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Lewis Funeral Home, Inc.

PO Box 38, Magnolia, AR


Phone: 870-234-1010

William Robert Gantt III

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Published: December 2, 2012

W.R. "Bob" Gantt III, 64, of Magnolia, peacefully departed this earth on Nov. 30, 2012 after a hard fought and successful bout with cancer. Bob, a native of Magnolia, was the eldest child of the late W.R. "Billy" Gantt Jr. and Mary Ann Inabnett Gantt. Bob was born on June 2, 1948 after his father returned from the pacific theatre in World War II. Billy Gantt worked for First National Bank, which his grandfather helped found, and at just the tender age of four, Bob lost his father to a heart attack.

Widowed with two small children, Mary Ann Gantt married John Dexter, who fathered Bob throughout his childhood. An Eagle Scout, Bob graduated from Magnolia High School, then went on to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After earning a BS/BA in banking and finance and graduate school at Southern Methodist University, Bob found himself thrown in the mail room of Simmons First National Bank in Pine Bluff. Hard work spotlights character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all. Well, it turned out, Bob turned up his sleeves and was promoted to assistant vice president at the age of 26. By the time he was 30 years old, Bob was vice president of the fifth largest commercial bank in the state of Arkansas. Bob's dream was always to return to Magnolia and run the bank his family helped start, and at the age of 35, Bob was named President of First National Bank of Magnolia.

Believing public service was more honor than duty, former positions and affiliations include director of Arkansas State Council of Economic Education, corporate fund raising chairman for Arkansas Children's Hospital, Director of Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Committee Chairman for the Arkansas Bankers Association, and Chairman of First Land & Investments.

Bob is survived by his wife, Anne Fuller Gantt; son, W.R. "Will" Gantt IV; grandson, William L. Gantt; step-son, Scott Tatom; and step daughter, Tracy Frasier, both of Little Rock.; two step-grandchildren, Iain and Bea Frasier; sister, Julia Ann Gibson; brother, David Dexter; and three nephews and one niece.

A memorial service will be held Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the First United Methodist Church of Magnolia 320 West Main, Magnolia, Ark. 71753 or to Life Touch Hospice, 2301 Champagnolle Road, El Dorado, Ark. 71730.

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