Bessie Marie Tate Webb Horton, 96, of Bentonville, formerly of Monticello, passed away on April 15, 2014 at her home in Bentonville.
She was born Jan. 27, 1918, in Ashley County near Fountain Hill and was the daughter of the late John Henry Tate and Sallie Ann Elizabeth Turnbow Tate.
She was also preceded in death by three brothers, William Frank, John Wilburn and Emory Cleve Tate; her young son, Dennis Martin Webb; her first husband, Ray Webb; her second husband, Jim Horton; a son-in-law, Paul Carter; and a grandson-in-law, Malcolm Howell.
She is survived by her daughter, Anna Koonce and husband, Kelly; daughter, June Carter; six grandchildren, Karen Mills and her husband, Jeff, Max Koonce and wife, Rebecca, Marty Koonce and wife, Louise, Steve Carter and wife, Michelle, Stephanie Howell, and Sam Carter and wife, Heather; 15 great-grandchildren, Ross Carter and wife, Rachel, Rachel Kellum and husband, Ben, Robyn Carter, Jonathan Koonce, Caroline Koonce, Davis Mills, Justin Mills, Tucker Koonce, Taylor Koonce, Tanner Koonce, Trevor Koonce, Katherine Howell, Emma Howell, Avery Carter and Logan Carter; three great-great-grandchildren, Michael, John Paul and Madeline June Carter; as well as numerous nephews and nieces and other extended family members, friends, caregivers; and her dog, Sydney.
As a young girl, she developed a love for gospel music, growing up spending time with her father traveling by wagon to Sunday afternoon gospel singings and singing schools that her father taught. During this time, she also developed a passion for gardening from her mother, ultimately becoming a charter member of the Southside Home Demonstration Club.
She and her first husband Ray began their married life living with her mother-in-law, Marietta Burks Webb, and grandmother-in-law, Melinda Jane Camp Burks. When her oldest daughter, Anna, was two, they moved to their first home, the Bowser Road farm, where she lived until moving to Bentonville in 1992. Many great memories were developed and cultivated at the Bowser Road farm for her children as they grew up and grandchildren who all spent many summers with her there.
While in Monticello, she was a member of the Monticello Church of Christ where her husband, Ray, served many years as a deacon and elder of the congregation. During this time, she exhibited her role as a great hostess, showing hospitality to everyone with her willingness to “always set another plate or two” for guests to share a meal with her family.
While in Monticello, she began her working career at the Drew County ASCS office. She also worked for a period of time at the College Heights Post Office and ultimately moved to managing the Arkansas State Revenue Office in Monticello where she continued to work until retirement. To this day, you will find many families in Monticello that knew her because of her involvement in this office and the kindness and support she showed them while there.
In 1992, she moved to Bentonville, to be closer to her daughter, June, and her husband, Paul, as well as a number of her grandchildren. Upon moving to Bentonville, she became a member of the Bentonville Church of Christ where she continued to play an active role.
She loved being involved in family celebrations, vacations and trips, enjoying time spent outdoors with family and friends. One very special trip was when she was part of the Five Women Will Travel Inc., which included her two daughters and two granddaughters on a fall tour of New England. She likewise enjoyed many trips, as far away as Europe with her Monticello travel group. She was an avid bridge and dominoes player, beginning early in her marriage with her mother-in-law and continuing with her family, friends and caregivers up to the last few days.
She was a loving Christian woman who always reached out to others with a helping hand or word of encouragement. Her Christian faith was evident in all of her actions, words and commitment to her family and friends. She set a great example of what it meant to love those around her and that she came in contact with no matter the circumstances through tough times and good times.
Visitation will be on April 17, at 6 p.m. at the Bentonville Church of Christ, with the funeral services being held on April 18 at 10 a.m., also at the Bentonville Church of Christ. Local arrangements are under the care of Callison-Lough Funeral Home of Bentonville.
On April 19, there will be visitation at the Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello at 9 a.m. to be followed by a graveside service at 11 a.m. at the Union Ridge Cemetery on Midway Route.