Theodore Walker


Theodore Walker, 56, of Sherwood, Arkansas, passed Tuesday, October 15, 2019.


Visitation/Family Hour 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at Brown Funeral Home Pine Bluff, AR. Funeral service 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 24, 2019, at Damascus Missionary Baptist Church Grady, AR, by Pastor Robert Scott, Sr.


Burial in Randolph Cemetery Grady, AR, by Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff, AR. His body will lie in-state 10:15 a.m. until service time. www.brownfunneralhomeandmortuary.com.


Jean Ripling


Jean Brown Ripling, 95, died October 20 at the Hospice Comfort Care Center, after a brief illness. She was born October 22, 1923, in a log cabin in the “Y” community of Cleveland County. Her parents were Inez Cochran and Charles Brown. They both died while she was still a schoolgirl, and she was raised by the most loving aunt imaginable, Beatrice Cochran Blair. She had two sisters and a cousin who was raised as her sister. They all preceded her in death: Jennie Violet Brown, Josie Brown King, and Janie Blair Mulligan.


Upon graduation from Pine Bluff High School in 1942, Jean enrolled in the Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Memphis, Tennessee. Immediately after completing her nurse’s training, she joined the Army Nurse Corps, serving both stateside and on medical ship duty. She made 17 transatlantic crossings on the Jarrett M. Huddleston, a WW II era Liberty ship. After her discharge from the army, she enrolled in Tulane University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing.


As a member of the inactive reserves, she was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict. Her first post was at Camp Polk, Louisiana. It was there that she met William John Ripling, Jr., a lieutenant in the armored cavalry. When they met, he was a patient at the Camp hospital. By the time he was discharged by the hospital, they were engaged and were soon to be married. At this point, she already had orders to go to Germany to work in an army hospital there. Bill transferred to a Germany-bound unit, and joined her. Their married life, which began in Germany, lasted 50 years. Bill died at home in Rison, on Jean’s birthday in 2002.


After she left the Army, Jean never worked in a hospital again but she continued her nursing career for decades. She worked in various nursing homes and was an in-home service director for the Area Agency on Aging, which provides home health care to the elderly. In the 1960’s, when the family lived in Idaho, she taught anatomy and physiology at Saint Alphonse School of Nursing.


A life-long passion for gardening led her to enroll in Boise State University to study horticulture and later to become a master gardener. In her later years, she devoted herself to maintaining the gardens at her beloved church, Trinity Episcopal in Pine Bluff.


The greatest joy of her life was her family. Due to her parents’ early deaths, she never expected to live to see her grandchildren grow up, but she did. She was able to attend the weddings of all three of her grandchildren and to see them all become kind, responsible adults. One of her greatest joys was the birth of her first great-grandchild.


She is survived by so many who were dear to her and to whom she was precious: her daughters, Melissa Ripling Guldin, and Janet Ripling Moore; her sons-in-law, James Guldin, and Ira Moore; her grandchildren William John Ripling Guldin and Megan Berlin, Allison Moore-Peace and David Peace, Rachel Moore and Juan Davey; and her great-granddaughter Lydia Guldin. She also leaves behind beloved friends John Rayford and Jason Kahler, both of whom helped her to maintain the independent life she loved.


A memorial service will be held 10:00 am, Wednesday, November 27 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. For anyone wishing to make a memorial donation, her favorite charities were Trinity Episcopal Church, 703 W. 3rd Ave., Pine Bluff, AR 71601; and The Humane Society of Pulaski County, 1460 Colonel Glenn Rd., Little Rock AR 72210. Arrangements are by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.


Mamie Coats


Mamie Jo Coats peacefully walked through death into Life on October 20, 2019. Born on April 19, 1925 in Rison, Arkansas, she was the daughter of the late Jo and Mamie Jaggers.


She was preceded in death by her husband, Zachary Taylor (ZT) Coats; granddaughter, Nancy Amanda (Mandy) Coats; brothers, Buddy Jaggers, JW Jaggers, John Ray Jaggars; and sisters, Mattie Lou Hall and Betty Jean Hamilton.


Survivors include sons, Jimmy Coats (Sandy) of Hot Springs and Jerry Coats (Lynne) of Little Rock; sister, Ann Post (Cornelius) of Kingsland, brother, Billy Jaggers of Magnolia; grandchildren, Chad (Candi) Coats of Bryant, Stacy Coats McClain (Chuck) of Batesville, and Jamie Sue Morrison (Jay) of Nashville, TN. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren, Cameron and Collier Coats; Charlie, Zach, and Eleanor McClain; and Jacob and Eva Morrison; and a whole host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Mamie Jo retired from the Pine Bluff School District, where she worked for many years in the Superintendent’s office, as secretary and assistant. She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Pine Bluff, where she served as treasurer and as a choir member. She also was a member of Eastern Star for many years, serving as Grand Esther and in her retirement, enjoyed serving at the State Capitol in the legislative secretary pool.


Mamie Jo was loyal, kind, generous and elegant. She was famous for her pies, home cooking and hospitality. She loved to travel and visit with friends, but her most beloved times were spent with family. She will be missed by all.


Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 25, 2019, at Buie Funeral Home in Rison, with a visitation prior to the service, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Doctor David Moore CFP will officiate. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Pallbearers are Chad Coats, Charlie McClain IV, Zach McClain, Jacob Morrison, Cameron Coats, Eleanor McClain, Eva Morrison and Collier Coats.


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Nancy Amanda (Mandy) Coats Scholarship through the AR Baptist Foundation. Funeral arrangements are by Buie Funeral Home of Rison. Please sign the online guestbook at www.buiefuneralhome.com.


Marjorie Steed


Marjorie Lucille Gray Steed, 94, of Pine Bluff, passed away Monday, October 21, 2019, at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.


She is survived by her son, Howard D. (Linda) Steed, Jr. of Hot Springs; three daughters, Carolyn (JD) Earnest of Pine Bluff, Cathy (Jimmy) Hightower of Cedarville, Arkansas, and Louise (Wayne) Triplett of Harmony, Florida; 11 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; sister, Dot Noyes of Lake Village; and her step-sister, Mildred Snell of Little Rock.


Funeral services will be Thursday, October 24, 2:00 PM, in the Chapel of Ralph Robinson & Son with Reverend Don Taylor officiating. Burial will follow at Lee Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time. Online condolences: www.ralphrobinsonandson.com.