Obituaries

Fred Valentine
B: 1919-01-22
D: 2017-05-13
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Valentine, Fred
Albert Penn
B: 1938-05-08
D: 2017-05-10
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Penn, Albert
Hubert Price
B: 1933-04-04
D: 2017-05-10
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Price, Hubert
John House
B: 1944-08-05
D: 2017-05-05
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House, John
Levon Callum
B: 1955-11-08
D: 2017-05-04
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Callum, Levon
Elizabeth Nicholson
B: 1918-10-11
D: 2017-05-03
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Nicholson, Elizabeth
Jake Bell
B: 1953-12-09
D: 2017-04-30
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Bell, Jake
Willie Price
B: 1929-04-17
D: 2017-04-24
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Price, Willie
Douglas Owens
B: 1950-08-27
D: 2017-04-22
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Owens, Douglas
Minister Mary Covington
B: 1948-04-08
D: 2017-04-21
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Covington, Minister Mary
Sallie Okonjo
B: 1959-11-25
D: 2017-04-19
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Okonjo, Sallie
Wessie Dillon
B: 1924-10-20
D: 2017-04-17
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Dillon, Wessie
Regina Napier
B: 1969-12-19
D: 2017-04-16
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Napier, Regina
Laura Thompson
B: 1951-10-16
D: 2017-04-08
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Thompson, Laura
Rosie Brown
B: 1919-10-25
D: 2017-04-02
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Brown, Rosie
Kelly Clark
B: 1979-02-06
D: 2017-04-01
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Clark, Kelly
William Bryant
B: 1932-10-05
D: 2017-03-30
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Bryant, William
Leland Sparks
B: 1930-12-05
D: 2017-03-28
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Sparks, Leland
Verlinda Gay-McGrue
B: 1957-04-26
D: 2017-03-25
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Gay-McGrue, Verlinda
Bobbie Newton
B: 1945-05-04
D: 2017-03-20
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Newton, Bobbie
Aretha Conley
B: 1923-12-19
D: 2017-03-17
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Conley, Aretha

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Arzella's Books

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A Time Worth Remembering

There was a time when the local school, indeed the entire community was named after the neighborhood church; a time when a baseball diamond was the center of the community; when families owned the farms that fed them, when the village raised each child and the child respected the village.

It is a time worth remembering.

Arzella J. Valentine remembers again as she has written her second book, "Return to Mt. Olive." Through her poetry and storytelling, she painted portraits of her memories of growing up in the Deep South. Mt. Olive, a small, loving community with a biblical name lives in the hearts of many who once resided there.

Arzella published her first book, "Growing up in Mt. Olive," on her 75th birthday as a spiritual gift to her grandchildren. This second book, "Return to Mt. Olive," is a symbol of faith and perseverance written for her children.

Arzella J. Valentine was raised in Mt. Olive, 15 miles south of Warren Arkansas. She was born January 6, 1927 only months before her father passed away. She learned early that her mother, step-father, uncles, other family members and friends can form a community of love to stand in the gap left by a departed father. The outpouring of love she enjoyed began to express itself as poetry when she was eight years old, largely due to one dedicated teacher who instilled a love of writing. Love has flowed from Arzella's pen ever since.

While running Woods-Valentine Mortuary in Pasadena, California, with her husband and co-owner, Fred W. Valentine, Arzella rekindled her joy for writing by refining her craft for several years at U.C.L.A. At last, after nearly 50 years as an entrepreneur, mother, grandmother and civic servant, she kept a life-long promise to herself: to use her gift for language to express the love, joy, and peace she lived and loved while growing up in Mt. Olive.

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Both books represent a doorway to a departed era to remind us all of our rich roots, as well as the artistic legacy of her lifetime.

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