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Billy Eugene Deaton

Morrilton, AR, 1927 - 2019

Billy (Bill) Eugene Deaton, 91, retired row crop farmer, civic leader, and lifelong citizen of Morrilton, died Thursday, April 25, 2019. He was born September 6, 1927 to James Alex and Etta Irene Williams Deaton. He was preceded in death by an infant brother, James; brother, Jimmie Dean Deaton and sister, Marietta Russell.
Bill attended Morrilton High School and served in the U.S. 5th Army Air Force from 1945-47, with the occupation forces in Japan at the end of World War II. Returning home, he married Helen Louise Long and in 1950 began farming with his father-in-law in the Sandtown Bottoms south of Morrilton. He was joined in 1972 by his son, William Randyl Deaton and actively farmed until he retired in 2002, and Randy assumed the operation.
Through the years, Bill was active in all farm organizations serving on boards of directors and chairman of some. He served on the Conway County Soil Conservation Service from 1987 and chairman from 2012-2018; Conway County Agri Co-op Supply, many years as chairman; Conway County Farm Bureau, Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce; Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas representing 41 counties and chairman 11 years; former ASCS committee, now Farm Service Agency, 11 years; Cattlemen Association and American and Arkansas Soybean Associations.
Bill also served on the Conway County Extension Service Advisory Committee and the Conway County 4-H Foundation that honored him in 2012 by naming the Bill Deaton Student Salute Award given each month to a deserving high school student.
As a long-time active member of the Conway County Fair Association, Bill served several years as president. Under his leadership, many improvements were made to the fairgrounds, including black-topping the grounds, constructing a multi-purpose building and a large livestock building. The latter replaced old structures built in the 1940s.
For this, the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce named him the 1992 Citizen of The Year, and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce presented him the Award of Individual Exceptional Accomplishment in the Arkansas Community Development Awards Program.
Bill was a deacon in the Downtown Church of Christ for 51 years and in his later years spent much time overseeing improvements to the church's property. As a member of the Morrilton Kiwanis Club, he was Kiwanian of the Year in 2005 and also received the Tablet of Honor award from the Kiwanis International Foundation.
As an alderman on the Morrilton City Council for 37 years, Bill served under four mayors and vice mayor to three. His accomplishments for improving the city were many. His last duties were as a member of the Wastewater Commission and overseer of crops grown on city farmland.
The Deaton family received the Conway County Farm Family of The Year award in 1967 and 1984. Bill enjoyed watching and hunting the deer that roamed over his farm, and he loved fishing for crappie. His wit and good humor endeared him to many.
Bill is survived by his wife of 71 years, Helen; son, Randy Deaton (Cheryl) of Morrilton; daughter, Cheryl Blansett (Andy) of Cabot; five grandchildren, Jennifer Mahan and Whitney Deaton, Conway: twins, Joshua Blansett, North Little Rock and Dr. Jonathan Blansett, Rogers; Luke Blansett (Tia), North Little Rock; five great-grandchildren, twins, Mayson and Shelby Mahan and Kylan Trezvant and Makenzie Deaton of Conway, and Olivia Blansett of North Little Rock; seven nephews and nieces and a sister-in-law, Ruth Deaton of Little Rock.
Family visitation will be at Harris Funeral Home Chapel Sunday, April 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., and funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, April 29 at Harris Chapel by George Hulett, Mickey Burleson and Stewart Nelson. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery by Harris Funeral Home of Morrilton.
Pallbearers are: Ed Moore, Greg Flowers, David Duffle, Curtis Davis, Charlie Hamilton and Charles Session. Honorary pallbearers: Max Sellers, Ray Ellis, Bill Chism, and Archie Green. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 251977, Little Rock, Ark. 72225; Arkansas Hospice Foundation, 144 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, Ark. 72116 or Southern Christian Children's Home, P.O. Box 649, Morrilton, Ark. 72110. Online Guestbook: www.harrisfuneral

Published April 27, 2019

Harris Funeral Home, Inc.
118 South Moose Street, P.O. Box 439, Morrilton, AR
Phone: 501-354-4575