Minnie Belle Hilton Turner passed away on Monday, October 26, 2015, in Mena, AR. She was born August 17, 1926 at Board Camp, Arkansas, and was the daughter of Irva A. and Jewell C. Hilton and the granddaughter of James Monroe and Isabella Victoria Hilton and John Henry and Minnie Belle Riales.
She initially attended school at a one-room schoolhouse at Board Camp, then attended high school at Mena High School, graduating third in her class in 1944. World War II changed a lot of opportunities for members of the Greatest Generation – Minnie Belle never had the opportunity to attend college. She was fortunate, however, in that her sweetheart, Kenneth Turner (a Sergeant in the 8th Air Force in Europe in WWII), returned safely from his B-17 tours in Europe. They married in 1948 and settled down in Mena and began raising a family.
Minnie Belle was a homemaker for her two children, Nancy and David, in their younger years. Back then, growing up in Mena was like growing up in Mayberry, and Minnie Belle volunteered for many of the activities in which her children were involved: girl scouts, softball, cub scouts, baseball, and faithfully took Nancy to piano lessons for 10 years. She absolutely loved each and every one of her childrens’ classmates and became a second ‘Mom’ to many of them!
After her children got to be teenagers, Gibson’s opened up a store in the old Piggly Wiggly building, and Minnie Belle became one of their bookkeepers. She later worked for a number of years as bookkeeper for the Mena Gas Office before finally retiring. She was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church and both attended this church and volunteered for this church as often as she could back when she was able to do so.
Her greatest joys were her family, along with all of their adventures. She also loved gardening, reading, computers, making cards, doing all kinds of “crafting” projects, bird-watching, doing things for others, and getting together as often as possible with dear friends and neighbors, all of whom became family to her.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents; parents; one sibling, Louie Hilton; and her husband, Kenneth. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Dr. Doyne Williams; her son, David Turner; two step-grandsons, Doyne and Robert Hall Williams; six step-great-grandchildren; an aunt, Helen Garrison; and a number of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
The family would like to especially thank Dr. John and Kim Finck and their entire staff for their friendship and for helping to extend Minnie Belle’s quality of life in her later years. Special thanks also to Rick Billingsley and Dr. David Henderson and the entire staff of the ER, the Medical-Surgical unit, and the ICU of the Mena Regional Health System – Minnie Belle’s care at this facility was second to none.
Special thanks also to neighbors Dan and Becky Riner, Richard and Mary Ruth Martin, Fern Aldridge, and Carole Martin for the time and attention they gave to Minnie Belle. And lastly, special thanks also to Josie Richter for her loving care and assistance and to so many other dear friends, including so many of her children’s classmates, who called and visited Mom every chance they could. Please know that Mom loved all of you with all her heart and that your many kindnesses will never be forgotten by her family.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery, Mena, Arkansas with the Reverend Tom Mitchell officiating. Visitation will be general. Arrangements are under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. The family requests that memorials go to:
Pinecrest Memorial Cemetery – address: P. O. Box 864, Mena, AR 71953
First United Methodist Church of Mena – address: 501 9th St., Mena, AR 71953 and the Humane Society of Polk County – address: 366 Polk 50, Mena, AR 71953