Martin Funeral Home

101 W. 4th street, P.O. Box 786, Waldron, AR

Find it at: Corner of 4th street and Washington


Phone: 479-637-2167

Jerry Earle Overton

Conway, AR

1954 - 2018

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Published: January 14, 2018

Jerry Earle Overton, 63, a veteran broadcaster and popular University of Central Arkansas journalism professor, died Thursday, Jan. 11, in Conway.

Overton was well known in the Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas and Dallas radio and television markets for his excellent reporting and smooth delivery. His more than 40 years in broadcasting led him to play a wide variety of roles at numerous radio and television stations — sales manager, news and sports anchor, reporter, talk show host, producer and station manager among them.

Over the years, he trained, mentored and helped launch the careers of dozens of radio and television anchors, producers and reporters.

Overton was born June 27, 1954, in Fort Smith, Ark., to the late Earle and Irma Overton of Mansfield. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho. Overton was bureau chief at KARK TV of Little Rock from 1978-1983 and sports director and anchor at KHBS/KHOG TV of Fort Smith and Fayetteville from 1983-1993.

He was the play-by-play announcer for the Lady Razorbacks basketball team, sideline reporter for Razorback football games and producer of former coach Ken Hatfield's television show. He also produced programming for the Arkansas Razorback Football Network.

In Dallas, Overton was a general manager, news anchor, producer and reporter at different times for nearly a dozen stations, including the national Salem Radio Network and WBAP-AM/KLIF-AM.

In 2014, Overton began teaching at UCA, where he was responsible for recent significant improvements in equipment and talent at UCA's student-run News 6 cable television station.

He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism degree from the University of Arkansas, a master's from South Dakota State and was working on a Ph.D. in communication at the University of Oklahoma when he passed. He taught at each of those universities.

Overton is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Donna Thompson; sons Matt Overton of Dallas, Texas, and his wife, Ashley; and Blake Overton of Austin, Texas, and his wife, Kim; granddaughters Hadley and Regan Overton of Dallas; brother David Overton and his wife, Lisa, of Fort Smith; sister Jane Mathias and her husband, John, of Fayetteville; father- and mother-in-law, James and Evelyn Thompson of Mountain Pine; brother-in-law Joe Thompson and his wife, Brenda of Mountain Pine; nieces and nephews Sara and Andrew Overton of Fort Smith; Molly Oshman of Dallas; Brittany Mathias of Siloam Springs; Julie Hein of Fayetteville; Janette Anderson of Mountain Pine and Joanna Blees of Mountain Pine; and great-nephews Parker and Hunter Oshman of Dallas; Caleb and Eli Blees of Mountain Pine and Konnor Anderson of Mountain Pine; as well as numerous cousins and friends.

Visitation will be Monday, Jan. 15, from 6-8 p.m. at Martin Funeral Home in Mansfield. Funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, at Mansfield First United Methodist Church, 111 S. Division Ave., with burial to follow at Coop Prairie Cemetery in Mansfield. A memorial service is set for Conway's First United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.

In lieu of flowers, memorials for a future Jerry Overton Journalism Scholarship may be sent to the UCA Foundation/Jerry Overton Fund, 201 Donaghey Ave., Box 4986, Conway, AR. 72035.

Online condolences may be sent at

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