P.E. "Rip"` Munnerlyn

Photo of P.E. "Rip"` Munnerlyn
P.E. "RIP" MUNNERLYN, 89, of North Little Rock, died on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010. We thank God, Eula Roebuck and Dewey Munnerlyn for bringing Rip into our lives. He was born on June 26, 1921 in Lonoke, Ark. He grew up in Lonoke, Carlisle, and Little Rock. He graduated from Carlisle High School and Monticello A & M College, working his way through school after his first semester was paid by his mother. Knowing the difficulties of getting a degree, he and Melba later endowed a scholarship to the college. He attended U. of A. Medical School and was commissioned in the Army, but left school due to health reasons. He worked as a shipping clerk at Arkansas Paper Company where he met Melba Byrd, who later became his wife of 64 years. He enlisted in the Army and served on active duty in Germany, Belgium, and France. Rip and Melba were married Aug. 4, 1946, one month after his return home. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves and held the rank of Major when he retired. Rip worked for the Little Rock Health Department and later became a builder and developer in the Greater Little Rock area. He and the late Abe Rosen of Block Mortgage Company formed an informal business partnership that developed into one of enduring respect and admiration. Rip loved the outdoors, golf, hunting, snow skiing, fishing with his best friend Cooper Collins, and motorcycling with Cooper and his son-in-law Bill Bosley. He built his first ski boat and small skis for his daughters. He and his family continued to enjoy water sports and going to Lake Ouachita for many years. In later years, Rip and Melba had a houseboat on I-dock at Mt. Harbor and treasured the friendships which they made there. He took flying lessons after 40 and became owner of a Bonanza, which he, Melba, and Fred and Cary Hunt flew to the Panama Canal. He was a member of the Lakewood United Methodist Church and the George Martin Sunday School class for 55 years, where he served on many committees and as Chairman of the Board of Stewards. He was past President of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Little Rock, chairman and commissioner of the Lakewood POA Board, and chairman of the North Little Rock Airport Commission. He received a 50 year Masonic pin, holding membership in Eureka Blue Lodge No. 40, Monticello, Scottish Rite Supreme Council 33. He was co-owner of North Hills Country Club with partners Jim Rodgers and Tommy Eanes. He and Melba were fortunate to see much of the world and their travels included a flight on the first Concorde from Little Rock and a return home on the Queen Elizabeth II. His greatest joy came from his daughters Donna and Christie, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who shared a loving and caring relationship with Rip. He looked forward to the semi-weekly "McDonalds Lunch Bunch" for a double stack and fries with his grandsons, Chip and Brennan. All of this past year, his family members joined him at Wendy's each Monday for a "pre-chemo party" after which Rip shared Donna's freshly baked cookies with the staff at Dr. Gentry's office. He was predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Don and Cecil. Survivors include his wife Melba, his two daughters Donna (Bill Bosley) and Christie (Moreland White), grandsons Chip Bosley (Jennifer) and Brennan Bosley (Keri), granddaughter Elizabeth White, great grandchildren Garrett, Dillon, Haley and Savannah Bosley, brother-in-law Bob Byrd (Colleen) and our dear Mildred Stewart, who is closer than family. A special thanks to the members of the George Martin LUMC class, Dr. Rhonda Gentry and Cathy Lee and staff, the 10th floor staff of Baptist Hospital, the Hospice Home Care staff and to friends and neighbors who made this difficult journey easier. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lakewood United Methodist Church, 1922 Topf Road, North Little Rock, Ark. 72116, the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1897, Little Rock, Ark. 72203 or Habitat for Humanity of Saline County, 404 West Walnut, Benton, Ark. 72015. Funeral services will be held 2:30 p.m., Monday at Lakewood United Methodist Church with the Reverend Richard Lancaster. Burial will be in the James Cemetery in Benton, Monday at 11:30 a.m. The family will receive friends from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday at North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St., 758-1170. Online obituary and guest register at

Published November 28, 2010

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