Benny Ira Williams, age 87, a humble and kind man, passed away at his home on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He was born in McCrory, Arkansas on June 27, 1936 to Henry and Gladys Thomas Williams. He is predeceased in death by his parents and two sisters, Ruth Fields and Rebecca Dearden; nephews, Kevin McNeely, Dusty Fields, Tom Fields and Terry Fields.
Benny is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy Whitehead Williams; one son, Scott (Becky) of Bismarck; one daughter, Jenny (Jimmy) Tucker of Little Rock; one sister, Mary (Bob) Gosnell of Hot Springs Village; six grandchildren, Jeremy (Alesha) Norris, Ryan Williams, Trey (Leslie Jo) Tucker, Jae (Tyler) Kell, Juliann (John) Krolick, and Landon Tucker; ten great grandchildren, Carlye Norris Bowden (Wyatt), Makenna Norris, Ellie Norris, Grace Williams, Finley Williams, Jack Tucker, Rhett Tucker, Jerzee Kell, Christina (Kit) Krolick, Tucker Kell; one great great granddaughter, Lilah Bowden, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Benny was baptized when he was 16 years old in the Cache River by Brother Cleo Blue, who was holding a gospel meeting at Gourdneck church of Christ in the summer of 1952. He has been a faithful member of Arkadelphia Church of Christ for 59 years and served as a deacon until he became disabled.
Benny was a 1955 graduate of Beedeville High School and attended Arkansas State College in Jonesboro. He served 8 years in the Arkansas National Guard in the Medical Unit. He worked for International Paper Company, Ward Chainsaw Company, Fafnir Bearing Company and for 6 years he owned and operated his own chainsaw business. He retired as a vocational teacher in 1996 from Ouachita VoTech in Malvern.
While he was in the chainsaw business he was recognized for his exemplary record in sales and service, and for his knowledge as a chainsaw specialist. He received several awards for being an outstanding chainsaw dealer.
While working at Ouachita VoTech he taught small gasoline engine technology to high school students. As evidence of his success as a vocational teacher, he had students who successfully demonstrated their skills in state and national competitions. He still had contact with some of his former students. Once was his auto mechanic, and another was his barber.
Hunting and fishing were Benny’s favorite pastimes since he was big enough to follow in his father’s footsteps. He spent many hours coon hunting. He was a member of Friendship Coon Hunters Club and owned several coon dogs through the years. He hunted for fun and in competition. He was proud to say he had one dog that qualified as a Grand Night Champion. After his retirement on disability, fishing and camping became his main pastime. Every spring and fall, Alpine Ridge Campground on Lake DeGray became his second home. He made a lot of good friends there and provided fish for many church fellowships.
The family would like to give special thanks to Baptist Health Hospice Care, especially Brandy, for their exceptional service. To Mike Burnett, thanks for being a faithful friend whose calls and visits meant so much. We were so blessed to have good friends and our church family who were so generous with their love and support. It was a great comfort knowing you were there if we needed you.
Visitation will be held Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home with a funeral service following at 3:00 p.m.
Burial will follow at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens in Arkadelphia.
Pallbearers will be Ryan Williams, Jeremy Norris, Trey Tucker, Landon Tucker, John Krolick and Tyler Kell.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Mike Burnett, George Wilson, Chuck Burrow, Donnie Smith and Dwaine Daniel.
Memorial may be made to Southern Christian Children’s Home, P.O. Box 649, Morrilton, Arkansas 72110-0649 or Children’s Homes, Inc., 5515 Walcott Road, Paragrould, Arkansas 72450-3319.
Arrangements are entrusted to Ruggle Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923. http://www.ruggleswilcox.com