George W. Hurst, age 89, of De Queen, Ark., formerly of Conway, Ark., passed away on Jan. 10, 2013, at the McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock, Ark.
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He was born in Hardy, Ark., on July 19, 1923, to George W. Hurst II and Ova Jordan Hurst. He was the only child of George and Ova, but he had several half brothers and sisters.
George graduated from high school in Hardy, Ark., in 1941, where he was captain of his basketball team for five years. He turned down a scholarship to play basketball for the Arkansas Razorbacks to go into the Marines. George was a Private First Class Military Police during WW II and was stationed in Parris Island, S.C. He was an Expert Rifleman and Light Aircraft Gun Crewman. He participated in nine Pacific Campaigns in WW II including the American Area Campaign, Central Pacific Campaign, and the Aleutian Campaign. George participated in naval action against the enemy at Wake Island, Gilbert Island, Makin Island, Marshall Island, Turk Island, Pailan Group, Caroline Group, Dutch New Guinea Campaign, Mariana Island and the Philippines Campaign. He was issued Honorable Service Lapel Button and US Marine Corps Reserve Button, and Character of Service Excellence. He was honorably discharged Oct. 1, 1945. He married Jean L. Danforth of Redding, Mass., who also served in WW II in the Naval WAVES, on Aug. 4, 1945, in a military wedding on Parris Island, S.C.
After being discharged from the Marine Corps, George and his bride moved to Kansas City, Mo., where he began working in Real Estate sales and attending Bible school. He attended the Kansas City Bible College in Kansas City, Kan., and Central Bible College in Conway, Ark. He served as an evangelist, preaching and pastoring in over 200 churches in 15 states and Mexico for 60 years. George pastored several Southern Baptist churches, including Cadron Ridge Baptist Church in Conway, Ark. After retiring as a full time pastor, George spent many years raising wolves in Greenbrier, Ark. In 2008, George went on a mission trip teaching over 70 pastors in Malawi, South Africa, where he celebrated his 85th birthday. While in Malawi, he preached in 4 Bible Conferences, and traveled to several local Baptist churches. He preached Monday thru Friday each week at 85 years young!
George is survived by three daughters: Sandi Wilson (Ray) of DeQueen, Ark., Patty Thompson (Jesse) of Conway, Ark, and Allison Hurst-Brown (Bobby) of Conway, Ark.; six grandchildren: Jason Jones of Springdale, Ark., Erin Langer of Sherwood, Ark., Rhett Thompson of Conway, Ark., Brian Edwards of Conway, Ark., Leah Wilson of Harrison, Ark., and Ashlee Edwards of Conway, Ark.; three great-grandchildren, Jenna and Jacob Jones, and Pearson Massey.
George Hurst was the epitome of unconditional love. He did not judge others. He loved all people. During his last days while in the VA Hospital, with a broken hip and after yet another stroke, he witnessed to hospital staff about Jesus. His family was truly blessed to have him as their father, grandfather, great-grandfather and very good friend. He asked for so little in this life and gave so much to others. His faith and trust in God was absolutely unwavering. He said often, "The day I die will be the most wonderful day of my life when I get to see Jesus."
George was laid to rest in a private family graveside service at the Hurst Family Cemetery in Mammoth Spring, Ark., on Jan. 12, 2013.
A CELEBRATION AND MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at NEW LIFE CHURCH, 633 S. Country Club Rd., Conway, AR 72034, on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. Visitation for all family and friends begins at 6 p.m. All friends of the family are invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to New Life Church, Conway, Ark., in his honor.
Published in The Log Cabin Democrat from Jan. 16 to Jan. 23, 2013