Carolyn Sue Matlock Bivens was born on October 21, 1943, in Sparkman, to the union of Bennie D. and Earnestine Cook Matlock. She accepted Christ at an early age and as a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
She worked for several years at Riverwood Nursing Home and as a foster grandparent. In her spare time, she enjoyed fishing, and decorating her house and lawn. She believed the Lord had blessed her to work with her hands and that He gifted her with a “green thumb”. She loved plants and could grow anything.
“Big Cal” as she was affectionately called was a mother to many, and a friend to most. Being a woman not short of words, she “meant what she said, and said what she meant.” Due to her declining health she moved to Courtyards Gardens in Arkadelphia. She quickly won the hearts of the administration, nurses, staff and other residents. Her quick wit, crafty words and warm smile made Courtyard a place always full of laughter.
She passed into the Lord’s embrace on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at Courtyards Gardens in Arkadelphia. She was preceded in death by her parents; seven brothers, Charles Matlock, Williams Matlock, Bennie Matlock, Pernell Matlock, Louis Matlock, Roger Matlock and Dennis T. Matlock; two sisters, Francis Matlock and Dorothy Brown; and a sister-in-law, Freddie Matlock.
She leaves her children, Opal F. Rucks, of Dallas, Texas, Lawrence (Tina) Gregory of Arkadelphia, Henry L. (Deborah) Gregory of Malvern, and Charles D. Blevins of Sparkman; four sisters, Mae S. Johnson of Arkadelphia, Lillie (Johnny) Penix, Ruthie Matlock and Teresa Golden all of Rockford, Ill.; one brother, James (Tanya) Matlock of San Antonio; sisters-in-law, Jan Matlock of Lansing, Mich., Etha Matlock of Rockford, Ill., and Warnette Matlock of Sparkman. She also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, a special friend, Hollis B. Simpson, as well as other friends and the Courtyard Gardens family.
Visitation will be Friday, August 5, from 1-6 p.m. at the funeral home. A celebration of her life will be held at noon on Saturday, August 6 at First Baptist Church in Sparkman with Rev. L.A. Craig, eulogist. Interment will be at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be James Osbourne, Marcus Israel, Darrin Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Bo Paden, and Calvin Bullock. Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis Lock, Edward Eason, Eunice “Pete” Bowman, Don Burks, Joseph Hall and Edward Hanley.
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