Melinda Bracy

It is an unseasonably cold November night as I think about the events of the previous day and of the previous week. My family is asleep, as it is the morning of the next day. I feel compelled to write for some reason; I never thought about writing an obituary, let alone my Mother’s.

On November 12, 2019, my remarkable Mother, Melinda Louise Bracy, 78, of Hot Springs, formerly of Pine Bluff, followed the love of her life, Calvin McRae Bracy, up the beautiful stairway to heaven where her oldest son, Calvin McRae Bracy, Jr., awaited to truly rejoice in the love that we have always shared as a family.

She grew up in Little Rock, AR. She attended University of Arkansas along with my Dad. She lived in Pine Bluff most of her life. Preparing to enjoy the later phase of her life in a new city with her beautiful grandchildren, her selfless, overbearing, and unbridled years of loving and living proved too much and her heart was broken two times too many. I worried. She would not have loved or be loved any other way.

“Mono,” as she is affectionately referred to by her grandchildren, is survived by her son, Brian Keith Bracy and his wife Chauna Kirkpatrick Bracy; their children, Hudson Claire Bracy, Wells McRae Bracy, and Jed Anderson Bracy, all of Fayetteville, AR, (all of whom she was incomprehensibly proud); her sister, Susan Page Mitchell and her husband, Phil Ray Mitchell; their daughter, Amanda Mitchell Chaney and her husband David Chaney; and their son Derek Mitchell Chaney, all of Euless, TX; and her beloved dog, Snookie. There are countless friends and acquaintances that will feel a terrible void without her quick wit, loud laughter, and unselfish opinions.

If you are reading this, you are probably aware of my Father’s death, Calvin McRae Bracy, eight days prior. We were deeply moved by the outpouring of love for him. He is the greatest man I will ever know. For every great man or woman in the world there has to absolutely be a source, a spark. The source has to be constant and unwavering. It can’t come and go or take a day off. She has to be steady and consistent and the more intense and passionate, the better.

I liked it, my Dad probably not as much; obviously enough or more than I realized. I cannot think of my Mother in any other manner. She was an anchor, our center of gravity. She encompassed a certain passion and fire that inspired to push beyond expectations. For her, family was her focal point. For her, family was it; and she did not care about anything else other than our well-being. There is nothing that she would not have done for us, no barrier, no obstacle that she would not have grappled. There is absolutely no question that we would not have gotten where we are without our truly remarkable Mom, Wife, Sister, Grandma, Friend. She is, indeed, the most accomplished lady I have ever known, and was a gift from God.

It is cold outside, but I feel a sense of warmth and revel in the zeal when I take stock of what Mom got to see and the legacy that she leaves. Her manner of death was a testament to her “all out” intense love. She was scared. I worried. I knew what she wanted, but I think maybe God felt that she should be with my Dad. Maybe in way a reward, knowing that, through her, we that are left behind will be fine and flourish. She will be missed. She will be missed more than she will ever know, but I think she knew the impact she made. She was truly remarkable.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 16, 2019, 2:00 p.m. at Ruebel Funeral Home, 6313 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR. The family will receive friends after the service.

Memorials may be made to City of Hot Springs Animal Services, 319 Davidson Drive, Hot Springs, AR 71901.

Arrangements are by Ralph Robinson & Son of Pine Bluff. For online condolences, please visit

Emma Golden

Ms. Emma Ruth Golden, 83, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas formerly Altheimer, Ark., passed away November 8, 2019. She was born to the late Isom Golden, Sr. and Josie Golden on May 6, 1936 in Althemier, AR.

Her visitation will be Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and her funeral will follow at 11:00 a.m. both at College Heights Church of Christ, with Minister Justin Wallace/officiating. Burial will be at Forrest Lawn Cemetery.

She leaves to cherish her memories one brother, Isom Golden, Jr. and a host of nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends. Service by Perry Funeral Home.

Vicki McGhee

Mrs. Vicki Lynn Rice-McGhee, 61, of Pine Bluff, Ar passed away November 8, 2019, at JRMC. She was born to the late Victor and Eula Rice on October 27, 1958, in Pine Bluff, Ar.

Her visitation will be Friday November 15, 2019, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Perry Funeral Home.

Vicki’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Pine Hill M.B.C, with Rev. Glen Barnes/Pastor and Rev. Larry Barnes/Officiating. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two daughters; Lakita McGhee and Sheena McGhee, one granddaughter; Tamarah Johnson, two sisters; Rae Evelyn Rice, and Eunita Rice-Seals, and a host of nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends, and a special “Sidekick” Cathy Richardson. Service by Perry Funeral Home.

James Whitfield Sr.

Mr. James E. Whitfield, Sr., 84, of Pine Bluff, Passed November 7, 2019. Celebration of Life will be Saturday at 10:30a.m. Full Faith Christian Center with Isaac Barron Officiating. Interment will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery by Paradise Funeral Home of Pine Bluff.

Family Hour will be Friday from 6:00-7:00p.m. at Paradise Funeral Home. “Only Paradise Can Serve You Better!”

Reba Waters

Reba Waters, 92, of Pine Bluff, died Thursday, November 14, 2019. She was born August 12, 1927 in Prescott, daughter of George and Altha Cook Wake.

Mrs. Waters was reared and received her early education in Prescott. She lived a couple of different places before settling in Pine Bluff in the late 1950s.

Mrs. Waters worked as a clerk for Magic Mart for 20 years and Wal-Mart for 20 years, retiring in 1996. She enjoyed crocheting, coloring to numbers, cross stitching, watching her hummingbirds and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Learmon Williams (L.W.) Waters; her parents; daughter, Wanda Faye Phillips; five brothers, Clyde, Lee, Leonard, Claude and Jake Wake; and three sisters, Hazel Auxier, Fay Loe and Elsie Smith Peters.

Survivors include two sons, George Waters of Clever, Missouri and Keith Allen Waters of Prattsville; daughter, Margie Ellen Sewell of Pine Bluff; sister, Jean Harris of Hope; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 16, 2019, in the Chapel of Ralph Robinson and Son with Chaplain John Brown officiating. Interment will be private.

Visitation will be Saturday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. until service time at Robinson’s. Online register:

Keith Johnson Sr.

Mr. Keith Bernard Johnson, Sr., 51, of West Bradenton, FL., passed Wednesday, November 6, 2019.

Visitation 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 15, 2019, at Brown Funeral Home Pine Bluff, AR.

Funeral service 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 16, 2019, at New Community Baptist Church Pine Bluff, by Supt. Jerry Williams. Burial in Belmont Cemetery Moscow, AR by Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff, AR.

Ocie M. Noel

Mrs. Ocie M. Noel, 83, of Stuttgart, Passed November 10, 2019. Celebration of Life will be Saturday at 11:00a.m. Lively Stone Church with Pastor AL Allen Officiating. Interment will be in Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery by Paradise Integrity Funeral Home of Stuttgart.

Family Hour will be Friday from 6:00-7:00p.m. at Paradise Integrity Funeral Home “Only Paradise Can Serve You Better!” Blessed Beyond Measures.

Alfred L. Flowers

Mr. Alfred L. Flowers, 43, of Pine Bluff Passed November 9, 2019. Funeral Arrangements will be announced by Paradise Funeral Home of Pine Bluff. “Only Paradise Can Serve You Better!”