Sylvia Jayne Clay

Sylvia Clay

Sylvia Moss Clay 77, of North Little Rock, transition to her eternal rest December 9, 2014. A native of Lubbock, Texas, she was born June 9, 1937 to the Late James and Ruth Ransom Moss. She was preceded in death by one sister.

Educated in the Lubbock School System, at age 16, Mrs. Clay graduated salutatorian of her high school class and was awarded a four year scholarship to Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma. She received a double major Bachelor of Arts degree for Music Education in Instrumental Music and Concert Piano. She received a Master of Arts in Music Education from Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. Meeting her future husband, Curtis Clay, at Langston University, they were wed on campus in 1957 before moving to North Little Rock. To this union were added two sons and one daughter.

Hired in the Little Rock School District in 1958, Mrs. Clay was the first black female band director in the state of Arkansas. During her first years of teaching, she was able to add music to the curriculum of elementary students in the segregated Black institutions by travelling from school to school to offer foundational music training. Being one of the first teachers to be transferred into an integrated school, Mrs. Clay continued to excel and make an impact, musically and developmentally, in the lives of many students both black and white. Many of her former music students have gone on to pursue professional music careers both nationally and internationally in secular and gospel genres.

Mrs. Clay served as Minister of Music at three churches in Central Arkansas over her fifty-six year residency here—Eighth Street Baptist Church, serving twenty years, Eastern Star Baptist Church, serving four years and St. John Missionary Baptist Church where she served twenty-seven years. During her music ministry, Mrs. Clay’s endeavor was to serve God and uplift his name in song. She had the opportunity collaborate with national gospel music artist and personalities: James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, Chester D. T. Baldwin, Charles Fold, Margaret Pleasant Douroux, Rodena Preston, Steven Roberts and many others.

Mrs. Clay organized, trained and directed some of best choirs in the Central Arkansas area while contributing to the development and furtherance of gospel music through conducting music workshops across Arkansas, nationally, and internationally, in Bad Kissingen-Germany, Verona-Italy, and Okinawa-Japan. In 1982, Mrs. Clay founded the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA). She served as leader and national representative of this chapter for fifteen years.

Mrs. Clay served as Minister of Music Emeritus at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Chapter Representative Emeritus of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America and was an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Trinity Chapter #24 Order of the Eastern Star, Arkansas Education Association, and the Little Rock Retired Teachers Association.

Mrs. Clay is leaves to cherish her memory two sons, Curtis Clay Jr. of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Gregory Lamont (Gloria) Clay of Pensacola, Florida; one daughter, Denise Rochelle Clay of North Little Rock, Arkansas; two granddaughters, Tamaron Timanthis, Jasmine Clennon; one grandson, Justin Fowlkes; one sister, Peggy Rush; one nephew, Walter Lucious Moss; our beloved extended family, The Leon Thomas family, who have embraced her as their matriarch; many god-children / god-grandchildren, and a host of devoted caring friends.

A gathering in remembrance of Sylvia will be Friday, December 19, 2014, 5-7 p.m., at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 Chester Street, Little Rock, Arkansas (501) 372-1305. Funeral services with Reverend C. D. Edwards officiating, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 20, 2014 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 2501 Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

Anthony Webb

Anthony Webb

Anthony Ladell Webb 57,of Jacksonville, AR., passed away December 11, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Neashall; children, Andrea Webb, Alyssia Webb, Kenia Brown and Michael Brown; mother, Mary Bell; three sisters, Valda Gant, Songina Beasley and Cheryl Baldridge; two brothers, Roger Webb and Dannie Webb. Funeral services will be on Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:00 am, at Bullock Temple CME Church, 1513 South Park Street, Little Rock, AR. Family hour will be held on Friday, December 19, 2014, 7:30-8:30 pm, at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 South Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305. Sign his online guestbook: www.ruffinjarrett.com

Leanna Adams

Leanna Adams

Leanna Adams 96, of Little Rock, AR passed Thursday, December 11, 2014. Survivors include: two sons, Joe L. Hayes (Minnie) and Leroy Glenns (Leatrice) both of Little Rock, AR; one brother, Bennie Adams (Omeda) of Little Rock, AR; one sister, Daisy Adams of Chicago, Il; 14 grandchildren; 34 great grandchildren; 24 great great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives. Home going services will be on Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:00 am, at Greater Rose of Sharon Church, 2823 Dr. MLK Drive, Little Rock, AR 72206. Interment will follow at Haven of Rest Cemetery. Family visitation: Friday, December 19, 2014, 6-7 pm, at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. Little Rock, AR (501) 372-1305.

Carter Williams

Carter Lee Williams of Little Rock, AR., passed on December 5, 2014. Welcoming Carter to Heaven will be his grandmother, Elnora “LeeLee” Rucker; great grandfather, John L. Williams; and great grandmother, Mildred Williams. Leaving to cherish special memories: his mother, Juda Williams; grandfather, Willie Williams; uncle, Jayland Williams and a host of friends and family. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2014, 1:00 pm, at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305. Burial will follow at Arkansas Memorial Gardens, NLR, AR.

