Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Another Death in the Family

Aunt Ava Jo

My Aunt Ava Jo passed away recently. Her official obituary can be found at Barker Funeral Home, part of which I post below:
Ava Jo Perryman Bowling was born June 10, 1930 in Salem, Arkansas. She left this life on July 24, 2017 in Salem, Arkansas. She was the daughter of Henry and Mabel Shell Perryman. Ava Jo attended the Salem Schools and graduated as valedictorian in 1948 from Salem High School. She attended college at Central Baptist College, Arkansas State College and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She studied Home Economics. After her first year of college she taught school at the one-room schoolhouse in the community of Fairview near Salem. She also taught Home Economics at Salem High School in 1951-52. During her college years, she worked at several different jobs including Sears Department Store in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ava Jo married Clarence Calvin Bowling [also of Salem, Arkansas] on September 4, 1953 at Salem First Baptist Church. They lived in Fayetteville before moving to Beaumont, Texas, which would be their home for 48 years. They had three children: Mark, Cindy and Sara. Ava Jo was an excellent homemaker and housewife. She provided stability, security and love for her children. She also worked part time as a secretary at Blue Bell Creameries Distribution.

Ava Jo was a dedicated and caring Christian woman. She was a member of Amelia Baptist and Westgate Memorial Baptist churches in Beaumont. She was a devoted Sunday school teacher for adult women. She was active in the Women’s Missionary Union, sang in the choir and was a supportive deacon’s wife. When she and Clarence moved to Horseshoe Bend, AR in 2003 they again became members of Salem First Baptist Church. Ava Jo was a kind and giving neighbor and wonderful cook. She also enjoyed reading and working crossword puzzles.
I remember those crossword puzzles. That was an interest she shared with her brother Harlin. I recall her working on those crosswords and only rarely asking for help. I noticed such things because I spent several holidays at her Texas home during my Baylor years. The fact that I attended Baylor at all is also due to her . . . albeit indirectly. Her elder daughter, Cindy, who was a year older than I, praised Baylor to the heavens and inadvertently persuaded me to apply there. Aunt Ava Jo therefore took an interest in me during my time in Texas. She reminded me that university life was more than just textbooks and tests, and she urged me to socialize. That was advice I wished to follow . . . so I did.

So, thanks, Aunt Ava Jo, for the good advice . . . and RIP.



At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of your Aunt Ava's passing. We may have a tenuous relative connection though. My first wife's grandfather was Jake Perryman originally from Viola. If Aunt Ava was somehow connected to the Perryman clan from Viola then we are galactically related.

Hope all is well with you and your family. I am still looking for a new job opportunity, but all is good in NWA.


At 6:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The Perrymans of Salem, Viola, Bexar, and Calico Rock are related, so the answer is yes.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:18 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Sincere condolences on the passing of your aunt. She sounds like a great lady—bright, talented, and active in many areas. Long may your family treasure her memory.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Kevin.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:56 AM, Blogger Shannon Hodges said...

Just back from South Africa and now have read your blog. I lived with Ava Jo, Clarence, and Sara for two summers while working for Clarence. I always liked Ava Jo and we got on we'll. I am sad at her death though glad she did not suffer.

Shannon Hodges

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Shan.

Jeffery Hodges

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