Private family graveside service Wednesday, June 24, at Maplewood Cemetery, with arrangements by Roller-Christeson Funeral Home.
Nella Rose (Hale) Earnest, age 93, of Harrison, died Sunday, June 21 (2020) at home with her son and daughter at her side. She peacefully passed after a three-year battle with dementia. She was born June 19, 1927, at Rush City, Kansas, the daughter of Fred and Blanche (Millis) Hale.
Nella attended high school in Humansville, Missouri. Following graduation, she attended Draughon’s Business School in Springfield, Missouri. At age 18, she received wedding rings in the mail on Feb. 14, 1945, from her high school sweetheart who was stationed in Guam during World War II in the US Navy. On Dec. 20, 1946, Nella married Randall Warren (Red) Earnest. They celebrated 63 years of marriage before Randall’s passing in 2008.
They moved from Bolivar, Missouri, in 1954, to Harrison, where she was a homemaker, raised their children, and she and Randall established the MFA/Shelter Insurance Agency in 1968. Nella was very active in building the agency until her retirement in 1983. Not ready to fully retire, she went into retail where she opened her own children’s store, Teens Plus. Nella was a member of the First Christian Church for 66 years, joining in 1954. She loved her church.
Nella was a charter member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was an officer for many years. Two days prior to her passing, she was presented her 50-year certificate of membership. She was also an avid bowler, bowling in the Alley Dusters and Coffee Breakers Leagues. Many fond memories of traveling to both state and national tournaments and even her team won State Championship one year. She was still actively bowling when she was 90 years old.
In her younger years, she was an incredible artist. She enjoyed using oil paints, charcoal, and chalk for many of her art pieces. Sewing was a passion for her and making pies was a delicacy for anyone that received. She will always be remembered by her family for starting a Christmas tradition of having hot spiced shrimp. tarting with cooking five pounds, and as the family grew, cooking 10 pounds was not uncommon and then worried that she had not fixed enough.
Nella dressed to a T, always had to have her hair done, and lipstick was a must no matter if she was working in the yard. She could be found working in her yard and flowers even up to a month ago. Nella loved her neighbors and always wanted to make sure they were doing well or if she could do anything for them. Up to 93 years old, she had always been in perfect health taking only a couple of prescriptions and never had been in a hospital until a month ago. A lot of people will remember her walking her Boston Terrier, Louie, twice a day in the neighborhood. He was a handful for her but Louie was her 18-year companion and they had such a bond that he will be buried with her. Nella had the deepest love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was so proud and always enjoyed talking to them about school, sports, church, and careers and offering any advice that she could.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Randall W. (Red) Earnest; her sisters, Virginia and Madora Adams; and her brother, Howard C. Hale.
Survivors include her son, Roger Earnest (Linda); her daughter, Nancy Dodson (Bob); her grandchildren, Allison Whitaker (Ryan) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, RG Earnest (Emily), Jon and Jason Trublood, and Jenny Hodge (Aaron), all of Harrison; her great-grandchildren, Riley Whitaker, of Norman, Oklahoma, Reese Whitaker, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sam and William Earnest, of Harrison, Tabor and Turner Trublood, of Harrison, and Katie and Addie Hodge, of Harrison; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Leonard and Marilyn Earnest, of O’Fallon, Missouri; and a host of nieces and nephews, along with many friends; and Donna Crow who was a loyal and dedicated caregiver that brought so much love, happiness, and joy during Nella’s last years.
Due to COVID-19, a private family service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 24, at Maplewood Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Ryan Whitaker, RG Earnest, Jon Trublood, Jason Trublood, Bob Dodson and Aaron Hodge. Honorary pallbearers are the nursing staff at Hospice of the Hills.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Nella’s memory be given to Hospice of the Hills, P.O. Box 1927, Harrison, AR 72602 or First Christian Church, 915 South Maple Street, Harrison, AR 72601.
Arrangements are being handled by Roller-Christeson Funeral Home.
Sign the online guestbook at rollerfuneralhomes.com/harrison .