Robert Ashcraft

Robert Leonard Ashcraft, age 94, was born in rural Jefferson County April 5th, 1926, the son of Robert Martin Ashcraft and Effie Koonce Ashcraft and met his Lord on April 19th 2020.

He was preceded in death by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 39 years Jeanetta Horne Ashcraft and later by Laura Ashcraft; his parents and brother, Thomas Elton Ashcraft.

Mr. Ashcraft was an employee of Arkansas Power & Light Company for over 40 years and owned and operated Ashcraft Electric until age 85.

Leonard and Jeanetta moved to McGehee as a young married couple and spent their lives participating in the life of their community. As an active member of First Baptist Church Mr. Ashcraft served as a Deacon. He was a member of the Sulphur Springs Masonic Lodge for 73 years. And even though disabled, as the result of a childhood illness; one of his greatest joys was coaching Little League Baseball teams. A model train enthusiast, he built his own extensive layout which he delighted in sharing with his grandchildren. He was a devoted Razorback fan, continuing to attend games until his later years. Traveling became a passion, as he visited all 50 states, Europe, South America and Canada.

He is survived by his daughters Sharon Johnson (Jerry) of Hot Springs and Sandra Reifeiss (Gary) of North Little Rock, 4 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Services and interment for Mr. Ashcraft were held at Brown Cemetery in Jefferson County under the direction of Ralph Robinson and Son Funeral Home. Memorials in honor of Mr. Ashcraft may be made to Brown Cemetery. Online condolences at

Rev. George Waters Sr.

Reverend George Waters, Sr., 70, went home to be with the Lord on April 16, 2020.

Viewing 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at Brown Funeral Home Pine Bluff, AR. Burial 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at Cedar Grove Section of Graceland Cemetery by Pastor George Waters, Jr. Services are entrusted to Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff, AR.

Lois Merrell

Lois Ann Ashcraft-Merrell, age 57, of Pine Bluff, passed away Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Born February 22, 1963 in Pine Bluff AR at Jefferson Hospital, she was the only daughter and youngest child of Mrs. Ann Moran Ashcraft and the late John Robert Ashcraft of the Sulphur Springs community She graduated from Ashdown High School in 1981.

Lois later graduated from the Jefferson School of Nursing in 1995 and was a Registered Nurse at the JRMC Professional Building. She was a member of Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church.

Survivors include her husband, Joe Merrell, whom she married on March 28, 1981 at Ashdown, AR; a daughter, Maranda Merrell-Neal (Micah); two sons, Christopher “CJ” Merrell and Joey Merrell (Carla); three brothers, Chris Ashcraft (Kathy), Alan Ashcraft (Rita), and Archie Ashcraft (Lee Anne); and ten grandchildren, Corbin Neal, Kaylea Neal, Destany Cotton, Kyera GraceAnn Neal, Cherish Johnson, Chandler Merrell, Ayden Merrell, Olivia Merrell, Chloe Merrell, and Gunnar Merrell; along with countless nieces, nephews, and cousins.

There will be a private family service on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at Fitzhugh Cemetery with Danny Holcomb officiating. You may attend the service via live-stream at 2:00 p.m. on our website, and later on the Fuller Hale-South Facebook Page.

Due to COVID-19 regulations and precautions, the family urges you to be safe and continue social distancing as much as possible. There will be a drive-thru visitation with the family Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Fuller Hale-South, 1621 S. Cherry Street. We ask that you remain in your car and speak briefly with the family from there. The line will form on the east side of Cherry Street headed north. You will then turn right on 17th Avenue, drive thru the carport, speak with the family, and then exit. We sincerely request that there be no “walk-up” visitors.

There will not be a physical register book to sign, but you may sign on our website, You are also welcome to leave the family a video message. Please make memorials in Lois’ name for COVID-19 research to help find an end to this pandemic. An acceptable charity is the Center for Disaster Relief COVID-19 Response Fund. More information may be found at

Dr. Herschel Marcus

Dr. Herschel Marcus, 75, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas passed away Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Arrangements will be announced by Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff, AR.

Diane Griffin

Mrs. Diane Griffin, 57, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, passed away Monday, April 20, 2020. Arrangements will be announced by Brown Funeral Home of Pine Bluff, AR.