William "Sonny" Preston Huddleston Jr. of Batesville, Arkansas passed away October 23, 2021.
He was born October 21, 1935 to William Preston Huddleston Sr. and Alma Britton Huddleston in the Ashley Township, Independence County, Arkansas.
He is predeceased by his parents, a sister, Eddie Ann Boling, and a granddaughter, Staci Kathryn Smith.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joella McMillan Huddleston; son, Brian Russell Huddleston (Stephanie) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and daughter, Sherry Lyn Huddleston Runyan (Dwayne) of Beebe, Arkansas; six grandchildren, April Smith, Megan Jones, Grace Sorail, William Huddleston III, Bradley Runyan, and Mark Runyan; eleven great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Hailey, Graham, Landon, Hannah, Elaina, Nathan, Timmie, Colton, Lukas, and Adalyn; and his surviving siblings, Janie Huddleston Hester (Doug), Melvyn Huddleston (Phyllis) and Ronald Huddleston (Jane).
William "Sonny" Huddleston graduated from Cave City High School in 1953. He then attended the University of Houston before joining the Air Force in 1958. During his time in military service he finished his Bachelor's Degree from Park College and entered Officer's Training School. He was awarded numerous service awards, The National Defense Medal and The Bronze Star for meritorious service, outstanding leadership and unwavering perseverance during the Vietnam Wartime conflict. He retired as a Captain in the Air Force after 23 years as a Missile Launch Officer and a Special Agent with the OSI.
He and Joella returned to Batesville in 1980 where he then pursued an awarded sales position at Bailey Ford. It was once quoted to his daughter, by one of his customers, that her Daddy was so honest "you could play poker with him over the phone." Sonny and Joella attended First Baptist Church in Batesville where he helped driving the bus for the active senior members of the congregation. He took this job so seriously that he had the bus and van insurance rules taped to the inside front of his Bible.
Papa Sonny was kept very busy through the years helping care for his grand and great-grandchildren, especially keeping their cars running and safe. Sonny and Joella were very involved with their R.V. camping group S.M.A.R.T. (Special Military Active and Retired Travelers). He enjoyed their many trips all over the United States with the Arkansas S.M.A.R.T. Hogs.
His presence, common sense, and gentle laugh will be greatly missed.
Honorary pallbearers will be the members of his Sunday School Class as well as the members of the Arkansas S.M.A.R.T. Hogs.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Batesville under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home with Bro. Stacy Reed officiating.
Memorials may be made in his honor to White River Area Agency on Aging "Emergency Fund," P.O. Box 2637, Batesville, AR 72503 or Alzheimer's Arkansas Foundation, 201 Markham Center Dr., Little Rock, AR 72205.