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Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Claude Doyle

Claude Doyle was born in Skene, MS, on August 19, 1928, lived to 95, and passed away January 6, 2024. His parents were Ernest Edgar Doyle and Ada Arleen Farmer. He married Flossie Mae Gladden April 14, 1947, in Skene, MS, at the school because the church had burned. They met when she was 12. She said then, “I’m going to marry Claude one day.” Last year, they celebrated 76 years of marriage. God, country, and family best describe how he lived his life.


Claude and Flossie have been faithful members of the Mill Creek Baptist Church since October 1983. It was the neighborhood church that has grown during the four decades they’ve been members.


Claude joined the military in 1946. His assignments included Germany during the WWII Berlin Airlift and Turkey. His career also stationed him and the family at several different bases in the US from Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma in the south all the way up to Maine and across the world to Panama and Okinawa, Japan. Doyle received several commendation medals during his career. Major Doyle retired from the US Air Force in 1969 from Tinker AFB and moved the family to Hot Springs.


Claude was the patriarch of the Doyle family and was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Aubry (Bud), Bertha Bell (Sis), and Ada Christine (Tine).  Ancestry research revealed connections through his mother to the King of Wales in the 9th century. 


Claude leaves behind his wife Flossie Mae Doyle and their four children: Dennis Doyle, Glavon Webster, Joyce Sanden (Randal), and Garland Doyle. Direct descendants include 7 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. The Doyle family relatives include his half-brother Gene Doyle and several Doyle nieces and nephews. He and Flossie have been married so long, he was naturally close to the Gladden family, as well. Pall bearers include his nephews and church family.


Claude never met a stranger and made more friends than you can imagine during his lifetime from just one greeting or conversation. He exhibited a life that showed others humility, kindness, generosity, community, and what it meant to be a Christian and church servant. His bible knowledge and great teaching ability made him a favorite Sunday school teacher to many. Anything he said was worth listening to, and, if you knew him, he liked to talk. He was real. He “let his little light shine.” Everyone liked daddy.


He was a lifelong learner. In the service, you either executed well or trained to earn promotion. After retiring, he took small engine repair from Quapaw Vocational Technical School in 1975. He earned the first associate degree from the newly formed Garland County Community College (now known as National Park College) due to college credits earned when in the Air Force. 


His other passions included gardening, woodworking, and fixing things. The volume of vegetables fed many a meal to family and friends. You could count on receiving the quantity of ears of corn grown each year. “Doyle” corn is what his grandchildren grew up call it. He learned and shared a great deal of gardening skills from the county extension office. His favorite wood to work with was cedar which he used to make several useful items.


Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Caruth-Hale Funeral Home on Section Line Road in Hot Springs. Visitation is Friday, January 12, 2024, at 1:00 followed by a 2:00 service lead by Pastor Scott Hardy from the Mill Creek Baptist Church. Major Claude Doyle will be laid to rest at the Crestview Cemetery on Highway 70E with military honors.


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