Betty Gay Shuler, 82, of Portland, died on July 3, 2015.
Mrs. Shuler was the owner of Gay’s Grab Bag for 30 years and she was very active in her community.
She was a grant writer and helped to acquire millions of dollars to improve the Portland and Delta area. She helped in founding the Gus Pugh Park and assisted the Mayor of Portland in acquiring a Blue & You Grant to construct a walking Trail for the park. She served on the Chicot Memorial Medical Center Ladies Auxiliary as vice president and was Volunteer of the Year in 2013 with over 800 volunteer hours. She was the founder of the Mainline Ambulance Service and was the administrator of the Mainline Clinic from 1987 until 2009. She wrote the Portland news column for the Ashley County Ledger for 50 years and was the founder and very active member of the Portland Food Pantry and Portland Community Center.
Mrs. Shuler served as a board member for Chicot Memorial Medical Center Scholarship Committee, Delta Counseling, Portland School Board, Portland Riding Club, Poor People of Portland Club, Arkansas Economic Development Committee and Mainline Drainage District Committee. She was voted “Lion” of the Year in 2003. She was an active member of the Portland United Methodist Church where she was a lay speaker, Sunday School Teacher, a United Methodist Youth Leader, and a member of the Memorial Committee. She also helped with the Portland United Methodist Church and the Portland Baptist Church Vacation Bible School. She was a Missionary, traveled on a mission trip Nicaragua and she helped the Portland Baptist Church with their Mission Friends Program. She was an artist, a master gardener and was a member of the Portland Beautification Committee where she helped with planting and maintaining flower beds and activities to improve the Portland Community.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, James H. Gay in 1987 and Darrell Shuler in 2004; her daughter, Beverly (Bevo) Stephenson in 2013 and her sons, James Gay, Jr. and Gerald David (Jake) Gay in 2010; her parents, Forte and Emma Brownlow Mazanti.
She is survived by four grandchildren, Jennifer Hill and husband, Dea; Jim Cokley all of Portland and Cody Gay and wife, Amanda, of Artesia, New Mexico and William Drew and wife Sara, of Little Rock; a brother, Guy (Bud) Botsford and wife, Gay, of Portland; four sisters, Marion Hill Landen of North Little Rock, Emma Jean Poole and husband, Bain, of McGehee, Lenetta Grantham and husband, William, of Montara, California and Janie Darr of Rogers; four great-grandchildren, Max Hill, James Hill, Ethan Gay and Liam Drew and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held on July 7 at 2 p.m. at the Portland United Methodist Church with Revs. Deborah Head and Terri Lynn Bunnell officiating.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the Chicot Memorial Medical Center Ladies Auxiliary.
Memorials may be made to the Portland Food Pantry, c/o Judy Sadler, PO Box 367, Portland, AR 71663 or to the Portland United Methodist Church, PO Box 400, Portland, AR 71663.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home of Hamburg.
Visitation will be July 6 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Mrs. Shuler’s home located at 612 N. Main Street in Portland.