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Grew up and attended school in Douglas County James Orus Wheat, son of the late Noah and Ethel (Williams) Wheat, was born on April 30, 1926, in Douglas County, and departed this life on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007, in the White River Medical Center in Batesville, Ark., following a long illness. He was 80 years old.
James grew up and attended school in Douglas County. He was united in marriage to Eunice Smith on July 29, 1944, in West Plains. Two sons were born to this union, Kenneth James and Ricky Allen.
James served his country in the United States Army during World War II and was honorably discharged on July 8, 1946, as a sergeant. The family made their home on a farm near Vanzant in Douglas County where he enjoyed working with his cattle and horses. He and Eunice had lived in Batesville, Ark., for the past year.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Don Crawford Wheat; and by one sister, Vera Mae Lovan.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Eunice Wheat, of the home; two sons and daughters-in-law, Kenneth and Linda Wheat, of Sparta, and Rick and Penny Wheat, of Mount Pleasant, Ark.; three grandchildren, Lisa Shortt and husband, Gary, James Wheat and wife, Kensey, and Robert Wheat and Eva; two great-granddaughters, Casey and Jessica Shortt; one brother, B.E. “Jack” Wheat, of Vanzant; several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m., in the Craig-Hurtt Chapel, Mtn. Grove, with the Rev. Ronald Baney officiating. Burial was in the Vanzant Cemetery with full military honors by American Legion Post 30, with Jared Moore as bugler.
Services were under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.