and Salinas, Calif., his home. He was employed at KSBW TV in Salinas for 17 years, and 19 years as Vice President of Micro Summit Corporation.

He was an avid rock collector, belonging to The Salinas Valley Rock & Gem Club for many years, and considered himself a “rockhound”. He enjoyed many hobbies, some of which included bowling, fishing, camping, watching sports, his computers and traveling the world with his wife. He became interested in genealogy and proudly traced the family history back to the 1500’s. He cherished spending time with his family and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Yoko; daughters, Joyce Shelton and Jan Bassett, of whom he was very proud; son-in-law, Dale Walker; brother-in-law, John Tucker; and numerous extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the VA or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are by Struve and Laporte Chapel. Online condolences may be made at

— Paid

Dale H. Jefferson

BENTONVILLE — Lifelong Bentonville resident, Dale H. Jefferson, died Nov. 16th, 2009. He was 94. Born Oct. 28th, 1915, to James Harvey and Vivian Davis Jefferson.

He is survived by a brother, Ray Jefferson of Bentonville, a sister, Ruth Ann Back of Springville, Tenn. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Bonnie Lawson Jefferson in 2005, by a brother, Joe Jefferson, and sisters Nannie Mae Williamson and Emma Lou Corrale.

Dale’s three priorities were his church, his family, and his country. Although Dale and Bonnie had no children of their own, they “adopted” literally hundreds of other children by financially supporting more than 25 charities and helping family members with their education.

Dale was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, where he served in Burma with the 51st Fighter Group, home to the famous “Flying Tigers” of the 26th Fighter Squadron, flying supplies over the “Hump” to solders in the field. When he left the Army, he continued his love and support for fellow soldiers through the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. For many years, on Memorial Day he delivered flags to graves of veterans all over Benton County.

Dale and Bonnie loved to spend time with family and friends at their cabin on Beaver Lake. Dale’s fried fish and BBQ ribs were excellent, as were his charcoaled steaks. Food was surpassed only by his legendary pulling up to seven skiers at a time; using an outboard motor he jokingly labeled 35 horsepower! He and Bonnie traveled extensively, to all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico. In the ’40s and ’50s, fishing on White River for catfish was a great pastime.

From 1949-1956, Dale served as Benton County Circuit Clerk, an elective office. Then, for almost 30 years, he was a field auditor for the State of Arkansas. He even served as a volunteer deputy sheriff for Benton County.

Funeral services were held Nov. 19th, 2009, at the First Christian Church of Bentonville, with the Rev. Don Morrow and the Rev. Loy Hoskins officiating. Burial was next to Bonnie in Benton County Memorial Park.

Memorials in Dale’s honor may be sent to the First Christian Church of Bentonville, 807 S.E. 14th St., Bentonville, 72712. Please designate for the Summer Youth Camps, one of his favorite children’s ministries.

— Paid

Irene Haskins

WEST FORK — Irene Haskins, 76, of West Fork died Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009, in West Fork. She was born Feb. 4, 1933, in Ball Creek, the daughter of James and Grace Hawkins Ball.

She had worked as a waitress in the restaurant business for a number of years. She attended the West Fork Assembly of God and was a member of the Fayetteville Senior Center.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald Haskins.

She is survived by three sons, Ronnie Curry, Mike Shea and Mark Shea, all of Fayetteville; one daughter, Jodie Easter of West Fork; one sister, Fern Taylor of Farmington; 13 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be at 4 p.m. today at Beard’s Funeral Chapel with Pastor W.C. Blanton officiating.

Online condolences may be made at

— Paid

Walter Losey

FAYETTEVILLE — Walter Franklin Losey, 85, of Fayetteville died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Springdale. He was born Oct. 9, 1924, in Garfield, Kan., the son of H.G. and Amelia Ware Losey.

