In Memoriam

The following friends from the class of 1976 are reported to have died since graduation. If you know of other classmates who have died or have more information about these lives that you would like us to add, send a note to FayettevilleClassof76@gmail.com. Two FHS graduates, Kevin Cunningham and Conrad Odom, maintain a Facebook group — Fayetteville Friends — In Memoriam — dedicated to the remembrance of all FHS graduates who have died.

Ricky Ahart, 1958-2002, Obituary.

Cheryl Allred, 1958-2013, Obituary.

Keith Banks, 1958-1980, Obituary.

Mark Basset, 1958-2010, Obituary.

Linda Bixby Vandagriff, 1958-2011, Obituary.

Kirk Bradley, 1958-1999, Obituary.

Mike Bryant, 1957-1976. Obituary.

Morton “Skip” Carnes, 1958-2014, Obituary.

Lynn Chandler, 1958-1976, Obituary.

Angela Childress West Lies, 1957-2013, Obituary.

Brooks Clower, 1957-2010, Obituary.

Sandi Coffin, 1957-1993, Obituary.

Gay Coston, 1958-2016, Obituary.

Dianne Cross, 1858-2007, Obituary.

Michael Davidson, 1957-1997, Obituary.

Dennis Davis, 1958-1982, Obituary.

Diane Davis, 1957-2010, Obituary.

Jeff Day, 1958-2011, Obituary.

Nancy Dodson Peters, 1958-1998, Obituary.

Greg Flowers, 1957-2017, Obituary.

Mike Garner, 1958-2007, Obituary.

Weeda Gooding, 1958-2008, Obituary.

Nicky Gyles, 1957-2010, Obituary.

Gary J. Harris, 1958-2010, Obituary.

Stephen Lee Harris, 1958-2018, Obituary.

Alan Hepler, 1958-1986, Obituary.

Matt Holtzen, 1958-2009, Obituary.

Michael Jackson, 1958-2015, Obituary.

Dyke Jennings, 1957-2016, Obituary.

Steve “Country” Jones, 1957-1977, Obituary.

Mike Lyman, 1958-2021, Obituary.

Brian McGreevy, 1957-2008, Obituary.

Miles Lynn Patrick, 1957-2017, Obituary.

Stephen McGinnis, 1958-2018. Obituary.

Pat Miller Simpson, 1958-2006, Obituary.

Donna Moore, 1958-2004, Obituary.

Naoto Sekiguchi, 1958-2021, Obituary.

Jan Skarda, 1957-1994, Obituary.

Dwaine Spears, 1958-2002, Obituary.

Sheri Starr Keen, 1958-2015, Obituary.

Richard Steel, 1957-2000, Obituary.

Jimmy Stout, 1958-2007, Obituary.

Craig Venema, 1958-1993, Obituary.

Robert “Bobby” Waterson, 1958-2014, Obituary.

Myra Wesson, 1958-2003, Obituary.

Dennis Wohlford, 1957-2016, Obituary.

Obituary for Naoto Sekiguchi

Naoto Sekiguchi

Naoto Sekiguchi passed away on September 21, 2021, at the family home in Fayetteville. Naoto was born January 19, 1958, in Tokyo, Japan, to Tochiko and Tetstundo Sekiguchi. As an infant, he, his mother, and elder sister made the voyage to America and moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where his father was completing his doctoral degree at Oklahoma State. The Sekiguchis eventually settled in Fayetteville, where they were among the town’s first Asian families. Naoto was a compassionate, gentle, and kind person from the start, who was always creating.

He was a 1976 graduate of Fayetteville High School and graduated on the senior honor roll.

Naoto earned his architectural degree from the University of Arkansas in 1982, and began his career at Fox and Fowle Architects, and later with James Wines at SITE Architecture Art Design in New York City. He worked at numerous firms in Seattle; the Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings studio in Fayetteville; Eric Owen Moss in Culver City, California; Jennifer Siegal OMD in Los Angeles; and firms in Tokyo, Japan, and Penang, Malaysia. Although he was a talented architect, Naoto really shone through his teaching. He worked in the architecture departments at the University of Oregon, University of Minnesota, Chiang Mai University, and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He was dedicated and invested in his students and left a lasting impression on many of them.

