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Earnestine Banks Walton Russell

1936 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Earnestine Banks Walton Russell Obituary

Mrs. Earnestine Banks Walton Russell, age 81, of Forrest City, died Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at her home.
Earnestine Banks was the youngest child born to the union of James Oliver and Emma L. Johnson Banks in Dansby. She is a direct descendent of John (Jack) Dansby, co-founder of the farm town Dansby, Arkansas. When Earnestine was about two years old, the family moved to Linden Island and remained there until she was a young teen. In the late 1940s, her family moved to a new farm in St. Francis County, west of Forrest City.
She accepted Christ at an early age. Upon graduating from Lincoln High School in 1954, she attended and graduated from the Arkansas AM&N College in Pine Bluff. While in college, she met and married Tommy Lee Walton from Texarkana, Arkansas, in 1957. To this union were born two children, Trent and Sheila.
After divorce, she attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and graduated with an MS degree in 1969 and returned to Forrest City. Years later, she married Harvey Lee Russell of Jonesboro, now deceased.
She was known to work from "before sun up to after sun down" and was blessed to retire twice after wonderful and rewarding careers teaching at Childress (Nashville, Ark.), Lincoln High and Forrest City High Schools a total of 37 years and also working as a Walmart full-time associate for 27 years. Prior to returning to Forrest City, she worked one year for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Phillips County.
Always allowing time to read the Bible and say her prayers each night, she read the King James Version from cover to cover and started reading it again. She served God faithfully and demonstrated it on a daily basis. She often referred to 1 Corinthains 13:13: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity." (KJV). Whether it was selling vegetables at the farmers market, and sometimes giving the vegetables away, making yeast rolls, cakes and pies for her friends and for the bereaved, giving someone a helping hand or kind advice, mentoring and sponsoring younger women or visiting the sick; volunteering for the St. Francis County Fair or supporting Relay for Life, volunteering for voter registration or supporting the American Heart Association, raising money for various scholarship funds or paying her tithes, she did it all.
She was always on the move and said it was important to always be relevant. Education was very important to her. She influenced her family and community to pursue more education. Earnestine treated everyone fairly, recognizing that each person deserved an opportunity. In her daily life, always the teacher, she constantly sought opportunities to help others and to pass her wisdom forward.
She loved her family, Prosperity M.B. Church and the Forrest City community. She always found time for family, church, community service and many other hobbies. Her involvements included teaching Sunday School, singing in the Prosperity M.B. Church choir, attending Bible study and prayer meeting, serving as church secretary, attending the North Arkansas District meetings, cooking for church functions and traveling to state and national Eastern Star, Delta Sigma Theta, Semper Fidelis or various club meetings. In her quiet time, you might find her teaching a sewing lesson, taking a computer course, feeding the chickens, planting greens, shelling peas or simply picking up potatoes. All of these things made her interesting to get to know.
Our beloved mother was preceded in death by her father, Oliver Banks and her mother, Emma L. Johnson Banks; her older brother, Rufus Banks and his wife Rebecca; her sister, Ara Banks Dulaney White and her younger brother, James Oliver Banks Jr.
Earnestine leaves behind two children, a son, Trent Avery Walton Sr., (Vivian) of Fayetteville; a daughter, Sheila Renae Walton-Moore (Robert) of Mt. Dora, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Trennicia Michelle Walton Kilburn (John) of Cincinnati, Ohio, James Theodore Jenkins of Forrest City, Tery Marie Walton Young (Landon) of Waltham, Mass., Timothy Michael Walton of Lorain, Ohio, Trent Avery Walton Jr., (Shauntese) of San Diego, Calif., Christopher Avery Walton (Jazmin) of Katy, Texas and Sandra Renaé Walton of Fayetteville; great-grandchildren, Isabella Renée Kilburn, Allison Nicole Kilburn and Leah Renae Walton; a sister-in-law, Linda Louise Banks of Bakersfield, Calif., and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews.
We thank God for allowing us to share the life of our wonderful Christian mother who taught us to love and worship God. She lived a life centered on God, family, church, service and charity. She was a light to may people and touched many lives over generations. To God be the Glory.
"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Larry S. Bryant Multipurpose and Wellness Center in Forrest City. A memorial and reflection service will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m., following the visitation.
The funeral service for Mrs. Russell will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 25, 2018, at the Prosperity M.B. Church in Forrest City. Burial will follow in Casteel Cemetery in Forrest City, under the direction of Clay Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.clayfuneralhomeinc.com
Published in Times-Herald on Mar. 23, 2018
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