Obituaries for Jan. 22, 2013


George John Burger

Mr. Burger, 60, of Lebanon, died Friday.

Services were Sunday at 6 p.m. at Sellars Funeral Homd in Lebanon. Visitation was Sunday from 4-6 p.m.

Grace Angeline Johnson Farrar
The memorial and celebration of Grace Farrar’s life will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at College Hills Church of Christ in Lebanon at 3 p.m. Visitation will also be at the church on Saturday, from noon until the service.

After 88 years of life well lived, Mrs. Farrar joined her late, beloved husband, Dr. Henry Farrar, in heaven on Jan. 11, 2013.  She died unexpectedly in a single-car accident near her home in Lebanon.

Grace was born at home on her parents’ southern Indiana farm on Dec. 13, 1924, the third of four children. Until her death Grace remained a farm girl at heart. She enjoyed the birds at her feeder, gardening, the peace of living in the country, and even what she called the spiritual experience of hanging clothes on the outside line.

She spent most of her early education in a one-room schoolhouse in Orangeville, Ind., and then graduated as high school valedictorian in Orleans, Ind., in 1942. The same year she moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she earned her nursing diploma at Bethesda Hospital as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. She had always loved the Bible and church, and in Cincinnati, she was immersed in baptism at the Walnut Hill Church of Christ in March 1945. In 1946 Grace pursued her college dreams and traveled to Harding College in Searcy, Ark., with $60 in savings and a 12-hour RN night job at Rodgers Hospital.

At Harding she became school nurse and also met Henry Cheairs Farrar, Jr. of Nashville. In 1948 Grace received a B.S. in Home Economics from Harding. Henry and Grace married on Dec. 2, 1950, in Searcy. Her smart money management and work as an RN helped Henry graduate debt-free from medical school at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, in May 1954.

Grace was always on the move with Henry and their six children. In their 18th year of marriage they were in their 18th house having moved to multiple states for internships, public health service, surgical residencies, jobs, and mission work.  In 1964, supported by the West End Church of Christ in Nashville, Grace and Henry moved with their then five young children to southeastern Nigeria to begin the Nigerian Christian Hospital (NCH) in rural West Africa. There Grace established scout troops for her own and other missionary children, homeschooled, taught Bible classes and first aid to local people, and assisted with the education of Nigerians preparing to work as medical personnel for the hospital. In 1967 the Farrars were forced to evacuate during the Biafran War.

Grace and her family were part of the Searcy, Ark. community from 1969-1986.  Grace and Henry returned to life in Nigeria in 1971, re-starting the hospital and serving churches full-time for two more years. From 1974 to 2009, Grace often returned to Nigeria with Henry in shorter visits to support the work at NCH. Grace also lived and served in Tanzania and China for one year each with Henry and their sixth child, and was part of short-term mission efforts in Cameroon. Her teenage pledge to be a missionary was well met.

Since 1986 Grace lived near Lebanon, working at home and attending the College Hills Church of Christ. At College Hills, she helped establish a crisis pregnancy center, teach Bible classes, sign for the deaf ministry, and serve in a weekly prayer ministry until her death. She especially liked to visit southern Indiana for the wildflowers in the spring, relatives’ fiddle and banjo music, and other family visits.

In 2002 Grace published "Stand by and See What the Lord Will Accomplish," a book about her 1964-1967 Nigeria years. She has presented across the country, including at her 2012 70th high school reunion where she shared a humorous take on wartime school days.

She was honored several times, including the Christian Service Award from Power for Today and 20th Century Christian (2003), Outstanding Alumnus of the Harding University School of Nursing (2010), and ”Woman of Hope” by Healing Hands International (2013). Together she and Henry were honored publicly by many more. In 2010, Harding University dedicated the Henry & Grace Farrar Center for Health Sciences Building in Searcy.
Grace was preceded in death by Dr. Henry C. Farrar Jr. (1926-2010), her husband of almost 60 years; parents, Elva and Martha Thayer Johnson; brother, Franklin Johnson; sister, Flora Lashley.

She is survived by younger brother, Emery Johnson, and by six children and their families who loved Grace and were loved by her. Children are Paul (and Dr. Gail with their daughters Rebecca and Emily) Farrar of Mississippi, Dr. Martha “Marty” (and Dr. Ronald with their children Matthew, Nathanael, and daughter-in-law Kaelie) Highfield of California, Dr. David (and Patcharee) Farrar of Ohio, Dr. Henry “Hank” Farrar, III of Arkansas, Lee (and Lee Ann with their daughters Caitlin and Elissa) Farrar of Tennessee, and Samantha (and Stephen with son Michael Dallas) Hayner of Texas. She is also survived by many other loved family and friends around the world.

In May 2007 Grace wrote this of herself: “What more can I say! My life continues to be an exciting spiritual journey with the Lord every day. Even through many ups and downs, I have always felt that the Lord was there guiding me all the way.”

Partlow Funeral Chapel of Lebanon is in charge of arrangements (615-444-7007).

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to African Christian Hospitals (102 N. Locust, Searcy, AR 72143), Pioneer Bible Translators (521 Buckingham Place, DeSoto, TX 75115), Harding University College of Nursing (Box 12238, Searcy, AR 72149) or Healing Hands International (455 McNally Drive, Nashville, TN 37211).

Eldon S. Smith

Graveside services for Mr. Smith are scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Wilson County Memorial Gardens with Rev. Robert “Bob” Lewis officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday noon-3 p.m. at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home in Lebanon. Nephews and great nephews will serve as pallbearers.

Mr. Smith, 76, of Camden, Ark. passed away Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Born Oct. 28, 1936, in Mt. Juliet, he was the son of the late Chester and Imogene Lewis Smith.  He was a member of First Baptist Church in Lebanon and formerly of Barton Creek Baptist Church. He attended Tennessee Tech University. Eldon retired from the Tennessee Air National Guard as a Chief Master Sergeant and was the VA director for Ouachita County, Ark. He began his working career with Desota Paint Company of Gainesville, Texas and retired from Sherwin Williams Paint as a sales manager.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his twin brother, Edwin B. Smith.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Nelda Alsup Smith; two sons, Stan (Kathy Fortenberry) Smith of Newellton, La. and Landon Smith of Dallas, Texas; brothers, George N. Smith and Myron L. (Joyce) Smith, all of Lebanon; along with several nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231; American Diabetes Association, PO Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312; or Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, PO Box 2206, Brentwood, TN 37024-2206. 


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