Today's Paper STORM COVERAGE Arkansas News Legislature LEARNS Guide Sports Public Notices Obits Puzzles Newsletters Archive Core Values Opinion

Graydon Bridges Hardister

Benton, AR, 1934 - 2014

Graydon Bridges Hardister, 80, of Benton passed away Nov. 1, 2014. He was born May 22, 1934 to the late James Buckner and Eunice Bridges Hardister in Reydel, Ark.
Graydon grew up in Pine Bluff and graduated at Pine Bluff High School in 1952. He studied at Ole Miss for two years, felt the call to serve in the ministry and then transferred to Ouachita Baptist University to prepare for the ministry and graduated from OBU in 1956 with a degree in math and science. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1960 and 1961. He served on the staff of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock as associate pastor and director of youth services. He also served on staff at Westmont Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn. as pastor.
Graydon met his wife, Betty, while he served on staff at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock and they married in March 1962. In September 1965, he and his wife, Betty, were appointed by the International Mission Board to serve in the country of Jordan, and they faithfully served for 34 years before retiring in 1999. He was also a member of First Baptist Church, Benton.
Graydon was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Rex Jerome Hardister.
Graydon is survived by his wife, Betty J. Hardister of 52 years; two sons, Graydon Thomas "Tommy" Hardister and wife, Janean of Little Rock and David Lee Hardister and wife, Tina of Benton; daughter, Carol Anne Phifer and husband, Keith of North Little Rock; two sisters, Jimmie Carol Woodfield of Rogers and Kay Bailey and husband, James of Dallas, Texas; sister-in-law, Marilyn Hardister of Brenham, Texas and eight grandchildren, Nathanael, Christopher, Mary-Madelynne, Joshua, Zachariah, Elizabeth, A. Abigail and Emily.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, 6-8 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Selph Hall, 211 S. Market St. Benton, AR 72015. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, 10 a.m., First Baptist Church, with Rev. Clay Cunningham and Bro. Darin Buscher officiating. Interment at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Tommy Hardister, David Hardister, Nathanael Hardister, Christopher Hardister, Keith Phifer, Steve Bailey, Alan Woodfield and Mike Phifer. Honorary pallbearers are Joshua Phifer, Zachariah Hardister, Mary-Madelynne Hardister, Elizabeth Phifer, A. Abigail Hardister and Emily Phifer. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund. For information, call Smith-Benton Funeral Home, 501-778-7100. Online guestbook:

Published November 3, 2014

Smith Family Funeral Home, Benton Chapel
322 North Market, Benton, AR
Phone: 501-778-7100