Friday, December 30, 2016


Bob J. Sykes went to his eternal home in Heaven to be with Jesus on December 24, 2016. Mr. Sykes was born on November 23, 1934, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Preston and Mary Sykes. He spent his formative years in Ft. Smith and attended Ft. Smith High School. After graduation, Bob attended Oklahoma University where he was a proud member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Bob married Gayle Sykes, also of Ft. Smith, and together they created a life that far exceeded their small town dreams. Bob began his career with Haggar slacks, in Dallas, TX, where he was promoted to Vice President of Sales. After 13 years with the company, Bob and Gayle moved with their two children to Hot Springs, AR. Mr. Sykes dedicated much of his life to the betterment of Hot Springs through his civic mindedness and numerous, innovative investments, which included being the founder and first president of Magic Springs theme park. Mr. Sykes also began the Fourth of July tradition of shooting off fireworks from his lake home, which became so popular with the locals that for years he put on the annual Lake Hamilton fireworks show. In addition to owning and operating many successful businesses in the Hot Springs area, Bob served as President of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, for which he was honored by President Bill Clinton for his distinguished and exceptional service to the city of Hot Springs. In business, Mr. Sykes was known for his innovative ideas, keen negotiating skills, no nonsense attitude, and for always keeping his word.
Although he loved business, real estate, and cars, Bob’s love for his family was unmatched. Mr. Sykes took more pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren than anything else. Always there to listen and advise, give you a compliment or the ever-present handkerchief from his shirt pocket, Bob’s greatest legacy is the family he leaves behind, including son, Terry Sykes, and Donna Sykes of Albuquerque, NM; son, Richard Sykes, and wife Darlene Sykes, of Hot Springs, AR; granddaughter, Kendall Sykes, and husband Kacey Butcher, of Oklahoma City, OK; grandson, Joshua Sykes, and wife Nicole Sykes, of Albuquerque; granddaughter, Sarah Sykes, of Albuquerque; grandson, Courtland Sykes of Hot Springs; and granddaughter, Story (Sykes) Canon, and husband Darron, of Hot Springs. He is also survived by five beloved great-grandchildren and numerous cousins and friends. Mr. Sykes is preceded in death by his parents, Preston and Mary Sykes, and former wife, business partner and lifelong friend, Gayle Sykes. Pallbearers will be Courtland Sykes, Joshua Sykes, Kacey Butcher, Stan Robbins, Randy Robbins, and Lance Bond. 
Bob often said, “Always leave things better than you find them,” and he remained true to this principle in his business and personal relationships throughout his life. For that reason, it is with profound sadness, yet tremendous pride, that we now say, “Mr. Sykes, you left this world better than you found it.”
A funeral is scheduled for January 3, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Evans Memorial  Chapel, Pocola, OK.  An interment at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Ft. Smith, AR to follow the service. Visitation with the family will be held on January 2, 2017 at the Evans & Miller Funeral Home, Pocola, OK, from 4-7 p.m. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude’s Hospital or your local animal shelter.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Audie Kelley

Audie Lee Kelley, 82, of Wister, OK  passed away Sunday, December 25, 2016 in Talihina, OK.  Audie was born December 30, 1933 in Roland, OK to William & Lucretia (Houser) Kelley.  He was a veteran of the US Army.  Audie was a pipe fitter for the railroad.  He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Joseph Lee Kelley; brother, Arlie Kelley & sister, Beebe Rex.

Survivors include his daughters, Rhonda Heflin of Wister, OK, Sheila Kelley of Howe, OK; son, Parnell Kelley of Wister, OK; grandchildren, Leah Smith, Jessica Word of Wister, OK, Andrew Kelley of  Howe, OK; 6 great grandchildren; 3 brothers, 2 sisters; other relatives, loved ones and friends.
Services are pending.

Arvel Eugene Keylon

       Arvel Eugene Keylon, 85, of  Panama, OK passed away Monday, December 26, 2016 in Greenwood, AR.  Arvel was born May 22, 1931 in Daisy, TN to Fred & Marie (Weaver) Keylon.   Arvel was retired from the US Air Force.  He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Tracie Self;  2 sisters, Jenny & Nancy,  & 3 brothers, Blu, Carl & Pete.

          Survivors include his wife, Radine of the home;  daughters, Cindy Jacks of OKC, Terri Lynch of Panama, OK; sons, Rick Keylon of Mexico, Don Keylon of Santa Rosa, CA, Richard Prater of Keota, OK, Tommy Prater of Colorado Springs, CO, David DeLand of OKC, Jeff Carry of Panama, OK; numerous grand and great grandchildren; brother, Bill Keylon of Soddy Daisy, TN; other relatives, loved ones and friends.

            Services will be 10 am, Friday, December 30, 2016   at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Bill Sanders officiating.

Interment will be  1 pm Friday at Ft. Smith National Cemetery, Ft. Smith, AR. Honorary  pallbearers will be Tom Strout, David Allstatt, Elmer Tankersley, Justin Lloyd, Nathan Keylon, Tommy Prater & Jeremy Bishop.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Melba Mae Slack

Melba Mae Slack, 98, of Idabel, OK passed away Thursday, December 22, 2016 in Pocola, OK.  Melba was born May 7, 1918 in Panama, OK to John Harrison and Mamie (Kilgore) Whiteaker.

She is preceded in death by her husband Stearl James “S. J.” Slack, Jr., her parents, and her brothers; Carl, Dave, Robert (Bob), & Clinton Whiteaker.  Melba has often been described as a “Feisty Little ‘ol Thing”.  Her brother Bill will always remember her for calling out his elementary school teacher for spanking him, in spite of being forewarned that he had injuries to his backside

(burn from wood stove) that would make a grown man cry.  When it came to the men in her life “Mema” never changed….she would fight for them till the end. 

Melba was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Idabel, OK where she served and regularly attended for over 50 years.  She was an avid bridge player and TV sports fan.  She loved all her bridge club friends and promised they didn’t gossip (much).  When her impairments finally kept her from enjoying bridge; she turned her attention to TV where she enjoyed most sports.  Nothing pleased her more than hollering over some ole sporting event, with her boys.

Survivors include her sons, Steve Slack of Idabel, OK, George Slack of Perkins, OK, Gene Slack of Pocola, OK; grandsons, Shane, Carl, Brian, & Jeffrey Slack; great grandchildren, Shaylee Rae, Camille, Foster, August, & Cody Louise Slack; brother, Bill Whiteaker of Panama, OK; nieces, nephews, other relatives, loved ones, and friends.

Services will be held at 3 pm Tuesday, December, 27, 2016 graveside at Spiro City Cemetery, Spiro, OK.

Elizabeth Morrison

Elizabeth Michelle Morrison, infant daughter of  Emily Shelburn & Brandon Morrison passed away Friday, December 23, 2016 in Ft. Smith, AR.  Elizabeth was born December 22, 2016 in Ft. Smith.  She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Kenneth Morrison.

Survivors include her parents; maternal grandparents, Gina & Michael  Klick, Jimmy & Dee Shelburn; maternal brother, Brayden Shelburn; maternal great grandmother, Jenny Blankenship; uncle, James Shelburn; paternal grandmother, Brenda Morrison;   paternal brothers Colton Morrison , Christopher Morrison;  uncle,  Dustin Morrison; other relatives & loved ones.

Visitation will be 1pm Monday, December 26, 2016 at Evans Chapel of Memories followed by the service at 2 pm.