Obituary: Willie Swink

Willie B. Swink, affectionately known as “Rabbit”, was born November 19, 1920, to the union of Eddie and Edna Norton Hendrix. Rabbit was born and raised in Okolona.

At a young age, she was baptized and united with First Baptist Church of Okolona. She was a faithful member until her health failed.

At the tender age of 14, she married the love of her life Mr. Tommie Swink. They enjoyed spending time with each other, fishing, and attending the “Sunday Singing” until his death in January of 1982. Rabbit was a homemaker and dedicated her life and time to raising her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Rabbit was well known for her cooking skills with her specialties being: Pinto Beans, Boiled Chicken, and Candied Yams. It was also rumored that she had the best cold water in Okolona. Rabbit was a pillar of strength and served as a stand-in mother and grandmother to many in the Okolona community. Rabbit enjoyed being “granny” and “momma” to her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and “Big Joe” to Deondrai, X’zavior, and Emari. Her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren were a big part of her life and brought her so much joy. All were welcomed in her home, and she will forever be remembered for the saying “I love all of y’all.”

Rabbit was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Tommie Swink; two siblings; and her daughters, Frances Swink Dokes, Esther “Bug” Barton and Esther Jean Sanders. On Friday June 10, 2022, in her 101st season of life, she passed into the Lord’s embrace. Her passing shall be filled with rejoicing for a life well lived.

Rabbit leaves her precious memories with her grandchildren, Reginald (Lisa) Dokes of Atlanta, Ga., Kimberly (Gary) Harvey of Okolona, Romykia (Patrick) Nelson of Arkadelphia, April Beard of Okolona, and Tiffany (Emeal) Hogg of Arkadelphia; seven great-grandchildren, Jakhiry, Zhaiven, Nia, Nile, Deondrai, X’zavior and Emari; two great-great-grandchildren, Keanu and Karter; two sisters, Bertha Jean (John) Hendrix of Springfield, MA., and Debra Hendrix of Tacoma, Wash.; one brother, Bobby (Lee) Hendrix of Las Vegas; two sons-in-love, Hezy Barton and John Sanders of Arkadelphia; bonus daughters, Brenda Winfrey, Pam Lucas and Frances Johnson; bonus grandchildren, Lesa and Buford; special niece, Linda Jones; special cousin, Esther Norton; and a host of nieces, nephews, bonus children/grandchildren, numerous cousins, and countless friends.

Visitation will be from 1-6:00 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Williams Funeral Home. The family will receive friends and share memories from 6-7 p.m. Services to celebrate her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 25, at First Baptist Church, Okolona with Pastor Kyle Jones, eulogist, and Pastor John Arthur Hill, officiating.

Honorary pallbearers will be Hezy Barton, John Sanders, Emeal Hogg, Patrick Nelson, Gary Harvey, Deondrai Hogg, X’zavior Beard, Emari Hogg, Jakhiry Dixon, Christopher Piggee and Shunn Piggee. Active pallbearers will be Jerry Harvell, Jackie Harvell, Victor Hale, Buford Dickens, Demario Williams and Curtis Smith.

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