He was a member of the Sequoyah United Methodist Church, 3rd degree Master Mason and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite; and member of Military Order of Purple Heart and the Fayetteville POW Chapter. He was a Veteran of World War II, served in the 422 Regiment of the 106 Infantry Division, and was wounded and capture at the Battle of the Bulge. He worked for the Farmers Cooperative for 28 years where he served as manager most his career.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen Andrews Losey.

Survivors include his wife, Alice Losey and her daughter, Anna; his children, Susan O’Malley (Michael) of Little Rock, Steven Losey (Rosa) of Fort Worth, Texas, and Greg Losey (Deborah) of Midlothian, Texas; sister, Kathryn Javier of Garfield, Kan.; six grandchildren, Kyle O’Malley (Alicia), Meghan O’Malley, Bradley and Andrea Losey, Marie and Michelle Losey.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009, at Sequoyah United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Garfield Cemetery in Garfield, Kan., under the direction of Beards Chapel.

Visitation will be today from 5 to 7 p.m. at Beards Chapel.

Memorials may be made to Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, 72762.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

— Paid

Theresa Erwin

SAVOY — Vera Theresa Erwin, 75, of the Savoy community died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, at Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale.

She was born Aug. 31, 1934, in Montgomery, Ala., the daughter of the late James Filmore and Versia Mae Carlisle Sanders.

She was a wonderful housewife, mother, grandmother, friend and partner. She was an avid golfer, having made three holes in one and she was an above bowler. She was a member of the Farmington Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by one great-granddaughter.

She is survived by her husband, Bill Erwin, to whom she married Dec. 3, 1949; two sons, Michael Erwin and his partner, Coleman Ross, of Francestown, N.H., and Jimmy Erwin and his wife, Pamela, of Prairie Grove; a daughter, Deborah Bryant and her husband, Gary, of the Savoy community; two sisters, Oletta Elrod of Phenix City, Ala., and Sherry Fredrick and her husband, Ben, of Salem, Ala.; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and three nephews.

Funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m. today at Farmington Baptist Church. Officiating will be the Rev. Preston Beeks.

Private burial will be in the National Cemetery, under the direction of Moore’s Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, 72762; or Farmington Baptist Church, P.O. Box 847, Farmington, 72730.

To sign the online guest book, visit


Dorothy Ray

SPRINGDALE — Dorothy Dell Ray, 77, passed peacefully at the Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale on Nov. 22, 2009.

She was born March 18, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, to Arch and Della Watkins.

Survivors include daughter, Brenda (Cordes) Mars of Rogers; son, Carl Cordes of Orlando, Fla.; sister, Hazel Gragg of Prairie Grove; sister, Lois Morgan of Shreveport, La.; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

No services are planned and cremation arrangements are by Sisco Funeral Chapel of Springdale. Donations may be sent in her memory to Circle of Life, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, AR 72762.

To sign the guest book online please visit


Curtis Pledger

APPLE GROVE, W.Va. — Curtis Delain Pledger, 83, of Apple Grove, W.Va., formerly of Springdale, died Nov. 5, 2009, at the V.A. Regional Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va.

Curtis was a welder and a member of the Church of Christ. He served in the U.S. Navy for eight years. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge 36 in Springdale for 35 years.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Johnny C. Pledger; and one daughter, Lora Jean Barrett.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Earnestine Moore Pledger of the home; two sons, Randy Pledger of Oregon and Curtis Leon Minnick of Quandilla, Australia; four daughters, Joyce Ann Fitzpatrick of Indianapolis, Margie Deal and Trudy Hatten, both of Huntington, W.Va., and Edith Lynn Serrano of Springdale; one sister, Betty Hinds of Springdale; and numerous loving grandchildren and loving nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at Sisco Funeral Chapel.

Cremation internment will be in the Sonora Cemetery.

To sign the guest book online please visit


Donald Harington

FAYETTEVILLE — A memorial service for Donald Harington, 73, of Fayetteville, who died Nov. 7, 2009, will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 30, at Giffels Auditorium at the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. Gifts in memory of Donald Harington can be made to Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries or Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, AR 72762.

— Paid