MONTICELLO — "Mercy me, sakes alive, and carrot coffee!" Kermit Charles Moss passed into the loving arms of Our Lord on 27 July 2012, at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ark., He was born to John Clayton Moss, Sr. and Eugenia Yeager Moss on 3 June 1919, in Bearden, Ark. He graduated from New Edinburgh High School in 1937 and joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II, mostly in Burma and India. He was awarded two bronze battle stars during his service. He finished his service at the end of WWII at the rank of Sergeant, but remained in the Army Reserve into the 1950s rising to the rank of Captain.
MONTICELLO — “Mercy me, sakes alive, and carrot coffee!” Kermit Charles Moss passed into the loving arms of Our Lord on 27 July 2012, at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ark., He was born to John Clayton Moss, Sr. and Eugenia Yeager Moss on 3 June 1919, in Bearden, Ark. He graduated from New Edinburgh High School in 1937 and joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II, mostly in Burma and India. He was awarded two bronze battle stars during his service. He finished his service at the end of WWII at the rank of Sergeant, but remained in the Army Reserve into the 1950s rising to the rank of Captain.
After WWII, he used funding from the GI Bill to attend college, first at Eastern Michigan University and then graduating from the University of Michigan in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting. During his time in Michigan, he met, wooed, and married his wife of 62 years, Juanita Louise Moss (nee Foor), who was the love of his life.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, he entered graduate school at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, graduating in 1951 with a Master’s degree in accounting. He worked briefly for Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline Company in Shreveport, La., before returning to Arkansas in 1952 to organize the Business Department at Arkansas A&M College. In 1954, he moved to Houston, Texas to work for the Internal Revenue Service. In 1955, he accepted a position in the Business Department at Southern Arkansas College in Magnolia. In 1956, he accepted a position at the University of Houston. In 1957, he returned to Arkansas A&M College, where he remained until 1981, when he resigned to run for Governor of the State of Arkansas.
Mr. Moss became a Certified Public Accountant in 1955 and maintained that accreditation throughout the remainder of his life. When he returned to Monticello in 1957, he established his own accounting practice and remained active in accounting throughout the rest of his life. He had various partners and employees in his accounting practice. His wife, Juanita, worked in the firm for many years. He briefly had a partnership with his son-in-law, Jack D. Burson, and his daughter, Eugenia Burson (nee Moss) also worked for the firm during that time. Over the last three decades of his life, his accounting practice, Moss, Burks, Moss & Co., was in partnership with his son William D. Moss and Ricky Burks. The partnership maintained practices in Monticello and Pine Bluff. Mr. Moss was active in professional activities of certified public accountants throughout his professional career and served a term in the early 1970s as President of the Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. One of his most important accomplishments while president of the Arkansas Society was spearheading the continuing education requirements that then Governor Clinton signed into law.
Mr. Moss was a member of the Rotary Club in Monticello, was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Club, served in leadership positions within the Monticello Chapter of the Club, and served as District Governor of Rotary International in District 617 (now District 6170).
Mr. Moss was active in politics most of the latter part of his life. He was elected and served on the Drew Central School Board in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1984, he ran for Governor of the State of Arkansas in the Democratic Primary, losing to Bill Clinton. He enjoyed the rough and tumble of politics, and wrote numerous opinion pieces on political and other issues, many of which were published in state and local newspapers. Even though he was never afraid to strongly state and defend his own opinion, he had many friends on both sides of just about every issue, and enjoyed the vigorous debate between all comers. In his later years, his opinion pieces usually contained his signature line, “Mercy me, sakes alive, and carrot coffee!”.
In his spare time he enjoyed sports, rooting vigorously for the Razorbacks and the Wolverines. He also enjoyed working on his farm, and had a brief enterprise as a notorious pumpkin farmer, raising giant pumpkins, some of which were entered in the Drew County Fair. He became interested in genealogy and helped to trace several branches of his family tree. He enjoyed meeting with and communicating with former students. He was a vigorous advocate for the value of education, and spent a significant amount of time writing opinion pieces on the state of education in Drew County, Arkansas, and the nation.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Monticello and served many years as a Deacon and an Elder in the church.
Mr. Moss was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Juanita Louise, and one son, Robert H. Moss. He is survived by two sons, Steven C. Moss of Hermosa Beach, Calif., and William D. Moss of Pine Bluff, Ark., and one daughter, Eugenia Hope Burson and her husband Jack D. Burson of Superior, Colo. He is survived by five grandchildren; Clint C. Burson and wife Jessica of Hamilton, Mont.; Callie E. Payne and husband James of Westminster, Colo.; David R. Moss and wife Kelly of Jacksonville, Ark.; Clayton C. Moss and wife Mandy of Monticello, Ark.; and Hannah J. Moss of Pine Bluff, Ark. He is survived by six great-grandchildren with a seventh soon due. He is survived by two brothers-in-law, Herbert Foor and wife Judy of Grayling, Mich., and Bruce Badger of Bushnell, Fla. He is also survived by eight nephews and nieces. During the last part of his life, in addition to his family, he enjoyed round-the-clock care from several caregivers, including Gayle Knight and Stacy Thornton, both of Monticello.
Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at the First Presbyterian Church, burial in Oakland Cemetery. Visitation 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Arrangements by Stephenson-Dearman. Online guestbook www.stephensondearman.com.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Student Loan Fund of the Arkansas Society of CPAs, 11300 Executive Center Dr., Little Rock, AR 72211, First Presbyterian Church of Monticello, 821 North Main St., Monticello, AR 71655 or the endowment fund for the Kermit C. Moss Scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Monticello, AR 71656.