Naoto at a shrine for the reclining Buddha.

Throughout his life, Naoto traveled the world from Greece to Laos to Malawi. More recently he found homes in Harbin Hot Springs and Sierra Hot Springs in California, and fell in love with Portugal. Naoto approached each new place with curiosity and each person he met with warmth and compassion forming friendships everywhere he went. You could pick a location and, chances are, Naoto had been there and would be able to regale you with a wild and funny story.

Naoto took writing, playing and recording his music, including busking on the streets of Barcelona and Portugal.

Later in his life, Naoto focused increasingly on his creative pursuits, particularly his writing and music, which celebrated the beauty of humanity but also challenged with humor the ills and injustice he saw in the world. Naoto was profoundly empathetic, he felt the world around him even when it hurt. When he saw something he knew was wrong he spoke out and stood his ground. He cared for and gave to people with all of himself.

Naoto is celebrated and deeply missed by his siblings, Tomoko Sekiguchi, Mary Kirasich (Mark), June Sekiguchi, and Eugene Sekiguchi (Alison Parry); as well as his nieces and nephews, Hana Mei, Quin, and Jaden Breeland, Aya Cockram (Gareth Newnham), Joseph Kirasich and Kaitlin Kirasich Kinzer (Sean), and Evan and Mia Sekiguchi who he loved and cherished. He is also survived by greatniece, Cora Newnham, who will grow up listening to his music and being delighted by his art, and dear friends Jane Scroggs, Randall “Poot” Cannon, Jon Green, Emmitte Watson, Jim Horn, Mike Breeland, Michael Cockram, and many others. Our hearts are broken with his loss, but we are thankful that he is resting in peace closer to his mother and father and that he left so much of himself with us in his writing, music, art, and in our wonderful memories of him.

Naoto Sekiguchi

A celebration of life to be held at a future date will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, the Khmer Magic Music Bus, or First Place. To sign the online guest book please visit www.bernafuneralhomes.com.

Obituary for Mike Lyman

Mike Lyman

Michael Dee Lyman, 63, of Fayetteville died Friday, April 30, 2021, at Washington Regional Medical Center. He was born Friday, March 14, 1958, at Fayetteville, to J.D. and Amboline Gurley Lyman.

He was a graduate of Fayetteville High School and a member of the high school orchestra and band.

Lyman spent his lifetime helping others. He was a registered nurse and had a degree in social work. He worked at Washington Regional for many years starting on Generations and ending in the Wound Center. Lyman retired from Washington Regional to take care of his parents, providing around-the-clock care for them until their passing.

He also enjoyed traveling, cooking, celebrating the Christmas holiday, and decorating his home. Many organizations benefited from his generosity, especially Seven Hills Homeless Shelter. Lyman will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

Lyman was preceded in death by his parents. His father, J.D. Lyman, was a long-time educator in the Fayetteville school system and a principal at Root Elementary. He was survived by his special friend, Paula Willis, of Fayetteville, his aunts and uncle, Bertha Easterling of Huntsville; Donnie Jean Grigg of Kingston; Roy and Frances Gurley of Flagstaff, Arizona; and many cousins and his special friends at the Village Inn restaurant.

Funeral Services were held May 5 at Liberty Cemetery with Larry Mitchell officiating. Pallbearers were Craig Thompson, Brian Blevins, Ethan Sprinkle, James Snow, Mackenzie Phillips, and Joe Lyman. Interment immediately follow services at Liberty Cemetery, Dry Fork. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike Lyman’s name may be made to Liberty Cemetery, c/o Harold Logan, 3501 Highway 412, Berryville, AR 72616. Services were through Brashears Funeral Home and Crematory of Huntsville.