Wizer Trimble McGrew

Wizer McGrew

Wizer Trimble-McGrew 94, passed November 27, 2014. Memorial services will be held Saturday, December 13, 2014, at 1:00 pm, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 2119 Wolfe St., Little Rock, AR. Survivors: niece, Ann Richard; nephew, Mark Baker and other relatives. Arrangements by: Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home.

Daisy Mae Blackmon

Daisy Blackmon

Daisy Austin Blackmon passed away Sunday, November 30, 2014. She worked for Siemens for 27 years and Wal-Mart for 13 years.

 

She leaves to cherish her memory, husband Paul Blackmon; one son, Damon Blackmon both of Mabelvale , AR; three stepsons, Larry Blackmon (Sheila), Paul Blackmon Jr. (Carolyn) and Ronald Blackmon; one stepdaughter, Pamela King (Anthony); five grandchildren; one sister, Alvern Smith and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

A celebration of her life will be Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Rest In Peace Memorial Gardens, Hensley, AR. Viewing: Today, 3-5 pm, both services at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305.

James Byers

James Byers

James Arthur Byers, 64, Little Rock, passed December 6, 2014. Survivors include: Barbara Byers, his wife of 16 years; children, Jeff Johnson (Heidi) of Little Rock, Jerald Byers, of Texas, Shara Byers-Rice (Sederick), of Pine Bluff, Dedrick Byrs of Little Rock, Stacy Maxwell, Adrian Maxwell, Devvie Turner (Steve), Daphne Debrogrozio (Anthony), Yulonda Porter (Christopher), Yulana Jordan, all of Virginia, Andrea Robinson (Johnny), of Jacksonville; 16 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. His siblings are: Rev. Michael Flowers (Delois), Sharon Johnson, Yvonne Carroll (Verlon), Bonita Walker (Curtis), Wanda Chambers (Tyron), Reginald Adams (Myrtra), Andre Otey (Tenitra) and Steven Otey (Shuntay). He was preceded in death by his mother, Johnnie Mae Adams and father, James Byers; brother, Kenneth Adams; and Janice Nichols. Home going services will be on Saturday, December 13, 2014, 11:00 am. Viewing: Saturday, 10-11 am, prior to service, both services at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home Chapel, 1200 South Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305.

 

Clara Lee Funches

Clara Funches

Clara Lee Funches 61, of Little Rock, AR passed peacefully on November 28, 2014. Survivors include: her loving husband, Albert Lee Funches, Sr.; sons, Daryl Funches and Aundre (Dianne) Davis; mother, Mary E. Ross; two sisters, Cynthia Ross and Stephanie (Rob) Smith; two brothers, Anthony (Joyce) Ross, and Christopher Ross; and a host of grandchildren, other relatives and friends. Home going services will be on Saturday, December 13, 2014, 2:00 pm. Viewing: Friday, December 12, 2014, 2-5 pm, both services at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 S. Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305.

Benjamin Franklin Davis

Ben Davis

Benjamin F. Davis Sr., 87 of Little Rock, AR passed December 3, 2014.  Survivors: a loving wife; two sons; two daughters; one brother; four sisters; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Services: 10 am, Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at Bethel A.M.E. 815 W. 16th Little Rock, AR. Arrangements by: Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home.

Nolan Watson

Nolan Watson

On December 2, 2014, 5:10pm The Reverend Nolan Watson transitioned form labor to reward. He was born in Hermitage, Arkansas January 2, 1939, to Mr. Roosevelt Watson and Ms. Ruth Barber who preceded him in death. He attended T.W. Daniel High School in Crossett, AR, where he was valedictorian of the Class of 1957. He recently retired as pastor in the African Methodists Episcopal Church. He pastored St. Andrew, Bethel and Union AME Churches here in Little Rock and several churches in South Arkansas.

Reverend Watson leaves to cherish his memory: wife, Lyndajo Jones-Watson; son, Chanslor “Champ” Watson (Carla); daughter, Gwendolyn L. Harris (Aaron); granddaughter, Chandolyn Watson; goddaughter, Crystal D. Simpson (Martez); four sisters, Murial Carr of Pasadena, CA., Cora Gilbert of Hermitage, AR., Lynda Herbert of Buffalo, NY., and Mary Hale of Malvern, AR; special sister- in- law, Jackie Martin and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. A celebration of Rev. Watson’s life will be held Monday, December 8, 2014, 11:00 am, at Union AME Church, 1825 Pulaski St. Little Rock, AR. Family visitation: Sunday, December 7, 2014, 6-7 pm, at Ruffin & Jarrett Funeral Home, 1200 South Chester St. LR (501) 372-1305. Sign his online guestbook @ http://www.ruffinjarrett.com