Nelson-Berna Funeral Home and Crematory

4520 North Crossover Road, P.O. Box 8982, Fayetteville, AR

Phone: 479-521-5000

Stephen James Chism

Fayetteville, AR

1953 - 2018

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Published: January 25, 2018

Stephen James Chism was born in Galveston, Texas, on October 18, 1953, son of James Clyde Chism and Evelyn Fay Taylor Chism. Steve spent most of his life in Northwest Arkansas, graduating from Fayetteville High School in 1971 and the University of Arkansas in 1975. He earned his Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Kentucky and worked first at the LSU library. He then was hired at the University of Arkansas Libraries where he was on the library faculty for 26 years. Frequently in coffee shops, restaurants, and stores, former students approached us to thank Steve for how much he had helped them. He especially took time with new students, showing them how to find information in the "stacks" and in databases. Steve was also the "go-to guy" for students with special needs.

Steve is remembered as kind, friendly, caring, generous. He published journal articles and three books, his favorite a dictionary of palindromes (that spell the same backwards as forwards). Art was one of Steve's hobbies—he had two one-man shows in University galleries. Pieces of his art are in the University Libraries and in the homes of many friends. Some of his imaginative works were fashioned from found objects.

Steve is survived by his wife of 28 years, Andrea Cantrell, and his sisters Susan Chism Hansen and Laura Chism Meyers of Little Rock, and many family and friends who loved him.

Our sympathy goes out to all sufferers of early onset Alzheimer's and to family members who love and care for them. To place an online tribute visit

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