Obituary for Gregg Parker

Photo of Gregg Parker holding a quite small fish.
Gregg Parker with one of the largest fishes he ever caught.

Gregg Weston Parker of Harrison died March 23, 2020. He was 61. He was born July 17, 1958, to Wylie and Janis Parker.

Parker was a man of integrity, filled with love and generosity for his family and friends. He was a graduate of Fayetteville High School and a member of the Class of ’76.

He was a member of the Future Farmers of America in high school, competing with classmate Jeff Bailey in the state convention at Hot Springs. He also competed in PeeWee and Babe Ruth League baseball through junior high and high school, playing for the First National team.

He graduated from the University of Arkansas and the New England Culinary Institute. While in college, he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was owner of Parker’s RV Park in Harrison for over 20 years before retiring this past year.

He is survived by his parents; sisters Melanie Cash and Brooke Sisney; his devoted uncles and aunts: Wayne and Hattie Parker, Wendell and Joan Parker, and Weston and Anne Rogers; his nephews and niece: Austin, Taylor, Parker and Presleigh; and many loving cousins.

Parker will be remembered for his big heart, exceptional sense of humor, warm smile, and his endless love of fishing. Arrangements and cremation were under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks.

Obituary for Allen “Duane” Dunn

Photo of Duane Dunn
Duane Dunn

Allen “Duane” Dunn, age 60, of Fayetteville died Saturday, June 15, at Washington Regional Medical Center. He was preceded in death by his father Allen L. “Sonny” Dunn and nephew Joshua Dunn.

Duane was born August 9, 1958, in Fayetteville and lived here all his life. He was a graduate of Fayetteville High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and earned a Freshman Academic Scholarship to the University of Arkansas. He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences. He worked at Terra Studios near Durham for 32 years.

He is survived by his mother Mary Lou (Pearce) Dunn; his sister Sherry Ann Dunn; stepson Jimmy Baker and his wife Patti; step-grandchildren Cassanie, Katie, Evie, Mary, J.W. and Tori, and several aunts, uncles, cousins and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held from 5–7 p.m. Thursday June 20, at Moore’s Chapel. Cremation under the direction of Moore’s Chapel.

Obituary for Michael Anthony Buchanan Sr.

Photo of Michael Buchanan
Michael Buchanan

Michael Anthony Buchanan Sr., 61, died April 12, 2019, in Fayetteville. He was born February 19, 1957, to Carl and Dorthy Buchanan.

He was a graduate of Fayetteville High School and earned an associate’s degree. He was a generous, warm hearted individual who always had a smile on his face. He was so passionate about sports that he umpired and refereed games all over Northwest Arkansas. Michael was always a joy to be around and his humor and positive attitude always lit up the room.

Friends and classmates recalled his “kind and caring nature, and his ferocious competitive spirit and talent.” On the football team, his jersey was No. 1, and he played like it. He also ran track and field.

High school portrait of Michael BuchananHis long-time friend, Greg Flowers, was born three days earlier than Michael and died two years ago. Back in 1964, Flowers and Buchanan attended a Boys Club summer camp just before first grade. Greg called Michael “mashed potatoes” and Michael called Greg “gravy.”

Survivors included two sons, Micheal Anthony Buchanan Jr. and Tyron Mahone, and one daughter, Miranda Reamy. His service was held Saturday, April 20, at the Church of Christ in Fayetteville.

Obituary for Cristina Arias

Cristina Antonia Arias, 60, passed into the arms of a greater universe and surrounded by love on March 13, 2019, in Fayetteville. She was born January 16, 1959, to Bogddy Wus and the late Eduardo M. Arias in General Roca, Rio Negro, Argentina.

Cris was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, Cristina Korch Wus. As a young child, she moved to the United States with her mother and grandmother when her mother received a scholarship to study abroad. Her mother studied at the University of Arkansas and obtained her doctorate in comparative literature in 1967. Her Ukrainian maternal grandparents escaped post-revolutionary Russia by boat and immigrated to Argentina. Her grandmother spoke only Ukrainian and Spanish so Cris served as her English translator growing up. Her paternal grandmother was a concert pianist.

