William Frederick “Fred” Denton, 74, of McGehee died on February 17, 2015.
He was born October 24, 1940 in Hot Springs, Arkansas to the late Bill and Bess Denton.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Ellee Coulter Blankenship.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Harriet “Gidget” Denton, one son Scott Denton, one daughter Christy Binns (David), one grandson, Denton Botsford, one step-grandson Jonathan Binns, one step granddaughter Kelsie Phillips and one step-great-grandson Kemp Schwartz.
Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church of McGehee on February 19 at 11 a.m. The service will be officiated by Rev. Joe Head and Rev. Buddy Ratliff.
Pallbearers are Jim Daniels, Larry Goodson, Ed Henry, Ronnie Kozubski, George Miles, Jr., Charlie Petty, Bob Roten and Eddie Strawn. Honorary pallbearers are Henry Anthony, Gibbs Ferguson, Johnny Johnson, Bob Lucky, Robert Moore, Jr., Charles Pambianchi, Conrad McKown, Fran Childress and Sue Pambianchi. Interment will be at McGehee Cemetery.
Mr. Denton always strived to support his family in every way possible; he attended almost every event his children participated in during their school years. He was especially proud of both his children’s accomplishments. He loved the outdoors. He very much enjoyed hunting with his son, grandson, son-in-law and friends.
He graduated from Sikeston High School, Sikeston, Missouri and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Economics from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. He graduated from the School of Banking, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In 1974, Mr. Denton was appointed charter President and Chief Executive Officer of The First National Bank of McGehee. He also served on the board of directors of the bank until his retirement from active management in 2008, when he was elected Chairman of the Board and served in that capacity until his death.
Mr. Denton was past president and board member of the former McGehee Optimist Club. He also served as president of the McGehee Rotary Club and president of the McGehee Chamber of Commerce. He was a board member of the McGehee Industrial Foundation. He served on the board of directors of the Chicot-Desha Metropolitan Port Authority from its inception and served as its chairman of the board for approximately 10 years.
He was also member of the University of Arkansas at Monticello Foundation’s board of directors and served on the University of Arkansas at Monticello Board of Visitors where he was recently asked to be chairman of the board. He organized what is now known as the annual UAM Football fundraiser.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of McGehee, where he served as chairman of the board of directors and various other committees.
Mr. Denton loved his community and always strived to make it a better place.
He was very active in scouting activities in southeast Arkansas. He served for approximately 15 years as Scoutmaster for Troop 42 in McGehee. He served as Scoutmaster for the Southeast Arkansas Contingent to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1981 at Fort A.P Hill, Virginia. He served as a member of the DeSoto Area Council, Boy Scouts of America board of directors for many years. Fred, an Eagle Scout, was awarded the adult Scout District Award of Merit and the Council’s Silver Beaver Award for service to the Scouting movement. In addition, the DeSoto Area Council’s Class of Eagles of 1988 was dedicated to honor his service to Scouting. He was very proud that his son, Scott, also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1986.
Memorials may be made to:
DeSoto Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
118 West Peach Street
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
First United Methodist Church of McGehee
P.O. Box 467, McGehee, Arkansas 71654
The American Cancer Society
901 North University Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72207