Melba Thornton Brantley

Jul 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Obituaries

Our Mom, Melba Thornton Brantley, at age 92 passed away on July 9, 2014 in her home in North Little Rock, Arkansas. She was surrounded in love and joy by her 4 children, Nancy Ann Clark and Bette Brantley Dunbar of North Little Rock; Thomas Fulton (Bub) Brantley Jr. of Gladewater, Texas; Rebecca (Becky) Brantley Cezar of Wichita, Kansas. They were joined in her care by their spouses, Johnny Lyle Clark, John Warner Dunbar, and Virginia Pollard Brantley.

Mom’s health had been steadily declining for the last few years, in that she had determined she had a better life awaiting her in heaven, and she was longing to get there.  Born June 3, 1922 in Beebe, Arkansas to Claude and Esther Thornton, she received the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior as a teenager.  On August 15, 1942 she married Thomas Fulton Brantley Sr. beginning their marriage during World War Two in California and Port Angeles, Washington where he served in the Coast Guard. They later raised their family back in Arkansas in Forrest City, Lake Village and Magnolia prior to moving to Zachary, Louisiana. In 2005, she and Dad moved back to Arkansas to spend their last earthly days.

She has left us to join her husband, her father and mother, her siblings Carolyn, Charles and James Thornton, and her Lord, whose teachings she followed all her life.

Besides her 4 children she is survived by 6 grandchildren – Denise Clark Edwards, John Russell Clark, both of North Little Rock; Anna Brantley Huckabay of Gladewater, Texas; Amanda Brantley Adams of Monroe, Louisiana, Sara Holliman Compton of Denver, Colorado; Joshua Pau Compton of Greenwell Springs, Louisiana- 14 great grandchildren; two sisters Alice Adams of Cabot, Arkansas, Martha Akin of Reseda, California; one brother Bill Thornton of Carlisle, Arkansas; numerous nieces and nephews; and many, many friends.

She was an exceptional elementary school teacher for 24 years in Magnolia, Arkansas and Zachary, Louisiana after graduating from Southern State University in Magnolia.  Mom was of the “old persuasion” of beginning each day with prayer and Bible reading.  She told her principal that “if she can’t pray and read the bible in her class, she would quit”, and they never brought the issue up again. In retirement she and Dad spent the following 20 years traveling in the ever larger RVs over the US, Canada and Mexico.

Her lifetime passion, besides her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, was watching birds and all the small animals that came to her many well-kept feeders. She was an avid gardener and fabulous cook, making sure she planted and prepared all the favorites of each family member and friend.

She was a cornerstone in her family and community.  Everyone who knew her will miss her and we rejoice in the fact that we will be seeing her again.

The family is grateful for those who cared for her and supported the family during these last years including Cassandra Sneed and especially Julia Deshazer, Betty Hamilton and all the Baptist Health Hospice staff help her during her last days. In lieu of flowers please donate to Baptist Health Hospice, 11900 Colonel Glenn Road, Suite 2000, Little Rock, AR 72210.

Family  received  friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday at Westbrook Funeral Home, Beebe.  Funeral was  10:00 a.m. Monday, July 14, 2014, at Hebron United Methodist Church in Hickory Plains, with burial in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens.  Arrangements by Westbrook, a Smith Family Funeral Home.