Spring 2024 Passages


LaVera Novak Childs Leopard (’49), 94, of Wichita, Kansas, died July 13, 2023. She was a kindergarten teacher for the Wichita School system and a long-time member of the Northside Church of Christ. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Kenneth Childs (’53). She is survived by her husband of 38 years, Kenneth Leopard (’52); two children, Cory (’83) and Carrie Ammons; and four grandchildren. 


James C. Lankford (’50), 98, of Searcy, died Dec. 2, 2023. He served in the military during World War II from 1944 to 1946. He received his Master of Education from the University of Arkansas. He taught business in schools at Rose Bud, Des Arc and Swifton, Arkansas, as well as Grady and Fort Sumner, New Mexico, for a combined 13 years. From 1963 to 1969, he worked for the PCA and helped many people in the White County community with farm loans. He was elected in 1970 as White County circuit clerk and recorder and served the county for 16 years before retiring. He was a founder and charter member of the White County Cattlemen’s Association, a long-time member of the Searcy Kiwanis Club, Armstrong Caldwell Post 106 of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign War and the West Point Masonic Lodge and was a 32nd degree mason. He was a member of Unity Health auxiliary having volunteered more than 9,800 hours. He was a member of West Side Church of Christ. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Betty. He is survived by his children, James (’84) and Mary Bolin (’87); three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


William R. Whittle (’58), 87, of Charlotte, North Carolina, died Jan. 6. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1960. He was a software engineer with IBM working in New York, Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina. A pioneer in the world of computers, he holds two patents for machine tools. He was a supporter of classical music and Friends of the Arts at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.


Harriet McClellan Barrentine (’60), 83, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, died Dec. 31, 2022. She was a kindergarten teacher for more than 20 years at Concord Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tennessee. She also worked as an assistant for Nashville Electric Service and as a bookkeeper for Fleet Transport. She was a member of East Main Church of Christ in Murfreesboro. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Moody (’59); three children, Dana Melton (’84), Shannon and Louis; a brother, Bruce McClellan; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


allan-isom.jpegAllan Lloyd Isom (’60), 90, of Little Rock, Arkansas, died Feb. 17. He graduated from Ashland High School and then attended Harding College to pursue a degree in Bible. After one year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served two years during the Korean War while stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. After the war, he returned to Harding where he met his wife, Carole Thomas. He later attended Harding Graduate School of Bible and Religion where he obtained his master’s degree in 1964. In 1972, he received a Doctor of Education in counseling psychology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He spent many years working with churches in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana before returning to Harding as a faculty member in 1963. He created Good News Singers and also started Uplift summer camp. During his 34-year teaching career, he specialized in family and spiritual counseling and developed the course titled Christian Home for which he wrote the book Family: A Matter of Relationships. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carole Thomas (’60), and children Danny and Alana Rose ('86). He is survived by daughters Susan Henry (’91) and Jeanne Burks (’94); 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


Lorraine Howard Kelley (’61), 83, of Rockford, Alabama, died Jan. 21. She earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech University. She was a city planner for MARTA in Atlanta. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, David Sr.; children, David Jr., Danna Schuck and Thomas; brother Will Howard Jr. (’68); and one grandson.


Patrick Casey (’63), 91, of Millington, Tennessee, died Oct. 20, 2023. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. In 1967, he became the pulpit minister in Millington where he worked and served for 33 years. He worked with military families and traveled extensively helping other churches with revivals, evangelism and bus ministry workshops. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Shirley; two daughters, Ann McCorkle and Lareea Taylor; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Phillip Dixon (’67), 78, of Searcy, died Jan. 11. He attended Florida State University and served as the first campus minister for the Call Street Church of Christ. He attended Coast Guard officer candidate school and was stationed in Cape May, New Jersey. He graduated from University of Arkansas Law School in 1974. He spent his career helping people through estate planning in banks in Jonesboro, Mountain Home and Rogers, Arkansas. In 1993, he began working in the advancement office at Harding, later returning to the banking world where he retired from Regions Bank in Little Rock in 2015. He served as a deacon at Southside Church in Rogers and at College Church of Christ in Searcy. He also served as a sponsor for Chi Sigma Alpha men’s social club at Harding for more than 20 years. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann Cowan (’68); four children, Carrie Jones, Greg, Matt (’13) and Hannah Wood (’02); one brother, Lynn (’70); and four grandchildren.


cathymeadows.jpegCathy Sue McRae Meadows (’76), 69, of El Dorado, Arkansas, died Dec. 15, 2023. A devoted member of her community, she dedicated her time to her church where she volunteered in the church’s sewing room. She also spent many years serving at Camp Kurios. She is survived by her husband, Mike (’75); two sons, Alan (’98) and Clint (’01); three siblings, James McRae, Lola Lawrence and Sylvia McDonald; and four grandchildren.




Tami Jones Robinson (’83), 63, of Russellville, Arkansas, died Dec. 31, 2023. She taught physical education for 15 years at Oakland Heights Elementary School in Russellville. She also coached women’s basketball at Alread, Arkansas, instructing at Center Valley Elementary School and substituting at Sequoyah Elementary School in Russellville. She was a renowned swimming instructor, teaching at her home, at Camp Caudle in Scottsville, Arkansas and at the Russellville Aquatic Center. She was a member of the West Side Church of Christ in Russellville. She is survived by her husband, Thom (’71); two sons, Jonathan (’12) and David (’14); her mother, Dee Lin Jones; two brothers, Rocky and Calvin; and two grandchildren. 


ray-duwe-portrait-edit-jpeg.jpgRaymond Dale Duwe (’88), 56, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, died Jan. 7, 2023. He received an MBA from the University of Tulsa. When he was 34, he sustained a brain injury in an automobile accident and became a non-verbal quadriplegic. At the time, he was married and had three young children. His parents became his caregivers. His father, Bill, wrote a book about Ray’s life titled We Still Have Him to Love, which contains advice for other caregivers. He was a member of the Broken Arrow Church of Christ. He is survived by his children, Travis (’19), Nicole Michael (’15), and Raychel Alexander; his parents, Bill and Lawana; sister, Regina McCoy (’91); and one grandchild.



howard-norton-2-2.jpgHoward Norton, 88, of Searcy, died Oct. 22, 2023. In 1961, he and his family moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to become missionaries. They spent 16 years in Brazil. He served as editor of the Christian Chronicle and as pulpit minister at Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. In 1997, his family moved to Searcy where he became director of the Institute for Church and Family. In his 70s, he accepted a position as president of the Baxter Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he served for three and a half years. He served on the boards of World Bible School and Southern Christian Home. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Jane Pearce. He is survived by his children, Laurie Diles, Thomas and Ted; his sister Donna Roberts; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.



Kenneth “Ken” Miller, 89, of Lubbock,Texas, died Feb. 18, 2023. He taught speech, drama and English at MacArthur High School in San Antonio. Texas. He served as assistant principal at MacArthur and then as principal of Ralls (Texas) Middle School and Lubbock (Texas) Christian High School. He served as education minister for the MacArthur Park Church of Christ in San Antonio, the Southwest Church of Christ in Phoenix, the Idalou Church of Christ in Idalou, Texas, the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock, the Cloverdale Church of Christ in Searcy, and the Pittman Creek Church of Christ in Plano, Texas. After his first wife, Juanell, died, he married Carolyn Jackson Conaster and served 10 years as associate professor of religious education at Harding University. He established the school’s first religious education lab and led teacher training workshops throughout the area. He was preceded in death by his wife, Juanell Crawford. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (’92); children, Kim Stern, Kerry, Karen Davis, Sheila Stanley and Keith Conaster; eight grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.


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