Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elsie Bell Ervin was born on February 21, 1926, in Compere, Texas, daughter of George and Mary Violet Smith. She passed away on January 28, 2013, in Bentonville, Ark., at the age of 86 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband of 44 years Joseph P. Bell, a brother J.T. Smith, and a sister Wanda Jean Smith.

She is survived by her husband of 20 years Schley O. "Bud" Ervin, her children Ronny J. Bell and wife Kittena of Magnolia, Roger H. Bell and wife Patricia of Rogers, Rebecca S. Denny and husband Gary of Cassville, Missouri, four sisters Joan Coleman of Rogers, Jeanene Irvin and Menda Sanders of Abilene, Texas, and Nancy Burdine of Angleton, Texas, seven grandchildren Baret Bell, Erica Bell, Kyle Bell, Brian Bell, Kelly Parrish, Kasey Bare and Zackery Denny, and eight great grandchildren. Elsie was a devoted and beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

In addition to her career in the hospitality industry, her lifelong study of nutrition led to a fulfilling second career in the health food industry. As a pioneer in this field in northwest Arkansas her work included managing health food stores, speaking about nutrition to numerous organizations and on the radio, writing a weekly column called "To Your Health" in the local newspapers and founding the first fibromyalgia support group in the area.

Music was an integral part of Elsie's life. She loved gospel music and was devoted to her church teaching Sunday school for many years and organizing and attending women's retreats. Throughout her life she shared her gift of music by organizing and leading nursing home singing groups, singing at funerals and joining her sisters and other family members in song whenever they were together.

Visitation will be held on Friday, February 1, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, Ark. A private service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, at Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers followed by burial at Benton County Memorial Park Cemetery. The family would like to thank Dr. Manuel Gonzales and the capable, compassionate staff at Rogers Mercy Hospital and the Circle or Life Hospice facility and dedicated caregivers in Bentonville.

Memorial donations may be made in lieu of flowers to Alzheimer's Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205 or to the Circle of Life Hospice program at 900 NE Verdant, Bentonville, AR 72712.