Guy Woodson Moseley
Published: December 11, 2012
Guy Woodson Moseley, age 91, died on December 9, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born in Forrest City, Arkansas, on September 20, 1921, the youngest child of Helen Woodson and Fred Guy Moseley. He attended Forrest City High School, graduating as president of the senior class and the student body. Guy then entered Hendrix College where he was on the track team, captain of the tennis and basketball teams, president of his senior class, member of the Blue Key Honor Society, member of the Booster Club, and for four years played alto saxophone in the college dance band, The Troubadours. While at Hendrix, Guy met his future wife, Sara Grey Atkins, from Paragould, and they enjoyed 66 years together.
With the advent of WWII, Guy enrolled in Midshipman School at Columbia University in New York City and graduated as Navy Ensign. He served on the battleship Wyoming in the North Atlantic as Top Watch Officer and Gunnery Officer as the ship patrolled and protected American ships across the North Atlantic. When the Germans surrendered, Guy asked for transfer to the Japanese war arena and served for many months on the "baby" aircraft carrier, Vella Gulf as Senior Watch Officer and Commander of Gunnery Division. The Vella Gulf protected troops and carriers with supplies, live bombers and fighter planes in war areas such as Eniewotoki, Guam, Okinawa, and others. As the war wound down, the Vella Gulf joined Admiral Halsey's fleet and was one of the first ships to enter Tokyo Bay and go ashore to witness the desolation that was Japan.
Guy was honorably discharged from the Navy in early 1946 and joyously married Sara Atkins on February 3, 1946. Guy was part owner and manager of Moseley Hardware and Furniture Company in Forrest City for several years. He also ran retail operations in Walnut Ridge and Pocahontas. In 1953, Guy and his family opened Van-Atkins Department Store in Batesville. He, Sara, and their families always loved Batesville and Guy lived there until his death. He owned and operated five Van-Atkins stores for over 25 years. During the ownership of the Van-Atkins stores, Guy bought virtually all of the merchandise for his five department stores and created more than 12,000 radio advertising spots.
Guy served as Chairman of the Batesville Water Commission, President of the Batesville Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Batesville Industrial Committee, longtime member of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, member of the Batesville School Board, and Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Methodist Church where he also sang in the choir and taught a Sunday school class. Guy was President of the Bank of Evening Shade and Chairman of Independence Savings and Loan. He developed and built the Town Plaza Shopping Center in Batesville. He owned Bonanza Restaurants in Batesville and Forrest City for over 40 years. Also, for over 40 years, Guy kept a daily log describing everyday business, weather, and local news events. He liked to "put deals together" in business and real estate and he either started, or participated in, ownership in over 65 projects - "some good, some so-so, some simply awful!"
Guy was devoted to his wife and daughters and there was much love and happiness in their home. Music was very important to Guy and he passed this love on to his girls. Much fun was had on the White River in a succession of boats; all called "Happy Days." Tennis was also a passion and he and his regular group spent many happy hours together. As their daughters left home, Guy and Sara started traveling and were often gone more than they were home, planning another trip to Europe as they drove into their driveway! The extended family enjoyed trips together - from the beaches of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida to the ranches of Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado Both Guy and Sara were very hands-on grandparents and many, many happy hours were spent by all at their home, especially the porch and pool.
Guy is predeceased in death by his parents and his sister, Fredene "Sissie" Moseley. Guy is survived by his wife, Sara and by daughters, Mary Ann Critz and husband Jay of Little Rock and Susie Farris and husband, Phil of Batesville. Grandchildren are Susan Critz Guthrie and husband, Paul of Louisville, Kentucky; Mary Margaret Critz, Sara Ann Farris, Catherine Critz Snyder and husband John, all of Little Rock; Elizabeth Farris Bumpers and husband, Fuller of Batesville; Lucy Farris Thompson and husband, Paul of Little Rock; and Miranda Critz Greear and husband, Fred of Williamsburg, Virginia. Great-Grandchildren are Eva Myrick and Anna Woodson Guthrie; Susan Moseley, Elizabeth Grey, and Mary Farris Bumpers; Tasha Bryan, John McDonald III, and William Augustus Snyder; Andrew McCord and Sara Katherine Thompson; and Molly Catherine, Charles Bonham, and Elizabeth Moseley Greear. To say that these children lit up Guy's life is an understatement, and he and Sara both considered themselves extremely lucky to have lived long enough to enjoy their family and friends.
Honorary pallbearers are Preston Grace Jr., Howard House, Steve Massey, Malcolm Moore, Chris Okolo, Gary Perkey, Paul Rhodes, Doyle Rogers, Robert Stroud, Jack Stevenson, Dr. Bob Walton, and Fred Wann.
Special thanks to Chris Wood for her assistance and love. We want to thank Donna Motes for all her loving acts of kindness for Guy and Sara. We owe much gratitude to Glenda Henstrom, Carolyn Waugh, Deborah Stites, Sherry King and Virginia Pruett. Caring Hands Hospice provided all the support we could have hoped for during this time. We want to thank also friend and doctor, Robert Walton, always there to listen and advise.
Our family has lost its beloved patriarch but he leaves behind memories of his wonderful humor, courage, and true grit during the inevitable difficult times. These memories will sustain us all...
At the time of his death, Guy was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. His visitation will be Tuesday, December 11, from 5-7 p.m. at Roller-Crouch Funeral Home in Batesville with a graveside service on Wednesday, December 12, at 11 a.m. at Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville conducted by Father John Drymon.
Memorials may be sent to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, PO Box 2255, Batesville, Ark. 72501 or Arkansas Children's Hospital, #1 Children's Way, Little Rock, Ark. 72202. Guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.