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

Wildia Mae “Ninny” Prather

Wildia Mae “Ninny” Prather, 98, died September 27, 2023, in Mena, AR. She was a caring daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.

Wildia was born August 13, 1925, in Newhope, AR, to Thomas Edward “Eddie”, Sr. and Florence Addie Turner. She was the 5th of 7 children. After graduating from Newhope High School, she married her high school sweetheart, Sgt. Lloyd Coffman, who was missing-in-action during World War II that same year. She later met and married Curtis Rex Lankford and together they had two children, Curtis Mitchell and Michael Thomas. Many years after Rex passed, Wildia met and married Marion “Pop” Prather until his death in 2004.

Wildia was a homemaker who loved spending time with her family and friends including, Barbara Roberts, her lifelong friend. Breakfast was one of her specialties. She made the best scrambled eggs and gravy! After meals, she would pull out the Wahoo board. She rarely lost using her yellow marbles and lucky dice with the worn-off dots,

She was a member of Holly Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Dierks, AR. She served faithfully as a Sunday school teacher and worked at various church activities and events. When members would lose a loved one, she was always willing to make a dish for the family.

She especially enjoyed providing kids’ snacks during Vacation Bible School every year.

Her interests throughout her life included cooking, gardening, canning, reading her Bible, church events, playing Moon at the Senior Citizen Center, dominos, traveling with the Senior Saints, Wahoo, watching the Razorbacks along with calling the Hogs, word finds, hanging out with friends, camping, and fishing. She devoted much of her time to caring for family members including her parents until they passed away in their 90s.

Wildia moved to Peachtree Assisted Living in Mena, AR, in 2015. During her time there, she attended Bible study, went to exercise classes, and played games with the residents. Holidays were extra special because she loved to showcase her festive spirit by participating in yearly costume contests. She made many good friends while living there and was especially close to her assistant, Maria, who loved and cared for her.

In 2022, Wildia moved to The Green House Cottages of Homewood in Mena, AR. She enjoyed visiting with the residents. Her activities included exercise, playing Bingo and Connect Four, and sitting on the patio listening to the fountain and birds.

Mrs. Prather is survived by her two sons, Curtis Mitchell (Ila Rae) Lankford of Mena, AR, Michael Thomas (Carol) Lankford of Mesquite, TX; 3 grandchildren, Tiffany Dawn (Brian) Stewart of Conway, AR, Candice Rae (Brian) Robinson of Conway, AR, Christopher Michael (Stacy) Lankford of Fayetteville, AR; 1 step-grandchild, Shaun (Rocky) Baker of Scurry, TX; 8 great-grandchildren; and 5 step-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Eddie and Florence Turner; 6 brothers, Lloyd, Eule, Clarence, Gerald, Glen Dee, and Eddy Joe Turner, Jr.; and 5 sisters-in-law; and 3 husbands.

Family visitation/viewing will be October 6, 2023, at 1 PM with funeral service beginning at 2 PM at Holly Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Dierks, AR Graveside service to follow at Dierks Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her memory to Holly Creek Missionary Baptist Church, 705 Main Avenue, Dierks, AR 71833.

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