Waunell Walton, 82, of Monticello, formerly of Black Oak, went to be with The Lord on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Little Rock. She lived in Monticello for the last year and a half and was cared for by her younger daughter, Rita Venable and her family. Prior to that, Waunell lived in Black Oak and was cared for by her older daughter, Monda Hutchison, and her family for 40 years. She would have been 83 on Jan. 17, 2014.
Waunell was a member of Monticello Baptist Church and had been a member of Black Oak Baptist Church since the 1950s. Spunky and ready to speak her mind and stand up for what she believed in, she served in many capacities while at Black Oak, most recently in her late 70s by providing history of Black Oak's Post Office in actively and passionately supporting to keep a post office in her small community of less than 300 people.
Additional service to her church and community included Sunday school secretary for over 30 years; she also taught Sunday school, discipleship training, and served vacation Bible school teacher and G.A. leader. She also served many years as chairman for the American Red Cross blood drives, the American Cancer Society and the PTA at Monette Elementary School. Waunell enjoyed serving on the Manila Alumni Reunion Committee for many years. Growing up in Milligan Ridge, she was a member of Milligan Ridge Missionary Baptist Church and sang in a gospel quartet there for many years before her marriage.
Waunell was a graduate of Manila High School and Draughon's Business College in Memphis.
She was retired from the U.S. Postal Service, having served as clerk to her postmaster husband, the late Buel E. Walton, for 10 plus years since 1962; she finished her postal career in Jonesboro, working there for over 20 years.
Children and adults alike were drawn to her sweet smile, and her complexion made her look much younger than her years. She also was an avid reader of mystery novels and especially loved the works of John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark. Stating, "The best movies don't come on until after midnight," she loved watching movies from the Turner Classic Movies channel. Also, everyone always knew never to call during "Wheel of Fortune" or "Bob Barker's The Price is Right" time if they expected her to pay attention to what we were saying. Her daily newspaper routine was to see whether she was in the obits and then do the crip-to-quip puzzle.
"Memaw," as she was lovingly known by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and any children who knew her, is survived by her daughter, Monda Walton Hutchison and husband Randy, of Black Oak; her daughter, Rita Walton Venable and husband Bruce, of Monticello; three grandchildren, Dr. Chad Hutchison and wife Alethea, of Franklin, Tenn.; Chris Venable, of Fayetteville and Ashley Venable of Lubbock, Texas; two great-grandchildren, Blythe Elaine Hutchison and Zaine Phillip Hutchison, of Franklin, Tenn.; a sister-in-law, Mary Walton, of Dallas, Texas; she also was executor of the estate and became guardian of her cousins, Sammy Fincher, of Monitcello and Nancy Fincher Coleman, of Jonesboro, upon the death of her paternal uncle, Sam Fincher, of Lost Cane; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Waunell was preceded in death by her parents, Robert Leon (Lonnie) and Lois Odel Alexander Vastbinder, of Milligan Ridge; and her husband, Buel E. Walton, of Black Oak.
Visitation was from 5:30-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Monticello Baptist Church, with Rev. Bruce Venable officiating. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Jonesboro Memorial Park, with Rev. Don Miller officiating.
Memorials may be sent to Monticello Baptist Church, Monette United Methodist Church, Buffalo Island Central HS FBLA, St. Jude Children's Hospital, Arkansas Children's Hospital or the charity of one's choice.