Gordon E. Hennington, Jr., 81, of Hamburg, died on March 22, 2016 surrounded at his residence, surrounded by his family.
He graduated from Hamburg High School in 1953 and was a veteran of the United States Army. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner and a member of the Hamburg Prairie Masonic Lodge #465. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church where he was a Lay Speaker and youth counselor.
Mr. Hennington was the owner and operator of three automotive dealerships and a former president of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association, Chevrolet Dealer Council, Advertising Council of Chrysler-Plymouth Automobile Dealers, Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth Dealer Council and the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Insurance Trust. He was the “Time Magazine” Quality Dealer for the State of Arkansas in 1978.
He served as mayor of Hamburg on two different occasions for a total of 10 years. The first time he served he was the youngest mayor in the State of Arkansas.
He was a member of a committee of three that acquired the first industry in area in over a decade. He was a former board member of the Southeast Arkansas Development Council and the Hamburg Public Housing Authority, a former president of the Hamburg School Board, founding board member and former president of the Hamburg Tri-Educational School, member of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Education, Board of Directors of Farmer’s Bank, 4-H Foundation Board Member and the Boy Scouts of America DeSoto Area Council for four years. He was a former president of the Hamburg Jaycees, Hamburg Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and founding board member of the American Western Life Insurance Company. He was also a former board member of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and was the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 2005. He served as chaplain and held weekly Sunday services at the Delta Family Center and he was a licensed pilot.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Gordon & Zettie Doss Hennington; a brother, Ernest Gene Hennington and a sister, Wanda Nutt.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Mattmiller Hennington; a daughter, Melissa Ferguson both of Hamburg; a son, Joe Hennington of Fort Mill, South Carolina; two sisters, Onnie Magar of Paris, Illinois and Shirley Pennington of Hamburg; four grandchildren, Carly Tyson and husband, Jon, Peyton Gwin, Dillon Deason and Abigail Hennington, one great-granddaughter, Rowan Tyson and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services willbe held on March 24 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Greg Comer officiating. Burial will be at the Hamburg Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Joe Hennington, Dillon Deason, Peyton Gwin, Ernie Hennington, Mark Pennington, Jeff Pennington and Mark Barnett. Honorary pallbearers are Jerry Janes, Jarod Brooks, Kyle Hennington, Caleb Hennington, Cole Hennington, Walter Chester and Jimmy Mack Sullivan.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 202 S. Main, Hamburg, AR 71646 or to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, PO Box 2222, Little Rock, AR 72203.