Georgia “Christeen” McKinney Curry, 76, of Rye, passed peacefully on January 27, 2021 at Advanced Care in White County with her girls by her side.

She was born August 31, 1944 in Herbine, daughter of the late George Malvin McKinney and Nancy Mae Hayes McKinney.

Christeen was the youngest of nine children, spirited, determined, driven but most of all she had a heart the size of Arkansas.

As a mother of three natural-born children and the adoption of one of her grandchildren, making her a mother of four daughters. There was still more room for love to be shared as can be attested by the 21 nieces and nephews. As the daughters and the extended family can share; there is no one, who has not felt her love, and knows that her love is unconditional. She let the family know how important they were, how much she loved each and every one of us. She took the time to tell each one how incredible they were, and her loss leaves a void in so many of her family members. Her love for her family was unconditional, unwavering, and has been the backbone for keeping this large family connected through many seasons. Christeen and her siblings grew from poverty, and Christeen learned those “hard knocks” would not stand in her way, and could most likely be the inspiration that drove her to strive for the betterment of herself and her family.

Christeen also has had a very diverse career; she spent many years working in the banking industry, hospitals, private sector, state, and nonprofits; and as with her family, her co-workers know and share the same compliments to the amazing attributes of this amazing lady.

To Christeen, living meant willful, cheerful engagement and doing, which she did right up to the time of her illness. One of the things we have heard and experienced is Christeen is always quick with a smile, and willing to do her part to help her team be successful. She always knew how to brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved. She treated everyone with kindness and respect. She rarely got mad and when she did, you knew she had a darn good reason and you knew it! Her outlook on life was inspiring. If you were lucky to spend more than five minutes in her presence, you were forever changed. she embraced each day with optimism.

Christeen was a member of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Rye.

Christeen was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband of 55 ½ years, Orbert “O.J.” Curry whom she married on December 22, 1962. He passed on July 19, 2018. Also, preceding her in death were brothers Melvin McKinney, Sammy McKinney, and sisters Alline Hays Perrette, Gertie Bradley, Odessie Eubanks, and Allie Bradley.

Surviving is daughters Angela Mondragon of Conway, Tonya Curry and Sonya Curry- Castle, both of Connecticut, and Megan (Andrew) Wells, Little Rock; sisters Audria Carter, Porter, Texas and Maxine McKinney, Rye, seven grandchildren, Danny Brickey, Joel Brickey, Jesse Mondragon, Lauren Curry-Castle, Miranda Curry, Mariah Curry, and Sebastian Wells. Three great grandchildren, Sydney, Maycee, and Jake Brickey with one on the way, Liam Brickey.

Pallbearers will be Danny Brickey, Joel Brickey, Jesse Mondragon, Andrew Wells and Gary Gavin. Honorary pallbearers will be George Coker, Jesse Mondragon, Sr., Danny Brickey. Sr.

We invite you to a viewing in celebration of Christeen’s life at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello on Saturday to express your condolences. This is a come and go viewing, no gathering. We understand gatherings during this pandemic pose a difficult choice; we understand if you decide you cannot attend in person. The family would be unable to manage the grief if others were to get ill due to the gathering. We offer you the opportunity to leave messages in the online guestbook offered by Stephenson-Dearman. We are not planning a reception; however, there will be a small graveside service on Sunday at Union Cemetery at 2 p.m. For those of you who choose to attend in person, the funeral home will usher you through using social distancing. Masks must be worn throughout the entirety; there will be no gathering or sitting at the funeral home. At the graveside, again masks must be worn, social distancing respected, attendees must not sit together unless they are unit arriving as one group; if you do plan to attend, please bring a lawn chair for your convenience. These are respectful efforts from the family to minimize cross spreading. We do love hugs, but we kindly request no hugging and your help in following these guidelines for everyone’s safety. If have been sick or around someone who has been sick, the family respectfully asks that you do not participate.