Cris attended the Fayetteville public schools, the University of Arkansas and received a Master of Social Work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Cris married and had one daughter, Ashley Barker, with her former spouse, Lonnie Barker.

Cris initially worked as a social worker for the state of Oklahoma in the rural community of Holdenville. She described the practice as “pioneer mental health services,” carrying medications in her car trunk and interacting with local officials. In 1995, she returned to Fayetteville to work for Ozark Guidance Center. Cris served as director of mental health services at Washington Regional Medical Center from 2002 until 2009, at which time she transitioned to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-Northwest Campus to assist in establishing the psychiatric inpatient unit at Northwest Medical Center. In 2018, she accepted a position with the Community Clinic.

Cris made numerous lifelong friends throughout her professional career. Her family and friends are grateful for the incredible support the Community Clinic gave her during her illness. Throughout her career, Cris was admired as a skilled clinician and administrator, passionate teacher, community activist and loving friend. Her work with the Judicial Equality for Mental Illness led to the founding of a crisis stabilization unit in northwest Arkansas. In 2019, she was named the University of Arkansas Social Work Department Clinical Instructor of the Year.

Cris found much joy in her work, traveling the world, enduring friendships, beloved pets, knitting and spiritual exploration. She had a gift for finding the hurt and healing it. The light of the world has momentarily dimmed with her absence but her life’s work and loving relationships have forged a brighter future.

Of all her roles, she most enjoyed and cherished being grandmother. She was intensely involved in her grandchildren’s lives. Hateya, Kavian, Aria and Kairo were the light and soul of her life.

Cris is survived by her daughter, Ashley Barker, four grandchildren, and mother, Bogddy Arias.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Northwest Arkansas Crisis Stabilization Unit.

To place an online tribute, visit www.nelsonberna.com.

Obituary for Stephen Harris

Photo of Steve Harris
Steve Harris

Stephen Lee Harris died September 23, 2018, at Norman, Oklahoma. He was born May 6, 1958, in Cheverly, Maryland, the youngest of three children born to Grover and Sara Harris.

He grew up in Fayetteville and attended United Presbyterian Church. He graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1976 and then went to the University of Arkansas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in geology. After graduation, he soon moved to Oklahoma to work in the oil industry.

The writer of an obituary for Harris said, “Stephen departed to the big oilfield in the sky.”

The writer said that Stephen, who throughout school had an acerbic sense of humor, put life quite well when he said: “Hey guys, FYI: If you are reading this then something has happened to me. No worries!!!! It’s been one helluva good ride!!!! Thanks for everything. Live long and prosper.”

Obituary for Stephen McGinnis

Stephen Eugene McGinnis died Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at his home in Fayetteville, two days after his 60th birthday. He was born Aug. 9, 1958, the son of Burl Eugene and Audrey May Crumley McGinnis, who were from the Hindsville and Clifty areas.

He learned to play the fiddle at an early age and by junior high was a regular at the Arkansas Country Opry, performing weekly at the Palace Theatre on the downtown Fayetteville Square. He played country, gospel and bluegrass favorites, backing local performers such as Sarge and Shirley West as well as the visiting headliners like Jim Staggs. He also performed several times on the John Chick Show, a live variety program broadcast by KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I recall him trying to school us in the ways of Janis Joplin when we were all into The Partridge Family and Bobby Sherman,” said Gweneth Hunter Reed, a classmate. “He was a lovely guy.”

“Steve will be greatly missed,” Bill Cunningham, another classmate, said. “He was a one-of-a-kind personality, many talents and always a friend to everybody.”

Classmate Naoto Sekiguchi recalled: “In a testament to the kind of guy he was, Stephen always treated me like I was his best friend in the times I saw him since school. He called me ‘Buddy’ and it seemed heartfelt. Even as he suffered serious health issues he always seemed to face up to them with courage and a positive mind. What I will remember him best for is his talent for music. He was always enthusiastic about cutting loose on an energetic rendition of Rocky Top.”

