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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Cora Sue Wilson

Cora Sue Wilson, 83, of Pencil Bluff, Arkansas, passed away on Thursday, December 10, 2020, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

She is preceded in death by her husband, Lieutenant Colonel Marc Wilson, USMC, Retired; father, Malcolm Aaron Percifull; mother, Antionette Percifull; and her grandsons Jason Darryl Owens and Matthew Douglas Owens. She is survived by one son, Dr. Phillip (Kristi) Wilson of Mena, Arkansas; three daughters: Rebecca (Steve) Owens of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gretchen (Carey, Colonel – USAF, Retired) Tucker of El Dorado, Arkansas, and Susan (Hoot) Hughes of Pencil Bluff, Arkansas; 13 grandchildren that were the lights of her life: Marc Jackson Tucker, Jason Darryl Owens, Matthew Douglas Owens, Andrew Scott Tucker, Tyler Gregory Tucker, Aaron Patrick Pasquinzo, Sean Alexander Hughes, Allison Elizabeth Hughes, Marc David Wilson, Adam Taylor Hughes, Rachel Elizabeth Wilson, Lauren Ann Hughes, Katherine Frances Wilson and numerous great-grandchildren. Sue also has one surviving brother, Ronnie Percifull of Rossville, Tennessee. 

She was born in Lansing, Michigan and lived there briefly before moving to Rutherford, Tennessee, where she grew up and graduated from Rutherford High School. After high school, Sue attended and graduated from Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee where she met the love of her life, Marc Wilson. Later, she completed her Master’s degree from Memphis State University. 

Sue was the sun in an orbit of a military husband and four children. She managed a career and household in a time when, all too often, the military called her husband away for career responsibilities. While the first third of her marriage was one that involved multiple moves, she and the family ultimately settled their home in Pencil Bluff, Arkansas. This cotton picking, row crop girl soon learned how to be a cattle-raising rural school teaching professional. 

Sue was an educator through and through. Her educational career spanned over four decades. Whether it was English, literature, or computer science, she taught them all at the high school and collegiate level. Quite possibly though, her love of reading stories to elementary school students while being the Oden Public School’s librarian might have been the greatest gift that she ever presented to her students. Oftentimes, her former students would tell her that she was the first person in their lives to have read to them and shown them the power and love of the imagination and reading. Sue also was the church pianist/organist for over 30 years. 

During retirement, she became a master seamstress and produced multiple designs and dresswear that won state and local awards. Her christening gowns for children were works of art. She often taught the lost art of sewing to the local youth and, to this day, many of her students remind the family of all that she taught them. Sue loved everyone and she treated all with a respect and kindness that she never expected in return. Her smile would light up any room where she was present.

Sue’s ultimate focus during retirement was her grandchildren. Being called Mema was her single greatest accomplishment. Her love for them was unconditional and unending. They were truly the lights of her life. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would respectfully ask that you donate to the endowed Harris/Percifull scholarship at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain Foundation. 

A celebration of her life will be held when safety permits.

Arrangements were made under the direction of Thornton Funeral Home of Mount Ida, AR. Guest register at

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