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

William Earnest Roberts

William Earnest Roberts, 98, of Mena, Arkansas, passed away on December 8, 2023, in Mena, Arkansas. He was born on November 16, 1925, to William Charlie Roberts and Elizabeth Jane Whisenhunt in Cleveland, Oklahoma. He was known as “Ruthberry Man,” a tall yarn spinner, a mason, and a joker. He loved fishing and camping. He worked until he was 83 years old.

Earnest was a WWII Navy veteran; he was aboard the battleship USS West Virginia. He was in the south Pacific around the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, to name a few places. When Japan surrendered, the West Virginia led the way into Tokyo Bay for the battleship Missouri. The two battleships were anchored next to each other. Earnest saw the signing of the peace treaty on the Missouri from the deck of the West Virginia.

Earnest is survived by his son Gene and wife Rene Roberts, of Mena, Arkansas; Daughters Janet and husband Kelsey Moran of Mena, Arkansas, and Cynthia and husband James Looney of Mena, Arkansas; eleven grandchildren, twenty-four great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife Kathryn; sister, Lala Hopper; two brothers, Raymond Roberts and Clifford Roberts.

The funeral service for Earnest will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, December 16, 2023, at Beasley Wood Funeral Home with Brother Rodger Bishop officiating. Interment will be held at Gann Cemetery in Mena, Arkansas.

His grandsons will be the pallbearers and the honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters and The Homewood Cottages caregivers.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 15, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

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