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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 22 February 2006

Harrington, Long of Arkansas, Passes On

Myrtle Harrington was born the sixth child of W.L. Taylor and Mary Julia Matthews Taylor. She was born in Tucker, Ark., and soon moved to Gurdon, Ark., where she resided for 91 years. She moved to Portland in 2002 to live with her daughter, and resided there the last four years of her life.

She died in her sleep on Feb. 17, after a short illness of three weeks.

Her life has left a mark on the lives of four generations who knew her pearls of wisdom, her hints, sense of humor, strong values and sense of family. That sense of family extended far beyond her biological ties; family members and friends lovingly called her "Big Mama" or "Bigun."

Myrtle attended elementary and junior high school in Gurdon, Ark., and high school at Shorter College in North Little Rock, Ark. She continued her education at A.M. & N. College in, Pine Bluff, Ark. (now the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff), receiving a bachelor's degree. She also attended the University of Missouri and Henderson State University for postgraduate work.

Mrs. Myrtle, as she was affectionately called by her students, was a dedicated scholar and educator whose teaching career spanned more than four decades. She began teaching in Whelen Springs, Ark., later in Kansas City, Mo. and in Okolona, Ark., and finished her career in Malvern, Ark.

No matter what subject she taught, she had the ability to make her students passionate about their studies. She was a lover of books and read voraciously. She formed a special bond with many of her students, who have said their lives have been influenced and/or changed by her philosophy and teachings. She never failed to make her position clear and would take a firm stand for whatever she believed.

Myrtle loved her church, Bethel AME of Gurdon, Ark. and served willingly and tirelessly until she moved to Portland. She held the following church offices: steward, trustee, Sunday school superintendent, pianist of the senior choir, president of the Missionary Department, delegate to many annual conferences, district treasurer of the Missionary Department and district Sunday school superintendent.

She united with Bethel AME Church in Portland upon her arrival, and was active in the Missionary Department. Her civic organizations were Gurdon Neighborhood Council, Clark County Teachers Association, ArkansasEducation Association,National Education Association and Gurdon Retired Teachers.

Preceding Myrtle in death were her parents, eight brothers and sisters and two infant sons. Left to carry on her legacy are James "Jack" Harrington, her husband of 66 years; a daughter, Jacquelyn N. Brown, of Portland; grandchildren Adrienne C. Nelson, of Portland, and Robert Anthony Brown, (Kristi), of Texarkana, Ark.; great-grandchildren Taylor L. Brown, of Portland, and Kamryn C.Brown,of Texarkana, Ark.; a special niece, Mavis Willodene Thibodeaux, of Santa Barbara, Calif.; nieces Clementine Stuart, of Oakland, Calif., Mary Crosby and Martha Bryant, of Lansing Mich., Dorothy Gullye, of Gurdon, Ark., Ella F. Anthony, of Little Rock, Ark., Phanae Spelman, of Prescott, Ark., Sharon Harrington, of Dallas, Texas; nephews Bishop Tom Bryant and O.D. Bryant, of Lansing, Mich.,; and a host of relatives and friends.

Services will be held on Feb. 25 in Gurdon, Ark., at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church. Arrangements by Cox & Cox Funeral Chapel.

Eugene Bonner, Vet, Mason, Father, Dies

Eugene Charles Bonner was born on May 2, 1917, in Paris, Texas, to Ben and Eula May Bonner. He graduated from Gibbons High School in 1935, and arrived in Portland June of 1942.

Mr. Bonner was a veteran of World War II. When he came to Portland he worked for several years for Union Pacific Railroad and later was employed by the state General Services Administration for many years until his retirement.
Mr. Bonner was a 33rd Degree Mason for many years. He was an avid traveler and

had been all around the world. He loved the Lord and was a member of FellowshipMissionary Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Archie; and his wife of 56 years, Viola Johnson-Bonner.
He leaves to mourn his cousins,AnnieMae Cornelius of Paris, Texas, HelenSpringfieldof Portland and Linda Leali of Denver, Colo.; his godson and longtime friend Bill McDonald; his nephew and godson, Billy Joe Patterson; goddaughters Cherry Williams, of Seattle, Wash. and Joyce Jones, of Clackamas; and many other goddaughters and a host of nieces and nephews.

Mr. Bonner's family wishes to acknowledge and give thanks to his caregiver, John Monning.

A graveside service was held Feb. 16 at Willamette National Cemetery. Arrangements by Cox & Cox Funeral Chapel.

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