McGinnis grew up a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church and was baptized there. He was music director for the church and later for First Baptist Church of Greenland.

He was a 1976 graduate of Fayetteville High School, where he played in the orchestra and was president of the Library Club. When citizen band radios enjoyed a brief popularity during the 1970s, Steve could be heard many evenings using the handle “Li’l Abner.”

His interest in electronics led him to study computer science at the University of Arkansas, where he also worked as a lab technician before moving to College Station, Texas, for a job as manager of a computer lab at Texas A&M University when the university was in the early stages of establishing computing resources for students. While there, he continued his studies and also graduated from A&M’s Employee Leadership Institute in 1997. After leaving Texas A&M, Steve opened a computer repair and consulting company in Bryan, Texas. He also worked for a radio station but moved back to Fayetteville in 2009 after the death of his sister, Margaret Elaine McGinnis.

Photo of Stephen McGinnis holding a music competition trophy.
Stephen McGinnis in 1975 with a trophy for musical competition.

In recent years, Steve was confined to bed due to lymphedema, an incurable and debilitating illness that affects the limbs, primarily the legs in his case. The condition leads to swelling and creates persistent wounds.

T.O. Spicer, former pastor for Sang Avenue Baptist Church, recalled that Steve applied for disability and Medicaid after becoming disabled but that financial aid didn’t start for three months. “My wife, Martha, and I dipped into our savings and paid the three months, and Stephen paid us back every penny,” he said. “That says something about the kind of person Stephen was.” The Spicers also helped with his health care needs whenever agency personnel were not available and provided meals as well.

Steve was hospitalized for a brief period, Spicer said, and then improved with physical therapy at Katherine’s Place in west Fayetteville. He was up and able to walk short stretches when funding for the therapy ran out. Soon he was homebound again.

Sarge West, with whom Steve had played country music 40 years earlier, was one of the people who began bringing him meals, provided through the food pantry of Sang Avenue Baptist Church. Sarge would also take Steve to many appointments when he could no longer transport himself. Steve often commented on what a good friend he was.

Several of his classmates also visited and helped him during the last several years. Bill Guirl and his wife, Ampie, visited often and cooked trout dinners and vegetables for him. “He had a keen sense of humor mixed with witticisms and insights,” Bill Guirl said, adding that Steve never complained, except the one time that Guirl forgot to fillet the trout. “He told me not to forget again; please!” Guirl said.

Steve loved his cats, Princess and Sarah, but had a fondness for all animals, especially the underdogs in life.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Margaret Elaine McGinnis. Survivors include several cousins.

Cremation arrangements by Beard’s Funeral Chapel in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

Obituary for Miles Lynn Patrick

Photo of Lynn Patrick
Miles Lynn Patrick

Miles Lynn Patrick, 59, a resident of Farmington, died Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Willard Walker Hospice Home in Fayetteville after a two-year battle with glioblastoma multiforme. He was born Dec. 5, 1957, in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, the son of Carl Kenneth and Jennie Cathleen (Rowland) Patrick.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Patrick worked as a HVAC technician for more than 35 years. He was always very meticulous and took pride in his work. He enjoyed gardening, cooking and collecting coins. He loved his St. Louis Cardinals and his Razorbacks.

Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Tabatha Huffmaster Patrick. Together they had two sons, Robert James Headrick and Avery Miles Patrick as well as his honorary daughter, Tiffany Ann Caudill; three brothers, Mike Patrick and wife Darla, Scott Patrick, Andy Patrick and wife Julie; his honorary brother, Rick Duncan; his mother, Jennie Patrick; he also has several nephews and nieces whom he loved very much.

Funeral Service were Oct. 9, 2017, at Luginbuel Chapel in Prairie Grove. Burial was in the Farmington Cemetery.

The family would like to thank Hope Cancer Resource and Willard Walker Hospice House for their kindness and compassion.